This Weekend in NFL Stupid highlights the dumbest moments and decisions in football throughout the season. Coming out of Week 12, we’re focusing on the latest example of disgusting timeout management.
The stupidest of the stupid
It feels as though coaches have been misusing second-half timeouts this season more than ever. Just last week, the Packers were left with one timeout in crunch time against the Seahawks. And Mike McCarthy committed the same crime again on Sunday night. Two weeks ago, we ripped the Lions for leaving themselves in a similar situation. It’s just hard to fathom how often teams underestimate the importance of timeouts by using them in unnecessary situations.
But my favorite example of late came from Sunday’s Giants-Eagles tilt, where the Giants took a timeout in the second half of a one-score game prior to a 3rd-and-18 play at their own 29-yard line with more than 20 minutes remaining.
The play coming out of the timeout?
Was it worth it?
It rarely is, because the potential advantage gained from the chance to regroup during a timeout rarely is worth the potential problems that stem from losing a critical timeout.
In fact, you’d almost be better off sacrificing the entire play than wasting a timeout there. What’s a five-yard delay-of-game penalty when you’re facing such small odds of converting?
Third-and-18 is about a 5-10 percent proposition. You don’t use one of your three timeouts in a close game in order to boost your chances when facing such long-shot odds.
In that same half of that same close game, Pat Shurmur gave superstar rookie running back Saquon Barkley a grand total of five touches.
RB Saquon Barkley was kept out on the second drive of the second half. Pat Shurmur said the Giants were simply going to “spell him a little bit.” Barkley had 5 touches in the second half after 15 in the first half.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) November 25, 2018
Meet the worst non-call of the 2018 season…
Jordan Reed has every right to be furious, clear hit to the helmet and it goes uncalled. Has to be frustrating, especially for a guy with a history of concussions. pic.twitter.com/v6EBmS2qNW
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 23, 2018
Who you throwing to, Lamar?
Tip-drill INT ☠️
— Raiders on NBCS (@NBCSRaiders) November 25, 2018
Ditto for you, Ben…
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 26, 2018
Leonard Fournette and Shaq Lawson were ejected from the game after this scuffle 😳
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2018
Frank Reich is pushing it…
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) November 25, 2018
Sorry, but does Baker Mayfield understand what the word “fired” means?
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 25, 2018
The Packers have been one of the stupidest teams in football this season…
WHY ARE YOU EVEN NEAR THIS BALL? pic.twitter.com/HvvZGtOsTf
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) November 26, 2018
Final stupid word
How in the world are we still awarding the defense the ball when an offensive team fumbles through the end zone? That rule should have been changed this offseason, but it wasn’t and it might have cost the Steelers a game on Sunday.
The Steelers ALMOST had a touchdown, but they fumbled it out of the end zone.
it's a touchback instead. pic.twitter.com/GxLlIFGnLi
— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 25, 2018
The offense should, of course, retain the ball if the fumble isn’t recovered, but they should be penalized 10 or 15 yards. That’s a happy medium, because it wouldn’t be right to let them keep it at the spot of the fumble, but it also isn’t right to take possession away from them.