NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Titans had gone for two with 10 seconds left in regulation Sunday, they would have passed it, Mike Munchak said Monday.
The Titans kicked the PAT and went to overtime, ultimately losing to Arizona 37-34.
“That’s a play, again, that’s not very highly successful,” Munchak said. “It’s more successful when you can run it in, but we weren’t going to run it. We hadn’t run it in an hour or so, so we weren’t going to hand it off. You can’t really compare a two-point stat to win a football game versus kicking an extra point. It’s a whole different animal. We weren’t going to do that, so our options were more limited. For the team, that was the best decision to make at that time. That’s why we did it that way, and obviously I still thought we would have had a great opportunity to win the football game. We just didn’t make a play at the end rather than let them make that.”
The Titans could have had the ball at the 1-yard line after a defensive offside penalty on the kick.
That didn’t change Munchak’s thinking.
“It’s the (1-yard line) it would have went to,” he said. “You still figure you’re going to throw it, so what’s the difference between (one and two)? You have to get the completion and execute the play correctly. Anything at all with the ball being tipped, anything going on with penetration ... we didn’t necessarily feel good about a run right there.
“We didn’t have a timeout to sit and talk about it. If we had a timeout, maybe we would have considered other thoughts once the penalty was there. We didn’t have one, so I thought we could tie it up. I thought we felt great on the sidelines. We were excited about where we were at. There was no doubt in my mind that I thought we would win the football game in the overtime. I think our team did also. But we didn’t.”
I’m glad to get more insight into Munchak’s decision.
My feeling remains they should have tried it. And I’m surprised to learn that just because they hadn’t been running it as they were racing to overcome a late, 17-point deficit, that they wouldn’t have run it in that situation.
The run game wasn’t in rhythm by any means. But as I wrote Sunday night, it’s a team built around a philosophy that it can get the tough yard when it needs to, no matter if the other team knows what's coming.
Some of the team’s biggest acquisitions in the offseason were intended to bolster that approach: free-agent Andy Levitre, the left guard; fourth-round pick Brian Schwenke, the center; No. 10 pick overall Chance Warmack, the right guard; Shonn Greene, the veteran short-yardage running back.
That Munchak was unwilling to run a running play in need of 36 inches, even if the run game was cold, suggests he doesn’t believe in the philosophy any longer.
Which is fine.
But which also means, to some degree, he’s admitting he’s failed at building what he said he would.