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Blaine Gabbert knew he was throwing illegal pass

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #7 of the Tennessee Titans dodges J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans during the second half at Nissan Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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Blaine Gabbert threw an illegal forward pass that likely makes ESPN’s Not Top 10. But the Titans quarterback said it was intentional, and if he’s telling the truth, it was brilliant.

Gabbert threw a fourth-quarter pass that was batted back to him by Texans linebacker Brennan Scarlett. Gabbert caught the pass from himself and began running, much like Marcus Mariota did in scoring a touchdown last year against Kansas City.

However, Gabbert isn’t exactly fleet of foot and was about to take a loss near midfield. Instead, the right-handed quarterback threw a left-handed pass out of bounds, knowing it was illegal, he said.

The illegal forward pass cost the Titans 5 yards, or less than it otherwise would have.

“Actually, it was called on me my rookie year,” Gabbert said, via Terry McCormick of “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 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.”

Gabbert hit Corey Davis for an 18-yard gain on the next play, eventually leading to Ryan Succop’s game-winning field goal.