Yesterday we talked about the Titans wasting time with just over 4 minutes left in the game. Today we are going to look at the spike on 3rd down with 15 seconds left to go in the game. I have seen people putting this on Marcus Mariota. While there is certainly the possibility that Mariota made that call, it shouldn’t have ever come to that.
Let’s back up 3 plays. Marcus Mariota scrambled for 15 yards and a first down. The Titans hurried to the line and spiked the ball. That stopped the clock. That means the Titans had the full play clock to huddle. It seems so basic that in that huddle they would call 2 plays- the one they were about to run and one in case that play resulted in a completed pass where the receiver was tackled in bounds- which is exactly what happened.
Mike Vrabel and/or Arthur Smith didn’t instruct Mariota to do that. That’s why they had to spike the ball on 3rd down which resulted in a do or die 4th down play. It shouldn’t have come to that right there.