Over the years, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has become infamous for controversially, but legally, exploiting loopholes in the NFL rulebook to help coach his team to victory.
Well, former Patriots player and Belichick disciple Mike Vrabel executed an ingenious maneuver that would go on to help his Titans beat the Texans Sunday.
Down by 1 and with Houston threatening, Vrabel recognized that he had to do whatever it took to save time for his offense to execute another drive, even if it meant handing the Texans free yards and a first down – with the clock stopped instead of running.
Prior to a 2nd & 1, Vrabel realized that the Texans would most likely pickup a first down in one of the next 3 plays. He then sent one of his players into the field, and to the dismay and confusion of his Titans defense, drew a ’12 men on the field’ penalty.
For added effect and for the referees not to realize it was being done on purpose, Vrabel sold a mini tantrum on the sidelines, upset that they weren’t able to have the correct number of players on the field, even confusing the announcers.
This gave the Texans and first down and saved about 40 seconds of clock.
Houston would go on to score, and with those 40 seconds saved, allowed the Titans to drive down the field and score a game-winning touchdown via Derrick Henry.
Mike Vrabel is outstanding— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 19, 2020
1. he rushes in 46 late (12th man on D)
2. 33 is WTF
3. penalty for 12men
4. Vrabel fakes upset & brings 46 off
-penalty stops clock
-time > yds
-knows HOU will score
– w :04 left, TEN scores tying TD
– move saved 40 seconds & won game pic.twitter.com/wikWKtGuJD