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Oops, Browns get 4th timeout in 2nd half

Week 10: Ravens at Browns

The fine folks over at Pro Football Talk have noted—and confirmed by a league source, the gamebook, and the game tape—that the Browns were awarded a fourth timeout in the second half of their Monday Night Football game with the Ravens.

According to the gamebook:

  • “Timeout #1 by CLV at 03:24 [3rd quarter].”
  • “Timeout #2 by CLV at 03:35 [4th quarter].”
  • “Timeout #3 by CLV at 03:29 [4th quarter].”

The evidence of the fourth timeout is somewhat obscured in the gamebook, but is obviously apparent:

Two-Minute Warning
1-10-CLV 39 (2:00) W.McGahee right guard to CLV 37 for 2 yards (D.Bowens).
2-8-CLV 37 (1:55) W.McGahee right guard to CLV 35 for 2 yards (K.Maiava).

With a run by the Ravens after the two-minute warning—and without the ball going out of bounds, a penalty administered, an injury, or a Ravens’ timeout—only five seconds were run off the clock.

Obviously, Carl Cheffers and his crew mistakenly allowed the Browns to call a fourth timeout. Going by PFT’s analysis that the three previous timeouts were correctly credited to the Browns in the gamebook (and not an official’s timeout or Ravens’ timeout), this is a major breakdown in the basic record-keeping duties required of all seven officials.

Still, the Browns were unable to avoid the shutout even with the extra timeout.

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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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