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Old 02-06-2012   #1
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Default A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #2
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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!
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Old 02-06-2012   #3
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by mattieuk View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #4
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #5
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #6
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by The Cush View Post
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
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Old 02-06-2012   #7
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #8
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by Maddict5 View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #9
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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...
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Old 02-06-2012   #10
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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
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Old 02-06-2012   #11
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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?
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Old 02-06-2012   #12
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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
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Old 02-06-2012   #13
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by Dutchrudder View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #14
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by DonnyMost View Post
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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #15
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #16
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #17
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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
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Old 02-06-2012   #18
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #19
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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.
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Old 02-06-2012   #20
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Default Re: A Major Loophole in the Rule book?

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Originally Posted by ChampionTexan View Post
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"...

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