Did you wonder why Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman did not call a timeout during the Baltimore Ravens' drive at the end of regulation in an attempt to save time for his offense in case the game was tied or they trailed?
So did we. Trestman kept all three time outs in his pocket, and the Bears went to overtime in Sunday's 23-20 victory. Trestman's shared his thought process about the decision during a 1-minute, 54-second explanation Monday afternoon. Here is the full transcript:
"When you call timeouts at the end of halves, you want to call them in succession if you can. If you’re calling them just hit or miss, there’s really no value in them. So just a little bit of history: When you start a drive from the 16-yard line, you have a 13 percent chance, probably, over the last five years to score a touchdown. And you have to take that into consideration when you go into the game. And then when a team’s driving, you’ve got to know what they have, and you’ve got to know what you have. They had two timeouts at the time, and we have three timeouts.
Well, the normal thinking is you never want to leave the game with your three timeouts. You want to get them back, especially in those situations. But the fact of the matter is there was really no time to use the timeouts. And when you’re in a two-minute situation, if you use your timeouts, and there’s no way you can call them in succession, you give them more time on each and every play to get the people out there they want to get that play done. So you have to consider that.
So really only the first time where I considered really calling a timeout was after Ray Rice had the 11-yard run to the 5-yard line. And he took that ball, probably, I think it was about at 1:16 when he had that ball. That was the first time. I was down there with the official. That was the first time. But when you put ... the numbers all together, if you call three timeouts right there in succession, you’re still only getting the ball back at 18 seconds, OK? If you let it run, they’re in a two-minute mode, OK? And now they’ve got to call two timeouts, so a couple things come into the play with their using their two timeouts.
No. 1, they didn’t call a timeout on the first one, which means they had to call a play out of their two-minute package instead of using their red-zone package. So that’s No. 1. They didn’t call a timeout and get into different personnel groupings to call the play. And then by using their two timeouts, we knew what they had to do on third down. They had to throw it because there wasn’t enough time left to do anything else. So we cut the percentages in half from run to pass. And then there was just one big leap of faith. But if we call three timeouts in a row, we’ve got 19, 18 seconds left at the max. So the percentage of them scoring — it’s a leap of faith. I mean, they went all the way down the field. Three points, yes. Tie the game. Seven points, we’re talking 13 percent.
"And then from an offensive standpoint, as a play-caller, I know if you call timeout, you can get what you want out there. If not, you’ve got a limited bag of plays you can use. So that’s the reasoning behind it. I would have loved to have been able to have a situation when they were running the ball and they started to get in that field goal area where we could have plugged the timeouts each one on top of each other, but it wasn’t the case."