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View Full Version : A Major Loophole in the Rule book?


The Cush
02-06-2012, 01:28 AM
So watching the Super Bowl, I realized there could be a major loophole in the NFL rule book. The Patriots, with less than a minute left, were left with no other option but to go for a touchdown to win the game. On a 2nd and 10 play that started with about 23 seconds left, the Patriots went for a pass that ended up incomplete but dwindled the game time down to 9 seconds. There was a penalty on the Giants for 12 men on the field which the Patriots accepted resulting in a 5 yard penalty but it did not reset the game clock. Here is where I realized the loop hole. The penalty is only 5 yards and knowing that the Patriots needed a touchdown, the Giants could have trotted out 25 men on the field to play defense and even though the flag would still be thrown, the end result would have been the game clock would continue to dwindle down according to the duration of the play. The worst that could have happened was the game clock dwindled down to 0 and the Patriots get one more chance but at only 5 yards closer.

mattieuk
02-06-2012, 01:42 AM
Would it become a dead ball penalty if it was that obvious?

I guess your scenario has potential. I was watching the game with a semi football literate buddy who couldn't understand how the giants penalty for 12 men gave them an advantage. Took me 2 minutes to explain!

The Cush
02-06-2012, 01:49 AM
Would it become a dead ball penalty if it was that obvious?

I guess your scenario has potential. I was watching the game with a semi football literate buddy who couldn't understand how the giants penalty for 12 men gave them an advantage. Took me 2 minutes to explain!

I don't know but to me the 12 men on the field penalty is just a representation of having too many men on the field whether it be by 1 or by 20. When I was watching the game live, me and my friends were like "who cares? the game clock didn't reset" and that was the biggest issue that was working against the Patriots. When I was watching the ESPN recap, the guys were like "put 20 more men on the field!!!" which is true, it really doesn't matter if they don't reset the game clock.

pbat488
02-06-2012, 02:45 AM
looking at the rule and thinking about it, i'm assuming it works much like an offside call in that it is a free play for the offense, but the clock will run with that play. brady took a huge shot downfield when it might've been more prudent to just kill the play with the lack of time and timeouts, but being trained to always take advantage of a free play, he probably just heaved it like normal.

BetaV1
02-06-2012, 03:03 AM
I said the same thing myself. Who cares if it's a free play for the Patriots? The purpose of the "penalty" is to make sure Brady only has one shot from the 50 rather than, say, the 30. I don't think the Giants intended or planned for the penalty to occur. It just happened that it worked in their favor.

Maddict5
02-06-2012, 05:59 AM
So watching the Super Bowl, I realized there could be a major loophole in the NFL rule book. The Patriots, with less than a minute left, were left with no other option but to go for a touchdown to win the game. On a 2nd and 10 play that started with about 23 seconds left, the Patriots went for a pass that ended up incomplete but dwindled the game time down to 9 seconds. There was a penalty on the Giants for 12 men on the field which the Patriots accepted resulting in a 5 yard penalty but it did not reset the game clock. Here is where I realized the loop hole. The penalty is only 5 yards and knowing that the Patriots needed a touchdown, the Giants could have trotted out 25 men on the field to play defense and even though the flag would still be thrown, the end result would have been the game clock would continue to dwindle down according to the duration of the play. The worst that could have happened was the game clock dwindled down to 0 and the Patriots get one more chance but at only 5 yards closer.

not really... if it became blatant all brady has to do is spike the ball every play... losing about a second for each play and gaining 5 yds. they'd be in the giants red zone with >10 secs left which would give the giants no adv from where they were

Dutchrudder
02-06-2012, 09:54 AM
It is interesting. I'm sure this will come up with the rules committee at some point. I think if the penalty against the defense is accepted, they should put the time used during that play back on the clock if there is less than 2 minutes left in the half.

Rey
02-06-2012, 09:56 AM
not really... if it became blatant all brady has to do is spike the ball every play... losing about a second for each play and gaining 5 yds. they'd be in the giants red zone with >10 secs left which would give the giants no adv from where they were

That's true, but I get what the OP is saying...

The penalty on the Giants didn't really hurt them while it put the Pats at a disadvantage.

But what you are saying is true too...

I can't see it being used as a strategy, but there should be a rule where if the clock is under a certain amount of time a penalty like that should result in the yardage and time being put back on the clock.

drunkcookie
02-06-2012, 11:00 AM
I think if the penalty against the defense is accepted, they should put the time used during that play back on the clock if there is less than 2 minutes left in the half.

I agree, said as much when it happened last night, though I'm really okay with it being a rule for under a minute... With 30 seconds left, and the offense having to score a TD when they're that many yards out, a 5 yd penalty doesn't really hurt the defense...

With 12 men and an extra DB, the chances of the QB completing a pass goes down, so it will most likely end in a double whammy there... 1. Not a positive play and 2. Valuable time runs off the clock...

If a DE jumps offsides, beats his block and makes the QB get rid of it early, move into a sack or sacks him himself, the penalty effects the offense double... 1. Not a positive play and 2. Valuable time runs off the clock...

In this day an age where almost every advantage is given to the offense it's hard for me to want to the league to throw 'em even more bones, but i think this is one that makes sense... If i were a HC, i'd throw 12 out there as well in that situation, hell 13! Run some clock off trying to beat my 10/11 DBs...

So yah, i think the time needs to be replaced, or the play should be whistled dead once the ball is snapped...

gtexan02
02-06-2012, 11:08 AM
I think the Giants did it on purpose. Smart too. Extra DB. If they pick it off, run it back, that takes the clock to zero and the Pats only get one more shot with only a 5 yard advantage

drunkcookie
02-06-2012, 11:13 AM
I think the Giants did it on purpose.

I dunno if they did it on purpose, but it wouldn't shock me if it comes out that they did... They already intended to NOT SCORE in an effort to run time off the clock, why not try and run time off the clock another way?

Maddict5
02-06-2012, 11:57 AM
i saw on grantland that the refs have the power to award yardage or even a td against a team that is blatantly cheating to gain an advantage so if its starts happening with any regularity, your teams gonna get screwed.....


could still work as a once off in an important game though :)

DonnyMost
02-06-2012, 01:04 PM
It is interesting. I'm sure this will come up with the rules committee at some point. I think if the penalty against the defense is accepted, they should put the time used during that play back on the clock if there is less than 2 minutes left in the half.

That's exactly what I suggested to my buddy last night.

In fact, I was kind of shocked the time wasn't already supposed to be put back on the clock.

ChampionTexan
02-06-2012, 01:10 PM
That's exactly what I suggested to my buddy last night.

In fact, I was kind of shocked the time wasn't already supposed to be put back on the clock.

It's kind of a two way street. Yeah, if you add the time back, you take away one advantage, but you also have to cancel out the play - meaning you take a free play away from the offense.

I think if I were the offense, I'd rather have a free play knowing that even if it's intercepted or fumbled that I'm gonna get another chance to win. Also, as was mentioned earlier, if it gets ridiculously blatant on the D's part, you just spike it repeatedly and 5 yard your way down the field.

I'm going to guess that no review/modification of this rule takes place this off season.

Rey
02-06-2012, 01:17 PM
It's kind of a two way street. Yeah, if you add the time back, you take away one advantage, but you also have to cancel out the play - meaning you take a free play away from the offense.


I don't think it's really that complex.

Yes you get a free play, but if it's incomplete you get to take the penalty and get the time back.

If it's complete you can take the free play minus the time.

ChampionTexan
02-06-2012, 01:22 PM
I don't think it's really that complex.

Yes you get a free play, but if it's incomplete you get to take the penalty and get the time back.

If it's complete you can take the free play minus the time.

That changes things too much, and creates a situation that doesn't currently exist with any penalty. Obviously, they could change it to that, but my belief is they won't, and it would be overreacting if they did.

Farough
02-06-2012, 01:23 PM
I think that if a team starts to use it like that then the offensive team would learn to just spike the ball and waste only a second or two. Of course, only on obvious situations

Stemp
02-06-2012, 01:58 PM
I'm sure the refs could call an unsportsmanlike penalty on the coach if it became blatant. That would tack on 15 yards as well.

Dutchrudder
02-06-2012, 02:22 PM
I'll throw another caveat out there for this rule that should change. The team with excess of 11 players is penalized 5 yards per player on the field. So if they trot out 13 guys, it becomes a 10 yard penalty, 14 = 15 yard penalty and so forth.

Rey
02-06-2012, 02:30 PM
That changes things too much, and creates a situation that doesn't currently exist with any penalty. Obviously, they could change it to that, but my belief is they won't, and it would be overreacting if they did.

Not sure what you are talking about here...

The only change would be what this whole topic is about which is restoring the time back on the clock.

Teams can already accept or decline penalties...

No one here has stated that they believe the NFL will change the rule...We are simply having a discussion and so far that is the simplest "fix" for the "problem"...

??????????????

ChampionTexan
02-06-2012, 02:47 PM
Not sure what you are talking about here...

The only change would be what this whole topic is about which is restoring the time back on the clock.

Teams can already accept or decline penalties...

No one here has stated that they believe the NFL will change the rule...We are simply having a discussion and so far that is the simplest "fix" for the "problem"...

??????????????

It was suggested that the rules committee would look at the rule, and I'm saying I don't think they will.

As to what suggestion of restoring the time on the clock - yes, I realize that's what we're discussing, and yes, I realize it could be done if the NFL wanted to do it, I'm just saying that if they did, it would be deviating from current procedures in that there is currently no situation that exists where the team has the option of accepting a play (declining the penalty) or accepting a penalty and having the time it took to run the play added back to the clock. Currently every penalty in which time is restored to the clock is a dead ball penalty, meaning any action after the penalty is called never really happened anyway.

Rey
02-06-2012, 02:54 PM
It was suggested that the rules committee would look at the rule, and I'm saying I don't think they will.

As to what suggestion of restoring the time on the clock - yes, I realize that's what we're discussing, and yes, I realize it could be done if the NFL wanted to do it, I'm just saying that if they did, it would be deviating from current procedures in that there is currently no situation that exists where the team has the option of accepting a play (declining the penalty) or accepting a penalty and having the time it took to run the play added back to the clock. Currently every penalty in which time is restored to the clock is a dead ball penalty, meaning any action after the penalty is called never really happened anyway.

Still not sure what your point is.

Of course there is no current rule where the time gets restored. That is what is being discusssed.

There isn't any penalty where time gets restored...

ChampionTexan
02-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Still not sure what your point is.

Of course there is no current rule where the time gets restored. That is what is being discusssed.

And my point is that I think that doing it would be overreacting and that it shouldn't be done. Not sure why you can't understand that.

drunkcookie
02-06-2012, 02:57 PM
I think that if a team starts to use it like that then the offensive team would learn to just spike the ball and waste only a second or two. Of course, only on obvious situations

So with all that's on the QBs mind already (identifying the D as quickly as possible, etc...) and with the clock still ticking, is he supposed to take the time to count the opposing players? And do you think maybe he would want to count twice to make sure there are +11 so he doesn't burn a down if it's 3rd down, maybe 4th? Is he supposed to wait on the coach to yell "spike" at him?

Remember, the whole issue here is 'time'...


Not sure what you are talking about here...

The only change would be what this whole topic is about which is restoring the time back on the clock.

Teams can already accept or decline penalties...



You beat me to it... Only one element is added to the equation... It's already a penalty! Decline it if you gained the yards you wanted or accept it! That already exists... And if you do accept, you get your seconds back... Hell, make it a set five seconds... Doesn't matter if you burn eight or three seconds on the wasted play, five is put back...

Rey
02-06-2012, 03:01 PM
And my point is that I think that doing it would be overreacting and that it shouldn't be done. Not sure why you can't understand that.


You said that it "changes things too much"....

And I responded that it doesn't. It's a minor change. Accept the penalty and get some time back...Doesn't seem all that major of a change to me.

Whether or not they will adjust the ruling because of this incident is not relavant to suggestions here.

I doubt they will change the rule either, but that's not what was being discussed and no one has disputed that.

drunkcookie
02-06-2012, 03:10 PM
And my point is that I think that doing it would be overreacting and that it shouldn't be done.

The league does overreact to things a lot but i don't think this would be an overreaction, just the plugging of a loophole...

As for your arguement about a situation like this currently not existing you are semi-wrong... Had the penalty occured on a play that saw the time run out, the offense would have gotten another play... Technically no time is put back on the clock, but in a round about way it's as if a second were added...

Basically the Giants were rewarded for that penalty, because yardage wasn't the Pats' problem, it was time...

Blake
02-08-2012, 08:28 AM
So watching the Super Bowl, I realized there could be a major loophole in the NFL rule book. The Patriots, with less than a minute left, were left with no other option but to go for a touchdown to win the game. On a 2nd and 10 play that started with about 23 seconds left, the Patriots went for a pass that ended up incomplete but dwindled the game time down to 9 seconds. There was a penalty on the Giants for 12 men on the field which the Patriots accepted resulting in a 5 yard penalty but it did not reset the game clock. Here is where I realized the loop hole. The penalty is only 5 yards and knowing that the Patriots needed a touchdown, the Giants could have trotted out 25 men on the field to play defense and even though the flag would still be thrown, the end result would have been the game clock would continue to dwindle down according to the duration of the play. The worst that could have happened was the game clock dwindled down to 0 and the Patriots get one more chance but at only 5 yards closer.

That really stuck out to me too. I was thinking to myself, the Patriots used half of their remaining time up on one play that netted them 5 penalty yards. I guess I would make the rule put the time back on the clock under 1 minute so teams dont do that on "accident." Basically assume it is a dead ball foul.

Either really smart or really lucky for the Giants. And I am surprised there is not more about this topic from the talking heads.

Maddict5
02-09-2012, 05:41 AM
I think the Giants did it on purpose. Smart too. Extra DB. If they pick it off, run it back, that takes the clock to zero and the Pats only get one more shot with only a 5 yard advantage

I dunno if they did it on purpose, but it wouldn't shock me if it comes out that they did... They already intended to NOT SCORE in an effort to run time off the clock, why not try and run time off the clock another way?


Either really smart or really lucky for the Giants. And I am surprised there is not more about this topic from the talking heads.

did ppl actually watch the game? the 12th man was justin tuck who was 2-3 yds from the sideline, running off with his helmet in his hand, when the ball was snapped.

i wouldnt call that a competitive advantage & thats why the talking heads arent saying anything about it

edit: for those that obviously didnt see it so this thread will die
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oHpBG2aAfg&feature=related

Bulls on Parade
02-09-2012, 04:40 PM
The rule should be tweaked in some way to put the time back on the clock.

steelbtexan
02-09-2012, 05:14 PM
It is interesting. I'm sure this will come up with the rules committee at some point. I think if the penalty against the defense is accepted, they should put the time used during that play back on the clock if there is less than 2 minutes left in the half.

This has been the rule for yrs.

In college I believe they even restart the clock after penalties.

drunkcookie
02-13-2012, 01:11 PM
did ppl actually watch the game? the 12th man was justin tuck who was 2-3 yds from the sideline, running off with his helmet in his hand, when the ball was snapped.

i wouldnt call that a competitive advantage & thats why the talking heads arent saying anything about it

edit: for those that obviously didnt see it so this thread will die
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oHpBG2aAfg&feature=related

Yah I watched the game, but I didn't go back and watch the play again... pretty much why I said "I dunno" in my post...

Even if it is safe to assume the 12th man wasn't intended, I still say a change needs to be made! because if I were a HC in that situation I WOULD intentionally put a 12th man out there on at least one of those plays... that is the whole point of this thread, "why" the rule should be changed, not the specifics of that one play...

Texan_Bill
02-13-2012, 01:14 PM
So watching the Super Bowl, I realized there could be a major loophole in the NFL rule book. The Patriots, with less than a minute left, were left with no other option but to go for a touchdown to win the game. On a 2nd and 10 play that started with about 23 seconds left, the Patriots went for a pass that ended up incomplete but dwindled the game time down to 9 seconds. There was a penalty on the Giants for 12 men on the field which the Patriots accepted resulting in a 5 yard penalty but it did not reset the game clock. Here is where I realized the loop hole. The penalty is only 5 yards and knowing that the Patriots needed a touchdown, the Giants could have trotted out 25 men on the field to play defense and even though the flag would still be thrown, the end result would have been the game clock would continue to dwindle down according to the duration of the play. The worst that could have happened was the game clock dwindled down to 0 and the Patriots get one more chance but at only 5 yards closer.

Game can not end on a defensive penalty.

disaacks3
02-13-2012, 01:54 PM
It was suggested that the rules committee would look at the rule, and I'm saying I don't think they will.

As to what suggestion of restoring the time on the clock - yes, I realize that's what we're discussing, and yes, I realize it could be done if the NFL wanted to do it, I'm just saying that if they did, it would be deviating from current procedures in that there is currently no situation that exists where the team has the option of accepting a play (declining the penalty) or accepting a penalty and having the time it took to run the play added back to the clock. Currently every penalty in which time is restored to the clock is a dead ball penalty, meaning any action after the penalty is called never really happened anyway. Sort of, if you consider untimed plays, as neither half can end on a defensive penalty.

Rules are already changed in the final 2 minutes: 10 second runoffs on offensive player going down with injury when no timeouts remain. No coaches challenge permitted, etc. I think adding this particular penalty w/ time added back to the clock in the last 2 minutes would be a great idea.

steelbtexan
02-13-2012, 02:25 PM
And my point is that I think that doing it would be overreacting and that it shouldn't be done. Not sure why you can't understand that.

Bet you would feel different if the rule cost the Texans a chance at a SB win.

Blake
02-13-2012, 02:29 PM
The worst that could have happened was the game clock dwindled down to 0 and the Patriots get one more chance but at only 5 yards closer.

Game can not end on a defensive penalty.

He is saying that the Giants would force the Patriots to one final play and still be at the 45 yard line. Not that it would end the game.

TexCanada
02-13-2012, 02:36 PM
I don't think any changes are necessary. If Brady had seen (or someone had informed him) that the Giants had too many men, and he had spiked the ball right away, everyone would be talking about how Brady is a genius and how stupid the Giants are. Only a second of the clock would be used and they would have gained 5 yards. The defense wouldn't be trying that again.

This conversation would also be a whole lot different if Brady had fumbled the snap and either turned it over or took a sack. If it was a planned play by the Giants, it was still a huge risk to take, as any positive, game-winning play made by the defense would have been negated.

ChampionTexan
02-13-2012, 02:54 PM
Bet you would feel different if the rule cost the Texans a chance at a SB win.

Eh, probably not (and no, I don't have a link for that - you'll just have to take my word for it).

My viewpoint on a rule isn't driven by it's potential to hurt my team any more than it's driven by it's potential to hurt my team's opponent.

The Cush
02-23-2012, 07:10 PM
Looks like they are looking into it..

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-cole_nfl_rules_committee_buddy_ryan_patriots_giant s022212

Rey
02-24-2012, 10:24 AM
Looks like they are looking into it..

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-cole_nfl_rules_committee_buddy_ryan_patriots_giant s022212

Good, because the rule needs to be clarified because a team can gain an unfair advantage.

Blake
02-29-2012, 01:21 PM
Good, because the rule needs to be clarified because a team can gain an unfair advantage.

Agreed. It might not be used often, but it is still an unfair advantage when time is more precious than yards.