Mike Vrabel was not too happy with the officiating on Sunday, and his team was not even playing.
With the Tennessee Titans on a bye, Vrabel was home closely watching the Kansas City Chiefs-Denver Broncos game on Sunday Night Football when he took issue with a call by the officials that benefitted the Chiefs in the second quarter.
Tight end Travis Kelce appeared to have fumbled after making a catch and securing the football before it was punched out by Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller.
It was ruled an incomplete pass, however, and after a replay review the call on the field stood. The NFL Officiating Twitter account explained the ruling, stating that the third element of a catch — time — was not met.
But Vrabel replied to the tweet with a screenshot of the rule, which says the third element must be to maintain control long enough (time) or perform “any act common to the game,” such as tucking the ball away, extending it forward or taking an additional step.
Kelce was in mid-air when he secured the ball, landed on his left foot, stepped forward on his right and appeared to tuck the ball away from his body and may have even gotten a third step down before the ball is knocked loose.
When freezing the replay, Fuller’s hand is on the ball as Kelce’s foot comes down for the third step.
It is certainly a bang-bang play and Vrabel was not the only one who thought the call was incorrect, with former NFL official Terry McAulay agreeing with the Titans head coach.
The Chiefs went on to win the game and the call was arguably inconsequential in the grand scheme of things as the Broncos offense struggled to move the ball down field all game.
But Vrabel was clearly rooting for Denver to get any advantage it could to win the game. With the Chiefs’ win, they now share the same record in the AFC at 8-4, although Tennessee remains the No. 2 seed by holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs, who hold the No. 4 seed with the Bills and Patriots to still play on Monday night.
It should be interesting if Vrabel will face any discipline for his tweet or not. Technically speaking, he did say anything critical of the officials but rather posted a screenshot of a rule. Of course, why he did that is not all that hard to interpret.