At first blush, this seemed like a dumb mistake by former Mizzou quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Gabbert, who started for the Titans in their 20-17 win over the Texans on Sunday, attempted a screen pass late in the game, but Houston’s Brennan Scarlett deflected the ball back to Gabbert. At first, Gabbert tried to run then realized he was gonna take a big loss, so he threw the ball — left-handed — out of bounds.
Fans mocked Gabbert for the decision, which led to a penalty.
However, Gabbert told titansinsider.com that a similar situation in the past led to his move.
“Actually, it was called on me my rookie year,” Gabbert told the website. “You’re reacting in the game but it worked out in our favor and in that situation, it was kind of a flashback to Marcus (Mariota) in Kansas City catching his own batted ball and running it in.
“There were a lot of guys in my way, so rather than taking a 10-yard sack, losing a down, just throw it away and take a 5-yard penalty and keeping us relatively close in the field position.”
The Titans ended up getting a game-winning field goal on the drive, so it was a heads-up play by Gabbert.
This was Gabbert’s play: