NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said he talked to the NFL today about the controversial defensive holding call at the end of Sunday's 24-21 loss to the Raiders.
"I vented my frustration over the call, I should say lack of calls – there was a false start to start the play on (Michael) Crabtree and then there was a little PI (pass interference) in the end zone on (Andre) Holmes on both of our defenders,'' Mularkey said of Oakland's receivers. "I vented my frustration about that.
"(The NFL) said it was a poorly officiated play, and the play never should have started.''
The play on question was a 4th-and-8 from the Tennessee 36, with just 1:57 remaining, and the Titans leading 21-17. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw deep to Holmes, but safety Michael Griffin helped break it up in the end zone.
It appeared the Titans would get the ball back, with a chance to run out the clock.
Titans cornerback B.W. Webb was called for defensive holding on the other side of the field, however, while defending Oakland receiver Amari Cooper.
The Raiders got a first down by penalty, and scored the game-winning touchdown on a Carr throw to Seth Roberts with 1:21 remaining. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was intercepted when the Titans got the ball back.
Mularkey said he thought Webb defended the play well, and didn't restrict Cooper from running downfield. Mularkey said coaches and players feel an "emotional letdown" from a loss like the one Sunday, but he wondered aloud if officials feel the same way.
"I don't feel better about it,'' Mularkey said of the response from the NFL. "It is frustrating for the team, I have to come in here and talk to these guys about what we have to do to win these close games, and it comes down to plays like that.
"There were other plays, multiple plays in all phases of our team that would have made a difference before that play came up. That play just happens to be the one that sticks out. But we had multiple chances to make a difference in that game before that happened."