The Titans decided to punt and potentially squandered their Super Bowl hopes.
In the fourth quarter down 17-13, Mike Vrabel and the Titans opted to punt into Ravens territory, raising eyebrows and garnering criticism from all corners of the Twittersphere.
At a quarter and 2 from the Ravens’ 40 with 10:06 left on the game clock, Vrabel and the Titans opted to punt, returning the ball to the Ravens in plenty of time to play. The Ravens would drive down the field and score a field goal, giving them a 20-13 lead. The scoreboard would remain for the final.
“I just decided to kick,” Vrabel said at his postgame press conference. “We were playing well defensively, we thought we would get a punt within 10 and we could play the field position game. I spent some time there that I felt we could. We kept them on a field goal. “
Of course, these decisions are often made painstakingly and it’s often easy to guess at these decisions in real time, but Vrabel’s decision to clear is the first time it has happened in more than 25 years, according to the Pro Football Reference.
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The reviews also disagree, vehemently, with Vrabel’s decision at that particular point in time, leading to a huge boost for head scratching for the decision.
—> BAL (17) @ TEN (13) <---
TEN has 4th and 2 in BAL 40
Recommendation (VERY STRONG): 👉 Forward (+7.9 WP)
Actual Play: 🏈🦵 B.Kern punts 25 yards to BLT 15, Center-M.Overton, clean catch by D.Duvernay. pic.twitter.com/jOnBdWPgVp
– Fourth down decision bot (@ben_bot_baldwin) January 10, 2021
Of course, the internet is not forgetting: Vrabel was once quoted as saying that he would cut off his genitals if it meant a Super Bowl appearance for the Titans. Clearly, the possible beheading played on Vrabel’s mind, and the adoring public reminded the HC Titans of it.
Mike Vrabel is willing to cut off his penis to win a Super Bowl, but he will not go fourth and second in the Ravens 40.
– Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 10, 2021
The Packers showed us all the way against the Titans: You stop Derrick Henry, you stop this team on their way.
However, I still have no idea what Mike Vrabel was up to in clearing the Baltimore 40. Maybe if he had done it there, he would not have had to fight to recover.
– BungledTree (@UrinatingTree) January 10, 2021
it’s Mike Vrabel’s blood oath to cut off his penis in case the Titans win the Super Bowl still in effect, because that could explain the decision to punt.
– Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 10, 2021
I have the Ravens here, I’m beyond thankful that Mike Vrabel just kicked there. What the hell is that ???
– John Jastremski (@john_jastremski) January 10, 2021
Mike Vrabel will be demolished in the media / by fans for that punt decision and will deserve all the criticism. I can’t think of anything recent in the NFL that comes close to how wretched and cowardly it was. 4th and 2nd at the Baltimore 40, Derrick Henry on his list.
– Will Warren (@statsbywill) January 10, 2021
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.