I saw a video one time about a high school football coach that never punts, never kicks extra points and always kicks onside kicks. That guy is my hero. I would be pumped if the Titans hired him tomorrow....OK, not really, but Ken Whisenhunt would benefit from taking a coaching class from that guy.
Gunnels does a post called "Why?" sometimes, but I am going to go ahead and steal this one from him. Why in the world did Whisenhunt punt the ball back to the Steelers in the 4th quarter last night when the Titans has a 4th and 4 from the Pittsburgh 48-yard line?
Let me set the stage a little bit for you. The score was 27-24 Steelers with just over 7 minutes left to play in the game. Le'Veon Bell already had 155 yards rushing. Pittsburgh had scored a touchdown on each of their past two drives, and were moving the ball with ease. The defense was gassed. Tennessee had two timeouts remaining.
Also, remember that the Titans were a 2-7 football team at that point. You are not playing for the playoffs. The call to punt is dumb even if you are, but there is absolutely no reason to play conservatively when you are coaching a team that is not in contention.
You also have a rookie quarterback out there that could really benefit from being given the vote of confidence there to put the ball in his hands. Now Zach Mettenberger isn't lacking confidence (How awesome was it to see him bounce back so well after throwing a pick 6 on the first play of the game?), but still, putting the ball in that scenario would be a boost.
Instead, The Whiz decided to punt the ball back to the Steelers, who kept it for the rest of the game. Now I understand that the defense should be able to get a stop there, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU KNOW THEY ARE RUNNING ON EVERY PLAY, but in the words of Herm Edwards, PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. Punting there is playing not to lose, which is a really dumb strategy WHEN YOU ARE LOSING (a lot of CAPS LOCK in this paragraph).
We could also talk about the ridiculous challenge on the ensuing drive, but it didn't really cost the Titans anything at the end of the day, so I will just leave it alone....for now.