Originally Posted by TortillaJesus
Hey, I have a long running question and I wanted to bring it to the peanut gallery for clarification:
Why do I see a lot of teams burn a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty, especially early in a scoreless game or in situations where there is no clear advantage to do so? A delay of game penalty is only 5 yards with no loss of down; a minor penalty by any standards. A burned timeout can dirty-dick a team in the last two minutes of a one possession game...
I see this quite a bit. Why do QB's avoid a delay of game like the plague? I'm all up on strategy but I don't get why this happens. Do you know something I don't?
Median drive length in the NFL is 30 yards. 5 yards isn't as minor as it seems.
A penalty hurts the team. A burned TO might hurt the team.
5-yard penalties are for stupidity
10-yard penalties are for cheating
15-yard penalties are for endangering.
Nobody wants to look stupid, especially coaches.
Delay can be a symptom of overall confusion, which needs a timeout anyway.