The Tennessee Titans appeared to take control of their contest with the Seattle Seahawks this weekend after Adoree’ Jackson’s brilliant punt return. Jackson went right into the teeth of the Seattle punt coverage team, making four men miss and following his blocks into the open field.
There’s just one problem. David Fluellen was called for a block in the back that called the whole thing back.
Watch for yourself here.
You can see the Fluellen block just before Jackson puts a move on Jon Ryan. Fluellen actually blocks his man into the face of Jayon Brown, who was ready to eliminate him from the play. It was a totally unnecessary block that ended up costing Jackson his first NFL score. It was a ticky-tack call, but definitely the right call by definition.
Let’s focus on Jackson though. He managed to house this.
Jackson makes three defenders miss in a tight space, then takes care of the punter with ease. This is an element that the Titans have been missing since PacMan. It was frustrating to see them keep the status quo for so many years, seemingly not even trying to get better in the return game.
Jon Robinson fixed them up this year though. He signed multiple special teams players during free agency, then added Jackson on top of all that. It paid dividends last week with a long return in Jacksonville and it nearly hit again this week.
It’s just a matter of time before Jackson takes one back and it actually counts. Let’s not forget about this one from the preseason against the Panthers.
Hang in there, Adoree’. The Titans already rank 5th in average yards per punt return. They would probably first if not for that call on Fluellen. Finally, the Titans have a difference maker in the return game.