Titans' Mike Vrabel on Refs vs. Ravens: These Guys Aren't Calling Any Penalties

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2021

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel leaves the field after losing to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The Ravens won 20-13. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel criticized the officiating in his team's 20-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs Sunday.

"Clearly, these guys aren't calling any penalties," Vrabel said of the referee crew, per the NFL Network's Michael Giardi.

According to Giardi, he was specifically referring to Marcus Peters' interception in the fourth quarter that helped seal the result.


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Counter to Vrabel's narrative, the Ravens were flagged five times for 60 yards, compared to two penalties for 10 yards for the Titans.

Baltimore also had a critical first-down conversion late in the fourth quarter wiped out because of a tight offensive pass interference call.

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

Snead was like 1.25 yards downfield on the OPI call. That’s a pretty surprising call given the physicality downfield the refs were letting go earlier in this game.

In addition, A.J. Brown seemed to be guilty of the same infraction for his 10-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

Tennessee Titans @Titans

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Pointing the finger at the refs after a defeat rarely engenders any level of sympathy. In this case, it's hard to see how the officiating impacted the outcome more than Tennessees's performance did.

Derrick Henry averaged 2.2. yards per carry, his worst showing this year. The Titans as a team had 209 yards. According to Pro Football Reference, only 13 teams since the merger have gained 210 yards or fewer and won a playoff game.

Vrabel drew some scrutiny as well when he opted to punt from the Ravens' 40-yard line on 4th-and-2 while trailing in the fourth quarter. He told reporters he thought his defense would stop Baltimore and set up the offense nicely for its next drive. Instead, Justin Tucker made it a seven-point game with a 51-yard field goal.

The Titans did more than enough to orchestrate their own demise without any outside intervention.