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Tennessee Titans: Todd Downing Takes Blame for ‘Bad Call’

NASHVILLE The official count had not been necessary.

A cursory survey of social media marketing Sunday afternoon and in the times since managed to get abundantly clear that the overwhelming most fans and observers felt a definite third-down call by the Tennessee Titans in Sundays loss to the brand new York Giants was a negative one.

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing agreed. He conceded that your choice at hand the ball to rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo on a third-and-1 from the Titans 41 with a bit more than six minutes to play had not been his best work.

That has been a negative call, Downing said Thursday. I take full responsibility for that call.

Okonkwo was tackled for a 4-yard loss, and the Titans punted. Next time the offense got the ball, a seven-point lead (20-13) had converted into a one-point deficit (21-20), and Tennessee was headed to a season-opening defeat.

Downing said the decision was predicated on what NY had shown in a nutshell yardage situations on film and earlier in the overall game. The defense did different things on that certain, and Okonkwo never really had to be able to get upfield also to get near a conversion.

While things clearly didn’t are intended on that play, neither did a lot of other things Downing called on third down, particularly on third-and-short.

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The Titans finished 3-for-11 on third-down contrary to the Giants. On seven of these plays they needed four yards or fewer but converted only once. They also were able to move the on a third-and-5 and a third-and-8. Late in the overall game, third-down penalties against NY moved the chains twice but didn’t count in the state stats.

It had been a disappointing development on each day when among the primary goals was to remain avoid third-and-long situations. New Yorks defensive coordinator Don Martindale includes a well-earned reputation as a blitz-happy play-caller, particularly if an opposing quarterback may need to contain the ball just a little longer than usual.

You get into a game like this against a team which has a history of exotic pressures on third down and so forth, you sort of have an intentionality of attempting to stay static in third-and-manageable, Downing said. This way youre not putting yourself back there looking forward to long routes to build up on third down. I believe it might be a game-by-game situation. Entering a game like this, you certainly desire to make an effort to limit the exposure on third-and-extra long.

On the list of third-down missteps that preceded the Okonkwo handoff were an incomplete pass to wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on third-and-3 early in the fourth quarter and a dropped go by running back Dontrell Hilliard on third-and-2 in the 3rd quarter.

We’d done sufficiently on first and second right down to eliminate some of these third-and-extra longs which are hard to get, protect and those various things, coach Mike Vrabel said Monday. We’ll need to ensure that we’re giving this business an excellent plan, we’re giving the quarterback a lot of choices for the looks that we’re convinced that we might see or not see and become better.

Downing and the Titans only faced one third-and-1 prior to the handoff to Okonkwo. On that certain on the opening drive of the next half running back Derrick Henry mishandled a primary snap out from the Wildcat formation. The effect was a 2-yard loss.

Instead of simplify things next time, he made a decision to dig just a little deeper in to the playbook.

We played a share from what we’d seen from that defense in a nutshell yardage, he said. Obviously, [we] had just a little miscue earlier in the overall game on short yardage [the Henry fumble] and got a touch too aggressive with that call. [We] must have gotten something downhill, and thats on me.

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