Titans defy the odds with strategic two-pointers

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The Titans were 13-point underdogs to the Dolphins. Late in the fourth quarter, Miami was poised to beat the spread against Tennessee.

First went the cover. Then went the win.

Via TruMedia sports, the Titans became the first team this century to win in regulation after trailing by 14 or more points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.

It’s the first win by any team down 14 with less than three minutes to play since 2016, when the Texans beat the Colts in overtime after trailing by 14 with 2:37 to play. Since then, the team trailing by 14 with three minutes left was 0-757.

The Titans avoided overtime by using an increasingly common analytics wrinkle aimed at avoiding an extra session. After scoring a touchdown when previously down by 14, the trailing team goes for two. Fail to convert, and eight points are needed to force overtime. Make it, and seven point will win it.

That’s what Titans coach Mike Vrabel did. Tennessee went for two, got it, cut the margin to 27-21, forced a three-and-out, and then quickly went to work.

Almost too quickly. Miami had a chance to drive for a potential game-winning field goal, until Tennessee stopped Tua Tagovailoa and company on downs.

And so the Titans pulled off the sixth prime-time upset since the Bears beat the Vikings in Minnesota two weeks ago tonight. In so doing, Tennessee threw a giant wrench in Miami’s hopes to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

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