Sports Outside the Beltway

Coach Joe Gibbs blunder wins game for Buffalo Bills

Those timeouts to freeze the kicker may not be such a good idea after all. From the Washington Times-

timeout blunder by Redskins coach Joe Gibbs that gave the Bills a free 15 yards, Rian Lindell’s 36-yard field goal with four seconds remaining handed the Redskins a stunning 17-16 defeat in their first game since Taylor died from a gunshot wound early Tuesday morning.

Just before Lindell made a 51-yard field goal, Gibbs called timeout to freeze the kicker.

“I certainly wanted to do it there,” he said. “I felt like it was a good idea.”

Gibbs felt like calling a second timeout would also be a good idea. But Rule 4, Section 5, Article 2 of the NFL rule book states a team can’t call two consecutive timeouts in an attempt to ice the kicker. If they do, the team is penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Gibbs claimed he was aware of the rule.

“I did know it, but in the heat of the moment, it was one of those things that certainly didn’t register,” he said.

Although the officiating crew was unavailable for comment, the official nearest to Gibbs did not throw a flag, instead sprinting to the referee. That suggests the official didn’t know the rule, either.

Gibbs asked the official nearest to him if he could call a second timeout.

“I felt like he said, ‘Yes,’” Gibbs said. “He said, ‘When do you want to call it?’ But I’m not laying it on him. I’m the guy, in all likelihood, that made a decision that very, very easily cost us the game. I told the team that. I want to tell everybody that. I should know the rule. I can’t blame that on somebody else.”

Gibbs blew it and ignorance is really no excuse. The blunder likely resulted in a Bills win because a 36 yard kick is substantially easier than 51 yards. Look at Lindell’s stats. He is almost 90% from 30-39 yards but only a little over 60% 50 plus. Way to go Coach Gibbs!

I’ve never been a fan of icing the kicker. Calling timeouts are a way to play head games, but when it comes down to it a good kicker isn’t going to be affected at all by it.

Is it too late for Buffalo to give Gibbs a game ball?

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