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You Make the Call: Should the Titans have taken the illegal use of the hands penalty?

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Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

So I’m old. When I thought about writing this post the “You make the call” commercials that used to come on during NFL games popped into my head. If you don’t remember those, it’s probably because you weren’t alive in the late 1980s when these commercials aired:

Good stuff right there.

Anyway, yesterday the Ravens had 3rd and 8 on the Titans 31 yard line. They attempted a pass to Breshad Perriman that fell incomplete. There was a flag on the play on Buck Allen for illegal hands to the face. That is a 15 10 yard penalty that, if accepted, would have given the Ravens 3rd and 23 18 from the Titans 46 41 yard line.

Mike Mularkey’s thinking here in declining the penalty is obvious: You stopped them on 3rd down. They are now forced to try the 48-yard field goal. That is by no means a “gimme,” but I would argue it is pretty close to a “gimme” with Justin Tucker in a game where points are clearly at a premium.

Backing the Ravens up would have given them another shot at the 3rd down play. The range of outcomes is anything from a turnover to a touchdown. Against Tom Brady declining the penalty is a no brainier, but I would argue that with the way the Titans defense was playing against check-down machine Joe Flacco it makes sense to take your chances on 3rd and 23 18.

What would you have done in that situation?