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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.

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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