Sunday's Colts-Titans game. Late 4th Quarter. Colts in Red Zone. 3rd Down and long. Completed pass. Colt's WR gets the 1st Down at the 8 yard line. WR flips the ball away from the ref. Ref flags the WR for "delay of game". 5 yard penalty. Instead of 1st and Goal at the 8 - it's 1st and 10 at the 13.
COULD the Titans "decline" this penalty? It was late in the game so time is a factor. Play calling for the Colts is different if it's 1st and Goal from the 8, since the Colts COULD not get a first down. Since it is late in the game, knowing the Colts could not get another 1st Down, less time would be taken off the clock. Also, the Colts' play-calling then would be different than if it was a 1st and 10 from the 13.
As it turned out, the Colts did indeed get a 1st Down later on and made it 1st and Goal from the 2.
COULD the Titans have declined the original penalty so the Colts COULD not get a 1st down.
What would the metrics be in order for it to make sense to decline the penalty? 1st and Goal from the 9? 1st and Goal from the 10?
or...is it a moot point because the penalty cannot be declined by rule?
ps. yeah-yeah, I know, I have too much time on my hands
p.s.s. oooo, a classic! Styx - Paradise Theatre - 1981