In their first pre-season game of 2009, the Tennessee Titans looked strong in a 21-18 win against the Buffalo Bills. They even added a perfect fake punt that resulted in a touchdown.
The goal of pre-season games is to test your players and to determine which of them will remain on them. Since wins are great but often irrelevant, teams rarely have their starters on the field for long because of a risk of injuries.
Fake Punt by Trapasso
Pre-season games are also important for special teams units to test their coordination and ability to execute plays and score points. Coaches want to know what players can do when the going gets rough.
Even more impressive for Tennessee in this game was a perfectly executed fake punt by the Titans’ reserve punter A.J. Trapasso which resulted in him running for 40 yards and scoring a touchdown.
USAToday.com has posted a link of the video of the play, which is fun and fascinating to watch. Make sure when you watch it that you do not take your eyes off the punter, Trapasso, because if you do you will lose track of the ball, which is what happened to the Bills’ defenders on the play.
What is a fake punt? A fake punt is a play by the offense of a team in a football game. After three downs and being unable to gain at least ten yards, a team has a choice to either try again on their fourth down or punt the ball away. Some teams choose to punt because if they try on fourth team and fail then the other team gets the ball at the starting point of the last play.
So after a team decides to punt, they can choose to either really punt, or kick, the ball down the field, or they can fake the punt and hope to run or pass for enough yards to get to the first down mark.
In this game, the punter for the Titans, A.J. Trapasso, acted like he was going to punt but instead he hid the ball behind his back for a second and then took off running. He ran 40 yards and scored a touchdown for the Titans.
The Tennessee Titans look to be a strong contender this year, especially with both Kerry Collins and Vince Young on their QB staff. With that kind of experience and athleticism, all the Titans have to worry about is steering clear of injuries.
Collins was exceptional as the starter for this game, going 7 for 10 with two touchdown drives, according to the Associated Press.
Tennessee Titans, ESPN.com
“In case you missed the greatest fake punt ever,” USAToday.com, Aug. 10, 2009.
“Titans’ QB Young Confident after Pre-Season Opener,” Associated Press, Aug. 10, 2009.