Extra Points

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The Packers and Wasted Timeouts

Paul Noonan at Acme Packing Company has compiled a list of which teams call their timeouts early, and which do a good job of saving them for the end of the half. As you might expect, considering this was written for a Green Bay blog, the Packers lead the league in early timeouts, and Noonan shows specific examples this season how the early use of timeouts has cost the Packers points and, potentially, wins. The next step would be to include delay of game data to show which teams are taking penalties instead of wasting timeouts, and which are simply efficient enough that they leave themselves plenty of time to operate.


1 comment, Last at 18 Oct 2018, 7:57pm

1 Re: The Packers and Wasted Timeouts

by ChrisLong // Oct 18, 2018 - 7:57pm

I can't be sure, but I feel like there's something wrong with his compiler. I went through the play by play data and I only count 12 "wasted" timeouts by GB, by their definition of before 2 minute warning in 2Q and before 5 minutes left in the 4Q.

Included in those 12 were also two cases of Green Bay stopping the clock inside with <3 but >2 minutes left in the first half of games (vs DET and BUF) to try to get the ball back, hardly a waste of a timeout.

And of course this completely neglects other usage of timeouts that we have little insight into. Isn't using a timeout to prevent your team from giving up a long TD, or failing to block a blitz on an important play, just as important as saving 15 seconds in an end of game scenario? Looking back at situations where "oh man imagine if the Packers had a timeout here" is filled with confirmation bias and hindsight bias.

I guess I just find the whole analysis reductive rather than insightful.

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