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If you bet the over, you hated Mike Vrabel’s mind games

The Titans are holding a tenuous lead, and they played some mind games late in the game. We break it down.

Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans walks on the field during warm ups prior to the start of the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel just attempted to out-Belichick New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. The Titans elected to punt the ball at just under six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but an exchange of penalties resulted in the clock running down under five minutes remaining.

The Titans took a delay of game, and after the clock started running again, they committed a false start penalty. They were looking to then commit another delay of game, but the Patriots hopped offsides and committed a neutral zone infraction. The Titans finally punted and the Patriots got the ball back with 4:44 to go and trailing 14-13.

Earlier this year, Belichick talked about needing to close this loophole. He was able to run off some clock against the New York Jets committing a similar action.

The point total on this game was 44, so we were a ways off from reaching it. However, if the Patriots had scored a touchdown, gotten a two-point conversion and then the Titans scored a touchdown, the game could have gone to overtime tied 21-21, and a field goal in OT would have put the game over. It was not a likely result, but it was possible. The way the Titans ran down the clock might have just about locked in the under.

UPDATE: The Titans ran down the clock to under 30 seconds left by the time New England took over down 14-13. A pick-six later and the Titans won 20-13.