The Titans decided to kick and potentially dashed their Super Bowl hopes.
In the 17-13 fourth quarter, Mike Vrabel and the Titans punted into Ravens territory, raising eyebrows and drawing criticism from all corners of the Twittersphere.
On a fourth and second off the Ravens 40-yard line with 10:06 left on the game clock, Vrabel and the Titans opted for a punt, giving the ball back to the Ravens with ample time. The Ravens would come down the field and score a basket, giving them a 20-13 lead. The score would hold for the final.
“I just decided to punt,” Vrabel said in his post-match press conference. “We were playing well defensively, we thought we had a punt inside the 10 and we were able to play the game from position on the field. I spent time there that I felt we could. We kept them in the basket. “
Of course, those decisions are often taken with great care and are often easily questioned in real time – but Vrabel’s decision to kick is the first time this has happened in over 25 years, according to Pro Football Reference.
Analyzes also disagree – vehemently – with Vrabel’s decision at this particular point in time, leading to a lot of reinforcement for the head scratching on the decision.
—> BAL (17) to TEN (13) <---
TEN at 4th and 2nd at BAL 40
Recommendation (VERY STRONG): ? Go for it (+7.9 WP)
Real play: ?? B.Kern punches 25 yards to BLT 15, Center-M.Overton, just caught by D.Duvernay. pic.twitter.com/jOnBdWPgVp
– 4th decision bot (@ben_bot_baldwin) January 10, 2021
Of course, the Internet does not forget: Vrabel once was quoted as saying he would cut his own genitals if that meant a Super Bowl appearance for the Titans. Obviously, the potential beheading played on Vrabel’s mind, and the worshiping audience reminded Titans HC of it.
Mike Vrabel is ready to cut his penis to win a Super Bowl but won’t be 4th and 2nd at the Ravens 40.
– Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 10, 2021
The Packers have shown us all the way against the Titans: you stop Derrick Henry, you stop this team in its tracks.
I still have no idea what Mike Vrabel was doing in the Baltimore 40 boats. Maybe if you had been there you wouldn’t have had to scramble to recover.
– BungledTree (@UrinatingTree) January 10, 2021
is Mike Vrabel’s blood oath to cut his penis if the Titans win the Super Bowl still in effect, as that could explain punt’s decision
– Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 10, 2021
I have the Ravens here I’m more than thankful Mike Vrabel just hit there !!!! What is that ???
– John Jastremski (@john_jastremski) January 10, 2021
Mike Vrabel is going to be demolished in the media / by the fans for this release decision and he will deserve all the criticism. I can’t think of anything recent in the NFL that comes close to how disastrous and cowardly it was. 4th and 2nd at Baltimore 40, Derrick Henry on your list.
– Will Warren (@statsbywill) January 10, 2021