It’s taking some time for everyone to appreciate the genius of Mike Vrabel. If it had happened in the late afternoon or in primetime, everyone would be talking about it. But when it happens during the witching hour of the early afternoon slate, it takes everyone a while to get up to speed.
The Texans had a 30-29 lead with 3:27 remaining. It was 2nd-and-1 on the Titans’ 29. Presuming Houston would ultimately pick up the first down, Vrabel appeared to instruct the Titans to take a too-many-men-on-the-field penalty to cede a first down, preserving 40 or 80 seconds of clock that they would need for their subsequent offensive response:
Here is the sequence. It’s 2nd and 1. Odds of Houston converting either on this down or the next is astronomical. Joseph is confused looking to the sideline and Vrabel is telling him “it’s ok” and then does a sales job to make sure the ref sees it. https://t.co/ZFJzQJC5II pic.twitter.com/EWuOhk5J4U
— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) October 18, 2020
The rest is history. The Texans got into the end zone. The Titans responded with a touchdown of their own and then punched it in on the first drive of overtime to preserve their undefeated season.
This is not the first time Mike Vrabel has gotten clever with the clock. Remember the time that he beat his mentor Bill Belichick at his own game?
All we can do is tip our caps to Vrabel. It took us a while, coach, but we saw it: true clock management genius