Mike Vrabel Explains Questionable Call Resulting In Titans Loss

Randy Bullock missed a 47-yard field goal, resulting in a Titans loss

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September 11, 2022

The Titans were in line to ruin Brian Daboll’s head coaching debut, but a curious timeout call in the final drive led to Tennessee falling short.

The New York Giants were their own worst enemy in the final drive of Sunday’s game, with holding calls extending the drive for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Titans. The 10-year veteran fired a pass to rookie Kyle Phillips to put the Titans in field-goal distance.

Titans kicker Randy Bullock’s career-long is 57 yards, but Tennessee had 18 seconds left to give him a shorter distance. But head coach Mike Vrabel opted to use his timeout even though Phillips was pushed out of bounds, stopping the clock.

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The Titans came out of the timeout where Tannehill took a knee to place the ball at the right hash mark. With no timeouts, the Tennessee offense could only spike the ball, and it set up Bullock for a 47-yard try — the 10-year kicker had hit three game-winners in 2021, according to FanNation Network’s John Glennon. The field goal hooked to the left, and the Giants came out victorious, thanks to Daboll going for two after scoring a touchdown with 1:06 left in the game.

But it left Titans fans wondering what happened after the 21-yard catch from Phillips.

“Just making sure we were on the correct hash, making sure everybody was on the same page,” Vrabel told reporters on the decision to call their final timeout, per Titans Twitter video. “We felt good about 18 seconds. That was something we worked where you could reasonably center the football, put it on the hash, run it on and go in and clock it. We worked on it numerous times. Below that, you run the risk of a pile up, or it getting kicked around or crazy things. But I thought we handled that situation well.”

Despite the missed field goal as the game clock expired, Vrabel was not willing to blame the loss on one play. He added: “They hit some big plays. We weren’t able to convert in the red zone. Defensively, we just couldn’t stop the run — number-one key to the game. That’s why you lose, not because you miss a field goal at the end of the game.”

In fairness to Bullock, Sunday was not a banner day for NFL kickers, and the missed field goal had mixed results for bettors.

For the Titans, every team in the AFC South didn’t pick up a win Sunday either — the Indianapolis Colts versus Houston Texans game ended in a tie.

Thumbnail photo via George Walker IV / Tennessean.com via USA TODAY Sports Images
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