Titans Use Bill Belichick's Own Rules Trick, Intentionally Commit Penalties to Keep Clock Running

Stephen Douglas
Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots
Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Titans Titans exploited a loophole in the rules that allowed them to run nearly two minutes off the clock between 3rd and 4th downs late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots. On 4th and 4 from the Patriots' 36, Mike Vrabel made the cowardly decision to punt. The Titans then proceeded to take a delay of game, committed a false start, and were prepared to take another delay of game, but the Patriots jumped offsides.

Belichick was annoyed by the tactic, which interestingly, he himself used earlier this season. Here's what Belichick had to say about it in October. Via PFT:

"“No, it was just the way the rules are set up. We were able to run quite a bit of time off the clock without really having to do anything. That’s probably a loophole that will be closed and probably should be closed but right now it’s open,” Belichick said."

How perfect that it would be used against him just a few months later by one of his former players.