- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

During the Redskins’ 29-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Redskins coach Jay Gruden opted to call a timeout with 57 seconds left just before third-and-2 at Kansas City’s 22-yard line. At that point, the Redskins were trailing 20-17 and they were marching down the field.

It turned out to be controversial. 

“Milk the clock!” former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi said on The Ringer NFL podcast. “… If he’s going to call that timeout — which I think is the dumbest thing you can possibly do — he should have let the clock go all the way down.”

Many people have pointed out that Chiefs coach Andy Reid should have been the one to call timeout, so he could give his team the longest possible time remaining in case the Redskins scored.

Even more puzzling, to some, was that Gruden let the play clock run down to 25 seconds before calling timeout. 

After the timeout, the Redskins took a shot deep in the end zone, but Josh Doctson failed to haul it in when he made contact with the ground. They settled for a field goal and the Chiefs used the remaining time to kick a field goal of their own. 

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Gruden defended his decision.

I wanted to make sure we had enough time to score if we did get the first down,” Gruden said. “I mean, obviously hindsight, but even if we did kick the field goal there and left the Chiefs only 45 seconds or so, we expect our defense to make a play. Alex Smith made a great play off-schedule and completed a long one to get them in field goal range.

“I wanted to make sure I had enough time where we weren’t in panic mode if we did get the first down at the 20-yard line and only have one timeout left. I wanted make sure we had ample time to score.”

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