For one NFL coach, a thrilling victory on “Thursday Night Football” was quickly marred by allegations of drunk driving.
The Tennessee Titans, fresh off a 27-17 win over the Green Bay Packers, surely returned to Nashville in a celebratory mood — perhaps too celebratory.
Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing, whose creative play-calling was instrumental in the upset win, was charged with driving under the influence in Williamson County, just south of Nashville, according to WKRN-TV.
Downing, 42, was allegedly speeding on Interstate 65 South early Friday morning. The trooper who pulled him over saw “obvious signs of an intoxicant,” according to the THP.
The Titans coach was booked into jail at 3:30 a.m. before being released at about 7 a.m.
“We are aware of the reports regarding Todd Downing and are in the process of gathering additional information,” the Titans said in a statement.
The NFL has been in contact with the team regarding the situation and head coach Mike Vrabel said he had spoken with Downing, according to ESPN.
Downing’s arrest puts a damper on a Titans season that is otherwise trending in the right direction.
After trading star wide receiver A.J. Brown in the offseason, the team started the year with two losses, including a 41-7 shellacking at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
Since then, the Titans have won seven of eight games, anchoring them as the heavy favorites to win the AFC South.
Unfortunately for Downing, his arrest also comes after probably his best outing yet as the Titans’ offensive coordinator.
Tennessee scored the most points and accrued the most yards they have all year in Thursday’s victory.
They also ended an ignominious cold streak: Thursday’s win was the first time all year that the Titans scored more than a single touchdown in the second half of a game. They scored two touchdowns in the second half against Green Bay.
Even aside from the statistical milestones, Downing’s play-calling had the Packers on their heels all night long.
Just look at this trick play where All-Pro running back Derrick Henry threw the ball for a key touchdown:
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) November 18, 2022
Henry became the first player since Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton to tote at least 20 carries, haul in two passes, and score a rushing and passing touchdown all in the same game, CBS Sports reported.
The Titans will next play on Thanksgiving weekend when they host the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. It remains to be seen if Downing will be a part of the team for that game.