Holding on intentional safety exposes loophole in rules

Discussion in 'The National Football League' started by srrono, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. srrono

    srrono Hall of Fame

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    In Super Bowl XLVI, the unintended use of an extra man on defense exposed a loophole that the NFL promptly closed. In Super Bowl XLVII, another loophole has been exposed.

    But this one will be harder to remedy.

    Facing fourth and seven from their own eight and clinging to a five-point lead, the Ravens opted to take an intentional safety. The clock showed 12 seconds at the snap, and the Ravens were able to milk eight of those ticks as punter Sam Koch moved to the back corner of the end zone.

    Helping Koch delay as long as possible his exit from the field of play were multiple Ravens players who held 49ers defenders who were trying to get to Koch more quickly. And while a flag for holding inexplicably wasn’t thrown, the outcome would have been no different. Holding in the end zone by the offensive team triggers a safety, and that’s exactly what the Ravens were willing to concede.

    Under the circumstances, avoiding the safety was irrelevant. Using as much time as possible was the goal.

    The challenge comes from finding an acceptable way to address the situation. For a play that ends in a safety with a holding penalty committed in the end zone, the most obvious solution would be to enforce the penalty on the free kick, moving the ball from the 20 to the 10. But that won’t remedy the fact that a deliberate penalty created a strategic advantage by taking time off the clock.
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  2. ObsiWan

    ObsiWan Site Contributor

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    hmmm... a penalty stops the clock... But the clock was stopped anyway due to the impending free kick...

    I guess they could give the ten yards to the receiving team after they return or fair catch the kickoff. So if they fair catch it at the 40 (for the sake of discussion) then they get the ball at the 50... not sure if that would have helped in this situation.
     
  3. Dutchrudder

    Dutchrudder COOL BEANS!

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    It's the same issue as any other penalty in the last 2 minutes of the game, the clock keeps running and there is no recourse for the time lost. The only exception is if time runs out and the game ends on a penalty, then the team will get one more play with 0:00 on the clock. If they would just allow the time to be put back on the clock when a penalty is accepted, it would nullify the incentive for a team to use a penalty to its advantage. Simply go back to the time on the clock at the moment the ball is snapped. It shouldn't mess up anything, since the penalty would be accepted and likely erase any play made. I'm sure there are more details to it than that, but that's the gist of the solution.
     
  4. Stemp

    Stemp Brew Master

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    It's actually simple. If there is holding resulting in safety inside of 2 minutes the clock resets to the time when the ball was snapped for the free kick
     
  5. Speedy

    Speedy Yeller Dweller

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    Right. If the penalty is accepted then the play never happened, no time should have run. Simple fix. But I would only change that for inside 2 minutes of a half. Otherwise we'd be looking at 4 and half hour games.
     

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