Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

Titans coach Mike Mularkey not happy with some calls in loss to Patriots

Ryan Hannable
January 14, 2018 - 3:27 am

FOXBORO -- Even though the Patriots handedly beat the Titans, 35-14 in the AFC divisional round Saturday night, there were a few calls that seemingly didn't go the Titans' way and coach Mike Mularkey was not happy about it after the game.

With the game tied at seven in the second quarter, the Titans appeared to pick up a first down on third down, but receiver Eric Decker was called for offensive pass interference on a call that went the Patriots’ way. It appeared Malcolm Butler slipped and that was the reason why he fell, not Decker pushing him. Following losing 10 yards and then punting, the Patriots got the ball at midfield and scored a touchdown to go up 14-7.

"That one, I won’t even talk about. That one goes down in history," Mularkey said of the play.

Later in the half when the Patriots were up 14-7, they were punting deep in their own end, but Tennessee jumped offsides which gave the Patriots a first down. It was an interesting call because originally it was ruled a false start, but the referees changed it to offsides.

Mularkey said he didn't get an explanation.

"No, at that point, I got tired of the explanations I was getting. So no, I did not," he said.

Speaking to a pool reporter after the game, referee Ron Torbert explained the call.

"The line judge saw a defensive lineman jump into the neutral zone, did not see the guard across from him move," he said. "The umpire saw the guard move and threw his flag for a false start, which is what we initially announced. When we got together and discussed it and pieced together that the defensive lineman across from the guard jumped in the neutral zone and caused the false start, that's when we changed the ruling from a false start to a neutral zone infraction."

Even with believing the Titans were on the wrong end of some of the calls, Mularkey made it clear that wasn't the reason they lost the game.

"I’ll never blame officiating for costing us," he said. "You know, we got to play better. There is no question about it."

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