The Tennessee Titans pulled off a nail-biting upset of the New England Patriots on Wild Card Saturday of the NFL Playoffs with the game coming down to the final seconds. Perhaps one of the biggest series of the game involved the Titans pulling a Bill Belichick-style move.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel took advantage of the NFL rule book in the fourth quarter with his team narrowly ahead of the Patriots 14-13. The Titans faced a 4th down with about 6:00 left in the game and intentionally took a delay of game penalty to run down as much of the clock as possible.
After the 5-yard penalty, the clock began to run again. The Titans then purposely had a play commit a false-start penalty, knowing if they did another delay of game, two in-a-row would have stopped the clock. The Titans then tried to commit a second false-start but a Patriots player jumped the line of scrimmage before the snap. After that penalty, the clock still ran and the Titans finally punted after it ran down to 4:51.
Apparently, the Titans couldn't have kept committing penalties on themselves inside of 5 minutes left because the clock would have stopped with penalties in that case.
The 1+ minute of time burned by the Titans ended up being crucial for them to keep the lead as the Patriots eventually were out of time and Tom Brady threw a pick-six that essentially ended the game.