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On the 3rd and 2 DeMarco Murray run on the Titans final offensive drive

What a terrible call.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the Titans faced a 3rd and 2 from the San Francisco 32 yard line trailing 22-20 with 1:12 left in the 4th quarter. The Titans called a timeout before the play when it looked like they had 12 men on the field. That means they had time on the sideline to talk about what the next play was going to be.

The Titans come out in shotgun with DeMarco Murray lined up next to Marcus Mariota. The 49ers are quite obviously expecting a run and they even bring a couple of extra defenders into the box right before the snap.

Mariota takes the snap and hands it to DeMarco who gets blown up before he even gets back to the line of scrimmage. Mike Mularkey and Mariota both said after the game that Mariota had the option of checking out of the play. Marcus obviously chose not to do that.

My questions is, why was the run play ever the call there? Here was Mularkey’s answer to that questions after game (from Titans Online):

“Well, we knew we didn’t want to take a sack. Felt like we had a good play call based on the fronts we were getting, and just felt like we could hit a pretty good run right there. I mean, obviously they stopped us, but that was the thought. Certainly didn’t want to lose any yards.”

Excuse my language, but that’s BS. You have to be able to trust your quarterback enough in that situation to know that he won’t take a sack there. If you don’t, then you haven’t coached him well enough for that in-game situation, and it should be something you work on every single week in practice.

There are a million different things the Titans could have gone there. Why not call a play where Marcus rolls out and has the option to run or pass? In doing that, you make it less likely that a defender will be in Mariota’s face, and you give him the freedom to find an open receiver, pull it down and run, or just throw it away and still kick the field goal.

Why don’t they ever do that with Mariota? It should be one of the strengths of this offense. We all know the answer there.

But there is more than just that. How in the world are you going to waste your last timeout coming off a play where the clock is stopped because you can’t get the right guys on the field??

And if we want to go back even further than that, why are you handing the ball to Murray on the play right before the two minute warning? The passing game was humming. What’s the ceiling for that play to DeMarco right there?? 8 yards??

This coaching staff isn’t even good at running their outdated offense.