By Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
It's been bugging me for years. The Rams' quarterback (Warner & Bulger both call timeouts equally) love to call timeouts. I'm watching bits and pieces of the Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (go Lions!) and Lions QB Joey Harrington just called timeout. He was trying to get a player to move up and called timeout after not getting what he wanted. Anyway, I instantly thought of the Saint Louis quarterbacks who consistently call timeouts game in and game out.
Plenty of Rams fans have noticed the propensity to "burn" a timeout. After consideration, I've decided that I'm happy to "burn" those timeouts.
Why is pretty simple. Lately, there's been much talk about how officials in the NFL are determining games. The mistakes seem to be contagious. It's game after game of mistakes. Instant replay is "keeping it real" but there's still much work to do for NFL officiating. I've heard and read that the one mistake cost one team the game.
I've also noticed that the Rams are winning close games. In games decided by less than 8 points (basically a touchdown), the Rams are 3-1. In those games, one play (mostly a Jeff Wilkins field goal) could have meant the difference between a win and a loss. With a one-game lead of the Seahawks, one game is plenty.
Now, about burning timeouts. In many games, the difference between a win and a loss is one play. One turnover can kill a drive and lead the other team to points. This year, the Rams' defense has provided that turnover and made the "one play" that allows the Rams to win games.
But what if one of those "wasted" timeouts led to a turnover? What if the timeout prevented the Rams from making a mistake? I know the Rams have made many mistakes. Saint Louis leads the league in turnovers given away (32 total with 18 INTs and 14 fumbles) but the defense has truly stepped up to lead the league in takeaways (33 total takeaways with 16 INTs and 17 fumble recoveries - Kansas City is second in takeways and the vaunted Tampa Bay defense is in third place).
Looking at all the above, I can only think that one timeout can prevent one turnover. It can allow the Rams to take advantage of one turnover receiver. And that one score can result in one win.
So, Marc (or Kurt if you get in), when it comes to timeouts, "burn" away.
Don, the Rams Nation columnist can be contacted at Don@RamsNation.org.