Thursday Night Football games have long been associated with low scores–our players are tired from a full day at work and they are ready to weekend! But tonight’s game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be remembered for all the wild flags and bizarre play calling in the first half. (Rumor has it Quarterback and Reigning NFL King of Football Tom Brady texted the officiating crew a PDF of the rule book, but the refs weren’t able to look at their phones until half time.)
Let’s take a look at the top ten worst calls of the night.
1. Holding: This might sound like a real penalty–and sometimes it is! But the refs threw a flag at Titans receiver Corey Davis for holding a cup of Gatorade. For real?
2. Helmet to Helmet: Okay we all know it’s bad to hit a dude in the helmet with your own helmet. CTE is freaking scary! But you’re not supposed to call helmet 2 helmet for players on the same team! In a carefully crafted play, Jaguars Defense players Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye collided on a tackle and the ref threw two flags because they did a helmet to helmet to each other. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to work, folks.
3. Icing: We don’t even know what was going on here. There isn’t even ice! We would understand if this were a Raiders game since 17% of the Oakland Colosseum is a hockey rink. But in Jacksonville?? Get real!
4. Holding (again): But this time, friends! It was called on Titans Tight End Jeff Swaim as he held a tablet to look at some intricate football diagrams for the next play.
5. Roughing the Passer: Our main-man QB Marcus Mariota was reaching for a thirst-quenching Gatorade when his teammate and friend Derrick Henry accidentally bumped into him. Seriously, people, we are here for some football!
6. Helmet 2 Helmet Part 2: After jogging off the field with their helmets in their hands, Gardner Minshew bumped his helmet into Dede Westbrook’s helmet. No joke, there went 3 minutes of our lives as the refs threw flags and then had a conference call with HQ about the penalty.
7. Holding III: Yeah, this one was called on the entire Jacksonville offense while they were in a huddle. Eleven counts of holding times 10 yards per hold = Titans safety. This was followed by a 12-minute Skype call (the call dropped 4 times) with the officiating crew and the referee Mothership in orbit.
8. Face Mask: This brilliant call was made when Titan Adam Humphries stood up from the bench and picked his own helmet up by the face mask. We hope you saw this one, folks, we can’t make this stuff up!!
9. Field Goal: We don’t even know what to say about this one.
10. Delay of Game: In one of the more baffling moments of Thursday’s game, the officiating crew called a delay of game penalty… on themselves??? For excessive flag-throwing. Now we’ve seen everything!
Good luck to the teams playing on Sunday and Monday, and good luck also to the officiating crews! You’ll get it, don’t worry!