Titans take issue with game-changing holding call

A late defensive holding call on Mike Mularkey's team paved the way for the Oakland's game-winning touchdown.

Christopher Hanewinckel/Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Just as it appeared the Tennessee Titans were about to snap their 10-game home losing streak, a late flag helped change the momentum in Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

With less than two minutes to play in the fourth quarter and the Titans up 21-17, the Raiders faced a fourth-and-8 from the Tennessee 36-yard line. David Carr’s pass intended for wide receiver Andre Holmes was broken up by safety Michael Griffin, and the Titans looked to be in position to take over on downs and run the clock out.

However, on the other side of the field, Titans cornerback B.W. Webb was called for defensive holding on Oakland receiver Amare Cooper. That gave the Raiders new life and two plays later, Carr found receiver Seth Roberts for what proved to be the game-winning score.

After the game, Webb maintained he had done nothing wrong.

“The ref didn’t tell me anything. I had tight coverage on (the receiver),’’ Webb said, per the team’s official website. “He just threw the flag. I don’t know which part I could’ve held him…I don’t know. I personally think it was a terrible call, but I really can’t say much about it. I didn’t grab him at all.  I’m not sure what the refs saw.

“It was crazy, that play was kind of crazy.”

Webb’s coach was equally critical of the call.

“They were throwing left all the way. Somehow a call came from the right of where B.W. was. Where it came from I have no idea," Titans interim head coach Mike Mularkey said. "Do I agree with it? No I don’t agree with it.”

Cooper said he was surprised the call went his way as well.


“It was the last down, so I thought we had a turnover on downs, but then I saw the flag,’’ Cooper said. “Penalties are a part of the game, so I was glad it was in our favor.”

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The Titans will now look to break their home losing streak next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.