Titans coach Jeff Fisher indicated that it was largely ESPN's fault. The network still needed more television timeouts and apparently asked both coaching staffs to take timeouts late.
"Jack used his timeouts," Fisher said after the game via Terry McCormick of Titans Insider. "My understanding is they needed network timeouts, and that's why Jack used his timeouts. They came over and asked me to do it, but I said, 'I was hoping to get a first down and kneel on it.'"
This is pretty harmless, but ESPN ought to be absolutely hammered for this. Just opens up a huge, huge can of worms. It's not hard to see how they could go from this towards trying to influence other parts of the game in pursuit of ratings.
Likely was happening before, but IMO this should be a big scandal... even though it won't be, partially due to people ignoring the implications, partially due to the fact that ESPN isn't going to cover its own blunder.