The officiating crew that did not award the Tennessee Titans the football at the Indianapolis 28 yard line or thereabouts in the final minute of regulation on a fumble was not to blame for the Titans' meltdown in a 19-13 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee players and coaches said.
On Indianapolis' final drive at the end of regulation with the score tied, the Colts' Dwayne Allen was stripped of the football by Tennesee's Akeem Ayers. However, the ruling on the field was that Allen's forward progress had been stopped as he tried to turn when the initial hit was made by Colin McCarthy. The play could not be reviewed and the Colts ran out the clock, went to overtime and drove 80 yards for the winning score.
“We could sit here and bash the officials for not getting calls,” Coach Mike Munchak said via TitanInsider. “You've got to overcome that. It's not why we lost the football game.”
Alterraun Verner, who recovered the would-be fumble, refused to blame the officials either for the loss.
“I definitely think it was a fumble, but with the ruling they had about forward progress, I'm not a ref. I don't know how that ruling is supposed to be," Verner said. "But we couldn't rely on that. We still had opportunities to make plays before that.. I'm not thinking that the referees lost the game for us because that should have been a fumble. We had plenty of opportunities way before that and after that.”
Twice, in the fourth quarter and in OT, the Titans allowed Andrew Luck to take the Colts 80 yards for touchdowns, and that proved to be the difference in the game.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com