November 14, 2011
Mark Sanchez(notes) took a timeout late in the first half of the New York Jets' 37-16 loss to the New England Patriots that earned special distinction from Rex Ryan as "the stupidest thing in football history."
Quoth the Ryan: "No! [Four-letter expletive favored by the Ryan clan]!"
Later, Michelle Tafoya would report that Ryan told her before halftime that the timeout was "the stupidest thing in football history."
Rex's beef was that Sanchez should have let the play clock run all the way down before calling a timeout. The Jets weren't pressed for time; either they were getting a touchdown on the next play or kicking a field goal after. They got the touchdown and, by calling the timeout, gave Tom Brady(notes) and the Patriots extra time with which to respond with a touchdown of their own.
How much time? Following the second-down pass, the play clock started running with 1:46 left in the half. Sanchez called his timeout 22 seconds later. He could have let 17 more seconds run down before signaling the TO. The Patriots would go on to score their touchdown with exactly 17 seconds left in the half.
So, it was a pretty stupid move by Sanchez, but you could make the argument that leaving any time for Tom Brady is leaving too much time. It's certainly not the stupidest in football history. Off the top of my head, I can think of 25 that were worse and 24 of them involve either Leon Lett or Rex Grossman(notes).
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