AFC South: John Parry
The situation: Third-and-10 from the Buffalo 13-yard line with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied, 17-17.
The Titans line up with Nate Washington and Bo Scaife to the left, Kenny Britt and Lavelle Hawkins to the right and Chris Johnson to the left of Vince Young, who’s in shotgun.
Buffalo matches up with its nickel package with Ellis Lankster, Reggie Corner, George Wilson, Drayton Florence and Bryan Scott on the field.
They rush with just their four down linemen.
What I saw unfold after the snap: Johnson heads left and cuts toward the end zone with Scott picking him up.
Jake Scott and Kevin Mawae double team Marcus Stroud and hold him up.
Eugene Amano single blocks John McCargo, who uses a spin move and winds up tugging Amano’s facemask.
Michael Roos pushes Aaron Schobel wide and David Stewart does the same with Chris Kelsay. But the two defensive ends begin to squeeze the back end of the pocket, and Young senses it early and sees room.
Young peers downfield as he scoots up in the pocket, but passes on throwing to Britt, who’s crossed from the right to the middle and is open but only two yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Paul Posluszny charges up the middle, but quickly loses any advantage in tracking Young as the quarterback slides to his right, gets to full speed and turns the corner to go up the right sideline for the pylon. He starts to lunge and reach for the pylon with the ball at about the 3-yard line with the defender on his left and diving for his legs. Field judge Keith Washington immediately signals that Young didn’t make it into the end zone marking him just short.
Young gets up and signals touchdown. Jeff Fisher challenges, but only because he was calling a timeout anyway to adjust personnel. Referee John Parry upholds the call.
Result: First-and-goal from 1. Johnson scored three plays later, bouncing off a hit behind the line of scrimmage by Scott and Posluszny and heading into the end zone standing from there and Tennessee moves to a 24-17 lead.
Ultimate outcome: The Titans pour it on from there, turning a close game into a 41-17 blowout for their third win in a row.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three hours before the game, a tech guy does an annoyingly long check of the referee's microphone. When the officials first come on the field, they do another. And because referee John Parry was having problems early in the game, there was a short test between the first and second quarters.
His microphone didn't work in the second and third quarters, and left two calls that needed a lot of explanation hanging in the air.
In a three-play span at the end of the third quarter, there were two confusing calls -- or at least they were confusing when Parry was unable to convey them to those in attendance through the magic of amplified sound.
A flag was dropped on Kerry Collins' pass thrown into the end zone for Brandon Jones, who got a bit tangled with defensive backs Ryan Clark and Bryant McFadden. It seemed they were going to call pass interference, then it seemed they were indicating the ball had been tipped. Then Jeff Fisher threw a challenge flag, the officials discussed things with him and the flag got picked up. After the game, Fisher said officials were saying the players got tripped up, not that there was a tip.
Then on a fourth-and-1 from the 4-yard line, the Titans were lining up for a field goal attempt and James Harrison was called for simulating the snap count, which is a personal foul. Fans also went without clarification for that call.
In a world with instant replay, first-down lines on TV and high definition JumboTrons, it's hardly unreasonable to expect that the official's microphone will work reliably.
Every ticket buyer deserves a $5 check from the league for the gaffe. They pay for a better experience than that.