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Tennessee Titans try special teams trickery, but it’s an illegal forward pass

1999 AFC Wild Card Playoff Game - Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans - January 8, 2000 Photo by Allen Kee/Getty Images
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

In January of 2000, the Tennessee Titans completed a pass on a special teams play against the Buffalo Bills that resulted in a touchdown return and a victory in the Wild Card round. On Monday night, the Titans tried a similar play on a punt return.

This time, the refs actually called the damn penalty.

It was an obvious forward pass and the refs correctly called the flag this time.

We don’t have video of it right now, but the Titans faked(?) something similar on the previous kickoff return, where the man with the ball pump-faked just as he was being tackled. ESPN’s Steve Levy noticed that the returned looked like he was cocking to throw but then pulled down the ball as he was being tackled.

The play from 20 years ago was hotly debated, with scientists and Zapbruder-level video analysis inconclusive. If you ask us, it was a forward pass from Frank Wycheck. SB Nation’s Tennessee Titans blog is named and the play galvanized the freshly relocated Houston Oilers and the Nashville fan base.

Here is our reaction: