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Mike Mularkey: Richard Sherman’s late hit should have cost Seahawks

Marcus Mariota, Richard Sherman

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is hit by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) while out of bounds in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)


Mike Mularkey called Richard Sherman’s late hit on Marcus Mariota “unnecessary, totally unnecessary.” Further, the Titans coach broached the idea of a rule change that automatically would penalize a team for a late hit to eliminate what happened Sunday to Tennessee in a 33-27 victory over the Seahawks.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scrambled for a 4-yard gain before linebacker Bobby Wagner pushed him out of bounds. Sherman hit Mariota late, drawing a flag for what normally is a 15-yard penalty.

However, several Titans came to Mariota’s defense, and two drew penalties to offset Sherman’s penalty. As pushing and shoving ensued after the play, Titans offensive linemen Jack Conklin and Quinton Spain drew unnecessary roughness penalties as did Seattle defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.

The Titans ended up with a field goal out of the drive and a 6-0 lead with 5:51 remaining until halftime.

“The outcome of what happened was to have two penalties nullify each other,” Mularkey said, via Paul Kuharsky of “Basically he got a clean shot on our quarterback, and there was no penalty. There was no negative ramifications for their team with that hit he put on our quarterback, which we may bring that up to the competition committee about a rule change. You can’t do that and then have no ramifications against your team.”

Officials flagged Sherman four times Sunday, with only two enforced. The Seahawks cornerback received three penalties on one play in the first quarter, with two being enforced for 31 yards. That led to the Titans’ first field goal.