The Tennessee Titans blew a 10-0 lead to the Baltimore Ravens earlier today, losing their Wild Card matchup by a score of 20-13. There were several key turning points in this battle between AFC powerhouses, but one of the defining moments that many will point to came with 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 17-13 and facing a 4th-and-2 from the Ravens’ 40-yard line, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel elected to punt the ball, rather than go for it. The result was a 25-yard punt that set the Ravens up at their own 15-yard line. They would go on to milk a valuable 5 minutes and 41 seconds off the clock before kicking the field goal that put them up 20-13.
In most cases when coaches decided to punt on fourth and short, you can make the claim that it’s easier to make the call from our coaches compared to the pressure of actually being on the sideline and making that decision in the heat of the moment…
But in Vrabel’s case, even that claim is a hard one to buy, as Surrender Index 90 calculated the punt to be among the 100th percentile in terms of “cowardly punts” in 2020, and among the 99.92nd percentile in terms of cowardly punts since 2009.
In case you were wondering, the Surrender Index 90 is a Twitter bot that automatically calculates how cowardly a punt is using “a completely arbitrary metric created by SB Nation’s Jon Bois.”
And based on their metric, Vrabel’s decision to punt was one of the most cowardly moves of the 2020-21 season. Yikes!