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NFL notebook: Titans coach Mike Munchak says NFL told him officials erred on three plays

Associated Press

Coach Mike Munchak says the NFL has told him officials erred on three plays in the Titans’ 22-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, including one flag that should not have been thrown at all.

Munchak said Monday he doesn’t like calling the league office each week and hearing what officials messed up in his games.

“Mistakes are going to happen,” Munchak said. “It’s upsetting when you feel they could affect a game one way or another. But you just want consistency when things aren’t going your way. But yeah, I don’t think there’s usually that many. But you know there’s going to be some mistakes. And it’s more learning from them as a staff and me as a head coach.”

The NFL also said Monday that officials should have stopped play Sunday night on the Redskins’ final drive to eliminate confusion about the down and distance at the end of the Giants’ 24-17 win at Washington.

“That’s a fine line you walk every Sunday,” Munchak said. “This game is getting very hard to play because of a lot of the ways that it’s being called.”

Munchak said officials at the league office told him that an unsportsmanlike conduct flag should not have been thrown for running back Shonn Greene clapping his hands in front of Colts safety LaRon Landry after a run. The Titans (5-7) did score a touchdown that drive, and Munchak said they’ll tell players not to celebrate like that in the future.

“People say they want to see excitement in the game,” Munchak said. “You have a little excitement, you have a flag for it.”

Linebacker Moise Fokou was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the end of the first half for hitting a running back in the back. Referee Walt Coleman put a second on the clock after assessing the 15-yard penalty on top of a 20-yard reception, and Adam Vinatieri kicked a 37-yard field goal that would have been a 52-yard attempt.

Munchak said the penalty should have been a 5-yard illegal contact since Andrew Luck still had the ball in his hand with Fokou’s contact within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Munchak said he was led to believe the contact was totally unnecessary and after the play ended.

“It wasn’t any of those things,” Munchak said.

Also, he was told tight end Delanie Walker did catch a pass officials reviewed and upheld as incomplete in the first quarter. Walker caught the ball near midfield, but officials ruled he had bobbled the ball before losing it when he hit the ground.

Broncos’ Fox returns

Denver Broncos coach John Fox has returned to work, less than a month after undergoing open-heart surgery to have his aortic valve fixed.

Fox missed the toughest stretch of the season before coming back Monday morning. During his absence, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio guided the Denver Broncos (10-2) into first place in the AFC West by winning three of four games.

They won at San Diego and swept Kansas City, and in Del Rio’s words, came “within an eyelash” of going 4-0. They lost 34-31 at New England two weeks ago.

Fox has no restrictions, but it’s likely that he’ll coach from the booth and not the sideline this Sunday against Tennessee.

Rams lose center Wells

Rams center Scott Wells is likely out for the rest of the season after he broke his left ankle in the first half of Sunday’s 23-13 loss at San Francisco.


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