Jim Caldwell’s timeout explanation doesn’t make sense

With 29 seconds left, the clock running and the Jets having the ball at the Colts’ 32-yard line, Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell made a surprising decision: He called timeout.

The TV cameras caught the look on Peyton Manning’s face on the sideline, and Manning was obviously thinking the same thing many of us were thinking: “What in the world is Caldwell doing?”

Caldwell was asked to explain after the game.

“I didn’t care. I was going to make sure that they couldn’t. Make them snap the ball. They were in field goal range,” Caldwell said. “We wanted to try to make them snap the ball as many times as they possibly could.”

Yes, the Jets were in field goal range: In range for what would have been a 50-yard field goal, which is no chip shot for Jets kicker Nick Folk, who went 5-for-11 on field goal attempts of 40 yards or longer this season. As it turned out, on the very next play after that timeout, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards on an 18-yard completion, and on the next play after that Folk kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Frankly, Caldwell’s explanation doesn’t make any sense because his decision doesn’t make any sense. Making the Jets snap the ball again just gave the Jets another opportunity to make the field goal easier, and that’s exactly what they did.

Caldwell should have known better, because he made the same mistake during the regular season at Jacksonville, using two timeouts during the Jaguars’ final drive and helping Jacksonville set up a game-winning field goal. Caldwell didn’t learn from that mistake, and the Jets benefited on Saturday night.

84 responses to “Jim Caldwell’s timeout explanation doesn’t make sense

  1. Jim Caldwell is the worst coach in the NFL and frankly he should’ve never gotten the job. He’s an idiot. He reminds me of Mike Davis when Davis coached IU basketball. He just stands on the sideline looking confused all of the time. He should be fired and if he isn’t that just shows how poor the Colts organization is and by Bill Polian is going to wear out his welcome before too long.

  2. His decision made sense. If that Braylon Edwards pass was tipped for an interception, he’d be talked about like a genius with incredible testicular fortitude all week. It wasn’t and he won’t but; however, that doesn’t mean it was an inexplicable call.

  3. The colts will always be in the Patriots shadow when its Belichick vs. Caldwell. This guy simply is not head coach material.

  4. Maybe the Colts should have actually interviewed candidates for their HC job. Then they could have seen that this particular minority candidate is not qualified and shouldn’t be hired. Any average joe could coach the Colts as long as 18 is on the field and be just as “successful” as Caldwell.

  5. This loss was on Caldwell, the clock was ticking and the Jets players needed the rest. He gave them the time to regroup and if you look at the play they ran the receiver pushed off the DB before he caught the ball. No flag, field goal, end of game. Im not even a Colts fan and I could see it was the wrong time to call a time out, but they should have got a flag too.

  6. Caldwell is making Andy Reid look like a master of clock control. And that was considered near-impossible to do. Until last night.

  7. I had no dog in this fight except to watch a good game. I was shocked when they reported a time out was called as I first thought the Jets used their last. Then it was said that the Colts called it – insane. The clock would have been ticking and The Jets would have rushed to get a pass play off to get closer – the odds would high for an incompletion or a short completion – also a very small chance for a sack or turnover.
    It was a terrible mistake and should not have been made at the Pro level in the Playoffs. I was shocked like Manning was. Even with a lower percentage from further out – they had gotten into range, but the timeout gave them a chip shot.
    Again, congrats to the Jets who deserved to win. They played great. It was a great game to watch.

  8. I was happy the Jets beat Peyton Manning ( who is the Colts) since he is the one player in the league that scares me as a Pats fan.

    Caldwell really seems clueless. As everyone I was shocked he called a TO.

    Belichick’s coaching decisions usually put the Pats in a position to win. I believe Caldwell costs the Colts games.

    I also believe that this Pats team this season would make 4th & 2 at the 28.

  9. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. The Colts got out coached . Maybe Peyton’s failures in the playoffs should be put on Caldwell’s shoulders.
    He may be off Dungey’s tree but he is no Dungey.

  10. Most of what Jim Caldwell does’nt make sense. I imagine he will get the axe later in the week.

  11. Caldwell had what is commonly known as a brain fart! We all do stupid things sometimes when the pressure is on. Admit it Caldwell and move on!

  12. Caldwell is an idiot. End of story. Fire his ass and hire john gruden he already knows the Tampa 2 defense that Indy usesand he knos how to use timeouts.

  13. I too was left scratching my head…he absolutely helped the jets..the call made no sense..bad challenge in the beginning of the game as well…im sure caldwell is a good coach but he does have peyton manning..just saying..those 2 ‘misdecisions’ were crucial to the colts loss.

  14. When Caldwell called timeout, the Jets were at Indy’s 34 with 0:28 left in the clock. It was 2nd and 2 and it was the Colts’ last timeout. If the Jets had wanted to, they could have taken a knee and then kick the 50 yarder therefore making the timeout useless anyway. It’s not like he forced them to go for a hail mary…

    There was absolutely no point in calling that timeout, no matter how you spin it. Caldwell choked, period.

  15. Caldwell is a moron.First he tanks a chance @ 16-0.Now this debacle.If he wasn’t anointed by the (alleged)NFL Guru Tony Dungy,or if he was someone like Andy Reid,Mike McCarthy,Tom Coughlin,Gary Kubiak,the NBC crew and everyone would have blasted him over and over for that timeout.

    P.Manning should demand Cowher or Gruden as his new coach or refuse to sign an extension.He career is being wasted by coaches who don’t know how to win.Don’t give me he had Dungy.Dungy cost him more chances to win then Mora or Caldwell.How does Gruden win a ring w/the team Dungy constantly failed to bring to the super bowl?Any top tier coach would have had at least 2 rings w/Manning in his prime.

    Cue the Dungy disciples to come out and back Caldwell like he is as great as Belicheck

  16. Basically he was saying he thinks the Jets suck and he thought they would make a mistake. They didn’t and the Jets once again benefited from an opposing coaches poor decision making. The Jets have been getting breaks all year and lucked out having to play the Colts first round with all their injured players out. Next week…they will get slapped again, just like they did a few weeks ago.

  17. Doesnt make sense because he shouldnt be a head coach. You take Manning off that team and they go 4-12.

  18. In hindsight, maybe Rex Ryan’s comments about Peyton Manning not getting as much coaching support shouldn’t be taken as a slam on the Brady and the Patriots after all!

  19. Boneheaded decision… Just boneheaded. Make them rush, don’t give them time to plan you moron lol.. Oh well. Luckily my team doesn’t play until next week.

    Go Steelers!!!

  20. What can you say? I mean, this guy was on TV last night during a big moment and he obviously made a coaching error. HE DID do it earlier in the year, I watched that game and I thought the same thing. Its not a “coincedence” anymore because as the great Dungy says, the next one will be a “trend”.

    Question to Colts fans……..

    If the Colts care so much about the Super Bowl or getting back to it, how come they don’t make the neccesary adjustments during offseason to fix the gapping holes on offensive line and defensive line? Make the same coaching errors? And it almost seems “injuries” is used as leverage in case of failing for Bill Polian, its his out. Isn’t he who signs the players that he knows are injured? Doesn’t he, re-sign the players?

    It really seems as if they know a different NFL then the rest of the world and are playing to those standards rather then what everyone else sees and hears. I have never seen a team call a timeout like the Colts seem to like doing on an oposing teams drive, in their territory, on the cusp of getting into fieldgoal range, Jets with 2 timeouts left, with less then 40 seconds left. I say “40” because there comes a point where it would play in your favor to let the time run out and have their offense settle on the position their at rather take another chance. I’m not a coach but I’ve watched enough football to know how the so called great ones manage the games. This is certainly a different approach. I don’t understand how Bill Polian can support it, did Marv Levy do this too? And if he didn’t, did Polian get mad? Maybe thats why he was fired in Buffalo.

    At the very, very least you would think if the Jets needed to use a TimeOut they would have used theirs, of course you would make them do it, but in that situation, the Colts would rather give them their own, versus them having to use their’s?

    I’ve watched enough of the Colts this year and year’s past to make my opinion on them and here it is. They absurdly think that they are so far ahead of the rest of the NFL organizations that they uncharacteristically do the unthinkable at times because they actually believe they are absurdly that far ahead. Maybe they are that far ahead and we don’t understand it and then we will in time.

    I guess because they are so ahead of the curve interms of strategy they will give you certain battles before the fight each game. You know going in, your winning these battles easily….Running the ball, Defending against the run and Special Teams. The Colts think they are so good, they give you “that” every game where you can sit back in a deep safety cover 2 shell and they still can’t dominate their line of scrimmage.

    Colts fans….I ask, when will this sort of strategy catch up with us so us simple minded folk can understand….Maybe win they start winning by doing it huh?

  21. This timeout was the most obvious example of terrible clock management, if for no other reason than it gave the young QB a chance to catch his breath and talk to his coach. But the Colts clock management was absolutely brutal on their last drive. Once Tamme catches the pass for a first down at the 46, there was no need to rush to the line to get a play off before the 2 minute warning. With 2 TOs there, you want to take your time. But then it got much worse. After the pass to White got them to the Jets 36, nearly in FG range, they could have let the clock run down to 1:15 before the next snap. Instead, they rushed to the line and snapped it at 1:42. At this point, they belatedly realized they needed to run clock and let it go down to 1:10 before the next play. Don’t know who gets the blame here–Caldwell or Manning, but if they had managed it right, they would have been kicking the FG with under 30 secs left or the Jets would have burned all their TOs. Of course, when you let them return the kickoff to midfield, you might lose anyway, and deservedly so.

  22. If I’m a Colts fan, I’m in “Uh oh!” mode right now. Jim Caldwell is George Seifert redux — able to win with Tony Dungy’s (Bill Walsh’s) players and scheme, but not good enough to manage it on his own.

  23. So instead of rushing a QB that is really not that good, Caldwell calls a time out so Sanchez and the Jets offense can regroup and call a great play (even if Braylon Edwards pushed off).

    Then because there is more time on the clock the Jets can call THEIR last time out and give their kicker an easy kick WITHOUT the last split second timeout hanging over Nick Folk’s head.

    Say what you want about your favorite team’s coach; at least he’s not Jim Caldwell, unless you root for the Colts which then I hope you can get over this loss.

  24. Why would Manning let Caldwell make decisions like that at such a critical juncture? They probably even turned off the music in his headset already. 60 Minutes guys!!! Focus next time!

  25. Jim Caldwell is not a real coach. He gets paid to stay out of Manning’s way and to do the paperwork; last night he failed at half his job.

  26. he has no business being an HC.

    he was put there so indy wont have an HC to equal or surpass the saint’s one title.

  27. We always gotta find a scapegoat for Poutin…One year it was kicker, another year it was defense, yet another the o-line now the Head coach…..he is 9-10 in the playoffs for a reason….

  28. No tears for the Colts…they’ve had their run…enjoy the offseason…now you have plenty of time to rest ALL of your starters.

  29. The only possible explanation for the timeout call that would make any sense would be that he wanted to regroup his defense and make sure they were prepared for the next play. It’s a stretch, but if you think your guys need a breather, or you want different personnel on the field, you could justify the timeout. Watching the game, however, it seemed like Caldwell just didn’t know what to do in the heat of the moment. And as dwinsgames pointed out, the clock management on the Colts final drive was equally poor. Once they got past the 50, the need to rush was eliminated and they should have been thinking about bleeding clock so the Jets would have zero timeouts and maybe 30 seconds or so to mount a comeback. The third down pass was also a very poor choice. Boy, am I happy I’m not a Colts fan – I would be puking in my mouth all week.

  30. I think there are a lot of things that Peyton Manning does that makes Caldwell look a lot better than he really is.

    I’ve always rooted against Manning, chiefly because he plays for the Baltimore….err…Irsay Colts, but also because he’s a real thorn in the Patriots side. But I have an immense amount of respect for what he’s accomplished and his approach to the game. I don’t think there is anyone who works harder.

    He deserves a better coach.

  31. The Jets needed yards and were short on time. Calling a timeout is inexcusable in that situation.

    You could say it didn’t matter because they hit a long pass on the next play and ran the clock down for a field goal. But then again, the Jets had a lot of time to talk over that pass to Edwards as well.

  32. was in the car listening at the time and thought why would you give the jets time to huddle and set up a play?

    the clock was running against them.

    and why didn’t they squib the kick off?

  33. thirdngoal – Really? Looking for a flag? Such as the Colts way. If a pass isn’t completed, everyone whines for a flag. I’ve seen so many PI calls for Indy over the years when its the Colt’s players running into the DBs who have as much right to be in the spot they’re in. Harrison was awful with this. He’d run right into a guy, fall down, wave his arms, and get a flag. Last week, I saw Tammie run down the seam, run past a defender, Manning overshot the pass and somehow a flag came in. There was ZERO contact with the defender, but yet the yellow came out. Polian usually has the refs in their back pockets. Pusses…from top to bottom. Kudos to the refs for letting these guys play playoff football.

    Regarding Caldwell…i have no idea why he even bothers standing on the sideline. He sits there, watches Manning run the show, and does not do a lick of coaching. He stands there like a dumb tw&t and watches the game. It’s like he’s just along for the ride. The reason the Pats lost to the Colts in the last few years (last year’s 4th and 2 comes to mind) had nothing to do with Caldwell calling the right plays. It was about Manning.

    I don’t know what he was thinking calling that time out…but the negatives far outweighed whatever positive he was hoping for. He’s not the worst at clock mgmt…that title belongs to Herm Edwards, followed up by Andy Reid.

  34. Caldwell choked plain and simple. he felt the wrath of Sanchez coming down on him, as he masterfully moved the Jets down the field (Manning-like) to give Jets a chance to win the game.

    And that is what happened.

    PS – Also noteworthy – Rex Ryan completely outcoached Caldwell – Rex used his timeouts perfectly this game. What was Caldwell thinking when he challenged 1Q punt 2 minutes into the game???

  35. The timeout made no sense, not only because it gave the Jets free time to discuss a play, but because after calling the timeout, there was nothing the Colts could do to prevent the Jets from kicking the field goal as time expired. If it potentially forced the Jets to kickoff with some time left, then fine, it’s a calculated risk, but otherwise, it is an absolute gaffe.

    Caldwell inherited a team that steamrolled the regular season last year, then got completely out-coached by Sean Payton in the Super Bowl. Now he drags a Peyton Manning team to 10 wins, barely beating out the Jaguars, and goes one and done in the playoffs in a game where the opposing team comfortably executes a game plan that is far superior to his. He donates a timeout to his opponent at the most crucial moment in the game, setting up the Jets for the completion that essentially sealed the game.

    It’s almost as though he’s completely unqualified to be the one making the game plans or in charge of clock management…

  36. smellmyface says:
    Jan 9, 2011 10:33 AM
    Doesnt make sense because he shouldnt be a head coach. You take Manning off that team and they go 4-12.

    No way could they win 4 games.

  37. I do not know why all the hating is on Andy Reid. Anyone who follows the Eagles knows that Reid would not have had a timeout left that late in the game to call one.

  38. tommytd says: Jan 9, 2011 11:08 AM

    Sometimes, these coaches out-think themselves!


    I am quite certain that Caldwell rarely out-thinks a fly…

  39. @RexCanCoach

    I meant to say that as well.

    Whatever you think of Rex Ryan’s abilities, he’s good enough to make you pay dearly for a blunder.

  40. rickah8888 says:
    Jan 9, 2011 10:03 AM
    FINALLY someone who is worse at clock management than Andy Reid!!!




  41. rickah8888 says:
    Jan 9, 2011 10:03 AM
    FINALLY someone who is worse at clock management than Andy Reid!!!




  42. I still don’t agree at all with the decision to call a timeout, but possibly what Caldwell was thinking is make the Jets take as many snaps as possible and hopefully their QB makes a mistake.

  43. That had to be one of the dumbest calls I’ve ever seen in playoff football ! There is no reason to try and freeze a kicker from that far out when he’s as pathetic as Nick Folk !!! This one’s all on you , Caldwell !!!

  44. Do the math

    I bet Manning is sick of making Caldwell look good when in fact Caldwell has no ideal what he is doing.

  45. getting outcoached cost them a Super Bowl, and now he cost them a second postseason…it doesnt really matter because there is no way they would have made it past the next round, but the guy stinks as a coach…as a pats fan, i pray they keep him around…just keep surrounding Manning with crappy teams and coaches like he is good enough to offset all those amateurs…

  46. INDY should have run the ball instead of the roll out pass on third down and eat more time off the clock and force NYJ to use their last time out. Incomplete pass preserved NYJ time out by stopping the clock and also didn’t eat as much time off the clock as a running play. A running play would of forced NYJ to realize they needed to call an immediate time out and chances are it could have taken some time for them to come to that conclusion. Total botch job with an without the ball by the Colts. They don’t deserve to advance.

  47. What he needed to say was that he used the timeout because he wanted to get his defense properly set up and maybe rested. People would have excepted that.

  48. Caldwell is the WORST HC in the NFL, by far.

    The only reason he has the job is because St. Tony “Strongly” recommended him and he probably works cheap (relatively speaking).

    Caldwell was terrible at Wake Forest with a 26-63 record and was never a coordinator at the Pro level, what part of that makes him qualified to be an NFL HC?

  49. Jim Caldwell should have never been given the keys to the franchise.

    The fact that Manning has taken this clueless fool along for the ride will keep him in the job.

    He should do the Colts a favor and resign so they can hire a professional coach.

  50. It was not JUST the time out. He made several bad calls as well as his asst coaches. Caldwell is a solid assistant coach; however, Jim is not a head coach. Once Peyton departs, Caldwell’s career is over. Special teams coach needs to be fired immediately.

  51. Is reasoning is flawed because if he wants them to take more snaps then calling a TO in that situation actually limits there snaps. See if they didn’t call a TO the Jets would have had to snap it to spike the ball and snap it again to try and get closer FG range? So he’s wrong and should take a lot of heat because that was a terrible moves in that situation.

  52. Once again, whenever he starts trying to coach, nothing good comes from it. He pulled the same stunt in a game before. The opponent was content to let the clock run out, but he decides to call a timeout – end result they give up a touchdown and end up losing the game. For whatever reason he decides to challenge that Holmes touched the punt and loses. This guy just needs to shut his mouth and do what he does best – stand on the sidelines looking completely lost.

  53. You morons that are bashing Caldwell were not bashing him after the Colts beat the Jets and went to the Super Bowl. Now he is the worst coach ever and needs to be fired after two years of winning the AFC South. Whatever. Bonehead play on running into the kicker was not Caldwells fault. Caldwell isn’t the special teams coach and maybe you should be calling for him to be fired after Cromartie ran it to the 45 yard line at the end of the game on the kick off. Also, no Dallas Clark, no Anthony Gonzales, no Austin Collie, no Bob Sanders equals no chance for this group. This was a former shadow of what the Colts used to be due to injuries. Blame Caldwell if it makes you feel better but Gruden, Cowher or Lombardi isn’t doing much more with this group you tards.

  54. rickah8888 says: Jan 9, 2011 10:03 AM

    FINALLY someone who is worse at clock management than Andy Reid!!!


    You must not have seen many Cleveland Browns games the past few years. Romeo and Mangini left the fans completely dumbfounded.

  55. Clock management is probably one of the most underrated aspects of coaching. Belichick is the best, Andy Reid is clearly the worst. How often do you see teams trying to comeback with little time left on the clock, down by a FG and a Touchdown….waste all of their remaining time trying to score a TD, when they had been in FG range the whole time. Thats just one example of a coaches having no clue.

    Coaches need to preparing for time management situations and do what gives their team the best percentage to win the game.

    Why don’t the Colts just making Manninga player/coach? Hes obviously the smartest guy on the field. BRING BACK THE PLAYER/MANAGER!!!

  56. Anyone remember the confused look of Jack Pardee? Caldwell makes Pardee look like Bill Cowher. Come on man, not to be rude but this guy has no business being a head coach. And Clyde Christenson has no business standing on the sidelines coordinating an offense run by Peyton.

  57. snowpea84 says:
    Jan 9, 2011 11:15 AM
    Probably the worst time out I’ve ever seen.

    Rex Ryan’s timeout as defensive coordinator is the worst. The worst challenge was Rex’s spotting challenge against the Pats in week 13.

    Rex is horrible.

  58. kam…

    You want to bet? They should have been playing the Saints @ 18-0. But Caldwell doesn’t have any stones. Yeah it might have been Polian’s call, but if push comes to shove and the Coach goes against the GM and goes for perfection the owner will side with the Colts.

    I bashed the hire from day one because he wasn’t a good hire. He hadn’t earned the job. It was given to him by Dungy.

    Fire JIM CALDWELL search for it on facebook.

  59. bospat says:
    Jan 9, 2011 11:13 AM
    We always gotta find a scapegoat for Poutin…One year it was kicker, another year it was defense, yet another the o-line now the Head coach…..he is 9-10 in the playoffs for a reason….

    —-You have to be kidding. You’re going to put this loss on Peyton Manning? Jeez…I’m not even a Colts fan and I think that’s straight-up retarded.

  60. That was the last in a cascade of stupid that allowed the Jets back into the game. On the previous Jets possession there was an inexcusable collision with the punter that kept a drive alive. Then, after the Colts’ field goal, instead of squibbing the kick, they kicked deep and utterly failed to cover the runback properly. THEN the Colts allowed the Jets to keep their final timeout by calling one of their own. Ack. Not that the Colts defense had much to say about the outcome. They were bad, but they got no help from the sidelines.

  61. I said it last year and I’ll say it again…Caldwell is not head coaching material. That timeout very well cost them a playoff game.

    At least man up and say you made a BIG mistake…he can’t even say he screws up when he screws up. The guy has the demeanor of Dungy, but that’s about all they have in common…

  62. kam187 says:
    Jan 9, 2011 2:26 PM
    You morons that are bashing Caldwell were not bashing him after the Colts beat the Jets and went to the Super Bowl. Now he is the worst coach ever and needs to be fired after two years of winning the AFC South. Whatever. Bonehead play on running into the kicker was not Caldwells fault. Caldwell isn’t the special teams coach and maybe you should be calling for him to be fired after Cromartie ran it to the 45 yard line at the end of the game on the kick off. Also, no Dallas Clark, no Anthony Gonzales, no Austin Collie, no Bob Sanders equals no chance for this group. This was a former shadow of what the Colts used to be due to injuries. Blame Caldwell if it makes you feel better but Gruden, Cowher or Lombardi isn’t doing much more with this group you tards.


    Quit making excuses. We all know that with just Collie and Clark not on the IR, the Colts would probably be back in the Super Bowl. We can worry about that next year.

    Being a die-hard Colts fan, this loss killed me. Caldwell made one of the stupidest decisions in playoff football. Manning and Vinateri sealed the deal and Caldwell just gave it away. I’d LOVE to see Folk try to nail a 50 yarder. He almost missed the chip shot that Caldwell gave him and the guy is a total scrub after 40 yards. The look on Peyton’s face said it all. Caldwell is very mediocre and brings nothing but pacifism to the Colts. We need a coach with some balls to game plan with Manning. Dungy was quiet, but he knew what the hell he was doing. We don’t need some scared guy walking in Dungy’s shadow.

    I can’t wait for next season (if there even is a next season) but it’s going to be a long seven months. Could you imagine the Colts vs. Steelers match up? That would have been one for the ages. This sucks. I hope the Pack, Steelers or Ravens take it to the house this year. Especially the Pack.

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