The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-17 at home on Monday night, down 4-7-1. After a terrifying first half in which they only scored three points, the Colts offense scored two goals in the third quarter, but stalled once again in the fourth quarter.
Despite that, they still had chances, with seven points down in the late fourth quarter and needing a 93-yard drive in a two-minute drill. After moving the ball into midfield, the Colts found themselves 2nd and 17th with the watch strapped and all three breaks in their pockets. Matt Ryan, who can only be described as “sculptural” in his 37-year-old move, stunned everyone (and most Steelers) when he stood up for a 14-yard run to give the Colts a manageable third. Partly because of the fairly new rule that a dive is the same as a slip for a QB and is rejected when he starts going to the ground).
Ryan dives in with 50 seconds to play, and on-air Joe Buck said they “need to take a break here,” but was shocked when Jeff Saturday stood at the sideline and let the clock run.
Indianapolis would try to get into the lineup and run a dive game losing distance, set up 4th and 3rd, begging the question of why Saturday didn’t take a three-hand break to get the Colts into the best game possible. . Saturday after the match he gave a rather peculiar response about how he “didn’t think time was important” and how he “didn’t care much” about the clock.
“I didn’t think time was really important.”
Jeff Saturday is ready to take a break as the Colts lose to the Steelers late in the 4th quarter. pic.twitter.com/R1dxaYck1P
— CBS Sports Center (@CBSSportsHQ) 29 November 2022
I figured out to let the clock spin before games 2 and 17 because if they didn’t get any distance in the next game they were likely to be in a situation where they would need all three timeouts to get the ball back. However, after Ryan is 3rd and 3rd, this is such a high leverage point that asking for a break is not just about stopping the clock, it’s also about getting organized and discussing what the best possible plays for the third will be (and possibly fourth) to make sure you still have a chance to win the game.
While it was not necessary to stop the clock at all three timeouts, it was clear that the Colts were still running to attack, and in this case the importance of taking the first timeout was more valuable than relying on the timeouts. Saturday’s inexperience in this situation (along with an offensive coordinator who had never called a game three weeks ago) certainly seemed to work against the Colts at this point.
The good news is that he should be aware of what will be the main topic on ESPN Saturday morning.