The Seattle Seahawks lost a stunner at home on Sunday, Sept. 19, falling 33-30 to the Tennessee Titans. The offense built up an early lead behind two Russell Wilson touchdowns, but costly penalties gave the Titans new life and made the fans go ballistic.
The biggest penalty that frustrated the fanbase took place during overtime and extended the opening drive. Ryan Tannehill threw a pass in the direction of Chester Rogers on third down, but it fell incomplete. The Titans avoided punting, however, due to a penalty flag on the field. The referees called Jamal Adams for roughing the passer after he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Tannehill.
“That’s roughing the passer?” asked “The Athletic” writer Michael-Shawn Dugar after the play. Several fans also weighed in, proclaiming that the penalty was “silly” and saying that football is a “contact sport.” Others complained about Adams only “showing up in the stat sheet” with penalties.
The Seahawks avoided major setbacks stemming from the personal foul penalty. The Titans committed a false start penalty on the next play before Tannehill threw three straight incomplete passes and brought out the special teams for a punt.
The Seahawks actually had an opportunity to win the game after Bobby Wagner deflected Tannehill’s pass in overtime. The team got the ball back on their own 13-yard line but went backward after two incomplete passes and a sack on the one-yard line. The Titans went on to win with a Randy Bullock field goal after starting the final drive in Seahawks territory.
Taunting Penalties Continue To Spark Debates
The first divisive penalty took place with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks nursing a seven-point lead. Tannehill attempted a pass deep to AJ Brown, but it fell incomplete. Cornerback DJ Reed jumped up, looked in Brown’s direction, and celebrated his big play. The action drew a taunting penalty from the referees and created several discussions on social media.
“The refs need to seriously cool it with the taunting stuff. A potential game-changing flag in Seattle. C’mon now, these are big boys,” NFL Media’s Dan Hanzus tweeted after Reed’s penalty.
“Yo… you cannot call taunting there. Terrible rule,” radio host Adam Schein added. “Terrible call. That’s hot garbage. Reed was fired up. That’s football. Seattle robbed.” Several other people weighed in with fiery takes about the play, including “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon who talked about the NFL’s “new level of arrogance.”
Other Penalties Disrupted the Seahawks Defense
Adams and Reed were not the only players that riled up the fanbase with costly penalties. Other members of the defense also “contributed” with mistakes of their own. For example, linebacker Jordyn Brooks hit tight end Mycole Pruitt out of bounds after a 15-yard completion, adding another 15 yards to the play and setting up a Derrick Henry touchdown run.
The Seahawks punished Brooks for the penalty by keeping him off the field for multiple plays. Head coach Pete Carroll later told reporters during his postgame presser that he purposely sat the linebacker and that he needs to do a better job coaching his players about penalties after the team racked up 10 during the loss.
Similarly, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche committed a personal foul penalty of his own in his first game since 2019. The referees called him for roughing the passer on a Tannehill incomplete pass, moving the Titans deeper into Seahawks territory. The visiting team ultimately kicked a field goal after referees overturned what appeared to be a Julio Jones touchdown.