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Quirky NFL rules

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by adambr2, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. adambr2
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    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Thought this might be a good idea after the discussion on illegal forward pass, which is mentioned first.

    - A quarterback can throw a pass with the ball past the line of scrimmage. The QB can be stretched out across the line and throw. As long as any part of his body is still behind the line (even a heel or foot), the pass is legal.

    - A team can attempt a field goal after making a fair catch with no defensive rush put on them. This is very rare, but most of you are probably aware of this one. Mason Crosby actually attempted such a field goal late in 2008, a 69 yarder that came up just short. Since there are very few situations where you would want to use this, it's rare. The most common is right before the end of a half, or potentially, a game if a fair catch was made with no time left and a 65 yarder could win it. The defense must play at least 10 yards back. The only restriction on the offense is that a tee cannot be used, it must be held like a field goal. I believe such a kick can be attempted even if time expired on the punt.

    - A team can make the extra point without actually kicking it though the uprights. If the snap is botched, and in the scram is knocked out of bounds IN the endzone last touched by a defensive player, the offensive team is awarded one point.

    - A team can get the ball at the 40 on a kickoff without the ball actually being kicked out of bounds. The receiving player must simply place a part of his body so it touches the sidelines while he is touching the ball in the field of play, and a flag will be thrown for illegal kickoff out of bounds. Cobb did this last year and Jeremy Ross early this year.

    - When there is a 5 yard penalty by one team on a play, and a 15 yard penalty by the other team, by rule the 5 yard penalty MUST be declined and only the 15 yarder is enforced. The only exception is if there was a change of possession on the down. In that case, the penalties still offset.

    - When a team is playing at home and is on defense, the referees can, at their discretion, take a timeout from the defense or call a 5 yard penalty on the defense (if they are out of timeouts) for excessive crowd noise if they determine that the crowd noise is preventing the offense from hearing signals. (can't remember the last time this was actually enforced)
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  2. Brandon
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    I've always thought the rule where the player can straddle the out-of-bounds line and pick up the ball to incite a flag is pretty bogus.

    Here are some rules that I've always wondered about;


    1.) Can the opposing team decline a pre-snap penalty? For example a lot of times the offense will blatantly false start or delay of game to give them extra room to punt the ball. Couldn't the opposition decline this penalty?

    2.) When the offense commits a penalty in the 4th quarter with under 2 minutes remaining, and that team has no time-outs, by rule there must be a 10-second run off of the game clock. Could, in theory, if the offensive team with the lead who wants to run out the clock without ever taking a snap commit numerous false-starts to drain the clock?

    3.) I recall watching something on the NFL Network with these quirky rules, and I don't recall what the scenario was exactly but there was an NFL game where instead of kicking a field goal via placeholder, it was instead punted through the up-rights and it was completely legal. Is this rule still valid? If so would a punter in bad field conditions be better served to punt it through rather than relying on a kicker to kick it through?


    That's all I got for now.
  3. HardRightEdge
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    It's not a punt, it's a "drop kick". The kicker drops the ball, it hits the ground, then he kicks it off the bounce.

    Doug Flutie tried, and made, a drop kick extra point in 2006 while playing for the Pats. The crappy youtube video makes it look like a punt, but it's not.

    I like that it's still in the rules...a tip of the hat to the game's rugby heritage and the early days of American football when the drop kick was a common thing.

    According to Wikipedia, Paddy Driscoll made a 55 yard drop kick in 1924 which stood for nearly 30 years as the longest field goal in NFL history.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. Raptorman
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    Raptorman Vikings fan since 1966.

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    1.) Can the opposing team decline a pre-snap penalty? For example a lot of times the offense will blatantly false start or delay of game to give them extra room to punt the ball. Couldn't the opposition decline this penalty?

    A:Yes they can.
    2.) When the offense commits a penalty in the 4th quarter with under 2 minutes remaining, and that team has no time-outs, by rule there must be a 10-second run off of the game clock. Could, in theory, if the offensive team with the lead who wants to run out the clock without ever taking a snap commit numerous false-starts to drain the clock?

    A: The 10 second runoff is only if the team is behind. If they are leading I don't think it applies. For the reason you state.
    3.) I recall watching something on the NFL Network with these quirky rules, and I don't recall what the scenario was exactly but there was an NFL game where instead of kicking a field goal via placeholder, it was instead punted through the up-rights and it was completely legal. Is this rule still valid? If so would a punter in bad field conditions be better served to punt it through rather than relying on a kicker to kick it through?

    A: Yes it is. Not sure what it is called. Free Kick maybe? Will have to check.
  5. Brandon
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    Thanks for the responses. I'll have to look more into that drop-kick, because the way you describe it makes it seem hard as hell to accomplish, even though he made it. Not sure what scenario would make you want to do that over kicking it, unless it's one of those fair-catch type deals. I don't think fair catch was around back then, but -something- along those lines.
  6. HardRightEdge
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    It's called a "free kick".

    The same term is used to describe the kick following a safety. You'll almost always see teams punt the safety free kick, but they have the option to place kick it with a holder (no tee).

    Here's a puzzler...if the free kick following a safety travels 90 yards through the uprights, would it count as 3 points?
  7. yooperpackfan
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    yooperpackfan Cheesehead

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    When I was a kid in the early 60's we used to practice drop kicks all the time just for the heck of it.
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  8. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That was put in place what seems ages ago..
  9. GoPGo
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    GoPGo Cheesehead

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    But then what if you're down by 1 point with with the ball on the 1 yard line and 32 seconds on the clock and you take 3 false starts to kill off the clock before eventually kicking a 33 yard game winner?
  10. HardRightEdge
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    Flutie did it just to try it. As I recall, he'd wanted to try it for some time and Belichick let him go ahead with it when nothing was on the line. I think they just liked the idea of going "old school"...again, tipping the hat to the origins of the game.

    It is hard with a modern football. However, keep in mind that when drop kicking was common the ball was more like a rugby ball; drop kicking that thing would be easier.
  11. HardRightEdge
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    Ditto.
  12. HardRightEdge
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    No ref in his right mind would make that call unless he had irrefutable evidence crowd noise was being piped through the PA system. Even then, I don't think anybody ever called it on the Vikes.

    I think they put that rule in as a message to the teams using the PA to cut it out.

    And yet, today we have Seattle....
  13. Poppa San
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    Poppa San Pray daily and take the plunge for Eli Staff Member Moderator

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    Why wouldn't you just not snap the ball with the field goal team on the field until the game clock reads about 2 sec instead?
  14. Brandon
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    The problem with this scenario is that without any time-outs the game clock would begin immediately following the referee's whistle, so the snapper would have to literally hike the ball the moment the whistle was blown before that second expired. Not likely to happen I would imagine!
  15. GoPGo
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    GoPGo Cheesehead

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    Or that... the type of penalty isn't the issue it's the runoff.
  16. GoPGo
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    Why would the clock start if the last play was an incomplete pass or a play where the clock was supposed to be run by rule if like Poppa San said you simply kept taking delay of game penalties? Let's not lose sight of the forest for the trees here. The principle in question is the ability to use that rule to kill off most of the clock right before a game winning FG attempt.
  17. Poppa San
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    Poppa San Pray daily and take the plunge for Eli Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think the runoff applies if the clock is already stopped.The runoff penalty exists to keep teams from using it instead of spiking the ball. On the flip side, if there is a few seconds left in a 4-6 point game or right before half, the defense can do PI all day if they are beat in the endzone. That gets them another chance to defend. I recall the Eagles doing that in the early 90's to the Packers. Packers had no TO's left, about 20 seconds on the clock and first and goal. Three PI penalties chewed the clock up before GB settled for a FG.
  18. Chicocheese
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    Chicocheese Cheesehead

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    Due the "quirky mechanics" of the referees during a :00 play clock situation, I figured this will fit here. On the sports cards forum that I frequent a couple Bears fans are complaining that the Packers got away with a late snap on the 4th & 1 conversion (the first of the 3.) when Kuhn picked up the first down AFTER the TERRIBLE spot the refs gave Lacy. I recorded the replay of that game on NFL Network and went frame-by-frame during the snap of that play. IMO the ball *started* to be snapped at 1-second, thus we DID snap the ball within the 40 seconds of the play clock. Please, watch the video, judge for your self and PLEASE comment and rate. I JUST made this today!


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  19. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I have heard that the rule goes like this.

    The ref in charge of watching the clock keeps his eyes on it..Then when it reaches 0 he looks at the q/b for the snap..

    So in reality it could be snapped .5 secs past the clock
  20. Chicocheese
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    Chicocheese Cheesehead

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    Indeed, however if you watch my Spielberg-esque master piece you will see that Dietrich-Smith actually started the name at :01 seconds.
  21. Chicocheese
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    Chicocheese Cheesehead

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    Wow... that was supposed to say "the snap started" but somehow it came out "the name started".
  22. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Why didnt you edit it?
  23. Poppa San
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    You realize the TV clock is not the official game clock. I think it is on a stopwatch the umpire or whichever ref position is responsible for delay of the game calls carries. Usually is close enough though.
  24. weeds
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    A little off topic here...in that the NFL "rules" have become ridiculously cumbersome ... not only for the referees, but the coaches and the players besides. It is almost to the point where the Competition Committee should dedicate an entire off season to reviewing each and every "rule" and start slicing and dicing.

    I recognize that each and every rule was put in place for a reason ... usually as a knee jerk reaction to one specific play that cost one team or another a game during the year previous, but it has almost reached the point where the game is suffering because everyone in the media is going to bitch three ways from Sunday when there is a one-time happenstance.

    Really, it's almost become a matter analysis paralysis on the part of the refs.
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  25. bullet
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    After the last pass of the Bears game I was more mad that no flag was thrown then I was we just won lol. But good to see the refs called that one right for once.

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