There were a few instances of questionable coaching yesterday. We will look at them throughout the day today. The one that made me the most angry was the 4th and 2 with just over 4 minutes left to go in the 4th quarter. The Titans rushed to the line like they were going to call a quick play. Then this happened:
This is it. #Titans offense looks to the sideline for over 20 seconds after a very weak attempt to draw the #Colts offsides. And then punted.— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) September 16, 2019
Titans could have used this 30 seconds at the end of the game. pic.twitter.com/7VKLeEe7jt
After a fairly feeble attempt to get the Colts to jump, the entire Titans offense spends about 20 seconds just looking over at the sideline. I think it is pretty dumb when teams try to do this in general, but you will usually see the offense attempt multiple hard counts and even shift into different formations. That at least creates a chance of the other team jumping. Just looking at the sideline doesn’t. It just wastes time.
I have seen people online criticizing Marcus Mariota for this. While there are plenty of things in this game to criticize Mariota about in this game, this isn’t one of them. The coaches are responsible for making a decision here- not the quarterback.
It is inexcusable to waste this much time with 4 minutes left in the game when you are down. The coaching staff clearly didn’t have a plan here. Which coach is that on? It is hard to say exactly, but the buck ultimately stops with Mike Vrabel. He has to make the decision right away if he wants to go or punt here. Then if he decides to go, it is on Arthur Smith to get a play called.
This didn’t cost the Titans the game in and of itself, but it certainly didn’t increase their chances of winning.