All mistakes suck but some are more costly than others, as the Tennessee Titans learned on Sunday when losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16.
With 1:57 on the clock, the Bengals lined up to kick a 31-yard field goal that would extend their lead to seven points.
That would’ve forced Ryan Tannehill to put on a superhero mask and try to go on a two-minute drill comeback drive to at least tie the game (I’d bet it would’ve ended on a two-point conversion attempt for better or worse, though).
Titans’ defensive lineman Kevin Strong essentially took the football out of Tannehill’s hands, however.
After the field goal attempt, an unnecessary roughness flag extended the Bengals’ drive and allowed them to kneel their way to victory.
Teams have been going after Cal Adomitis all year trying to rattle the rookie snapper.
And this one kills the Titans.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 27, 2022
The flag was a result of a dangerous hit to the Bengals’ long snapper Cal Adomitis.
As is often the case with game-altering penalties like this, the play was been in the eye of national controversy. Was the flag fair or not?
Well, Titans’ HC Mike Vrabel decided to chime in on Monday and did so from a pretty objective view.
#Titans HC Mike Vrabel: The roughing call at the end (on long snapper) is always going to be called. It’s something we can’t do
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) November 28, 2022
This is the NFL, after all. Refs won’t take into account whatever game script is most fun. If you commit the foul, you’re getting flagged. You can’t hit the long snapper, man!
Not to mention, a 75-yard touchdown drive in crunch time from Ryan Tannehill was far from a sure thing in this one.
The Bengals had a tremendous defensive performance holding Tennessee to only six points in the second half.