By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) — Mike Vrabel was a fiery player throughout his NFL career. He remains a fiery presence on the sidelines as the Titans’ head coach.
That high level of emotion was on display in the second quarter of Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Titans.
On a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Ryan Tannehill lined up under center and fired a quick pass to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The receiver made the catch and lunged toward the goal line, appearing to score a touchdown. But the official running in from the left pylon quickly and confidently ruled that the ball didn’t cross the goal line before Westbrook-Ikhine was down.
Mike Vrabel did not like this.
The coach traipsed down to the 10-yard line, loudly and demonstrably arguing with the official while holding his red challenge flag in his hand. Vrabel pointed up to the top of the stadium, likely indicating that the replay official could have buzzed down to rule that one a touchdown. Alas, that call never came.
The Titans’ offense looked to the sideline, looking for some instruction on what to do. Vrabel raised a hand, as if to tell them not to worry about it, before glancing up at the play clock and watching it tick down closer to zero.
When it got there, Vrabel threw his challenge flag … with authority.
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) November 28, 2021
Vrabel was, of course, correct in his assertion, and the quick review led to the Titans being awarded their touchdown. He likely knew he’d win the challenge but wasn’t too pleased about having to waste it, just in case it’s needed later in the game.
The Titans did get the touchdown, but kicker Randy Bullock clanked the PAT attempt off the right upright, leaving the Titans down 7-6 to the home team.