The Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals were locked in a tight battle on Sunday when disaster struck for the Titans. They trailed the visiting Bengals 20-16 late in the fourth quarter, and an incredibly stupid penalty handed Cincinnati the win.
With 1:53 left, the Bengals faced fourth and 13 on Tennessee's 13. They lined up to kick a field goal that would have made it 23-16. That would have given the Titans one final drive with about 1:40 left to get into the end zone.
Evan McPherson kicked the ball through the uprights for a 31-yard field goal as expected, but there was a flag. Titans defensive line man Kevin Strong was called for unnecessary roughness for plowing over the long-snapper. He basically broke the first rule of special teams play.
That is absolutely inexcusable. The long snapper's head is down, so he isn't allowed to be touched due to player safety concerns. It's a rule everyone who plays special teams around the NFL is fully aware of and Strong broke it.
That gave the Bengals a first down, and they were able to run the clock out with three kneel-downs. Strong's penalty handed the game to Cincinnati. Just a stupid, stupid play.