Questions about the National Football League (NFL), the premiere professional league for American gridiron football.

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11
votes
2answers
3k views

What makes a formation illegal?

Sometimes the referee will flag a team for having an "illegal formation". What are the restrictions on how a team is allowed to line up?
18
votes
1answer
735 views

What's the justification for this rarely-invoked NFL fumble rule?

Yesterday, at the end of the Packers-Bills game (2014 Week 15), Rodgers fumbled into his own endzone. Eddie Lacy recovered it, but was unable to fight his way out, resulting in a game-winning safety. ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

What is the best record to miss and the worst record to make the NFL playoffs?

This question is inspired by the fact that the NFC currently has six teams (all outside of the NFC South division) that could finish with an 11-5 record or better. If that happened, one of those ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

NFL the playoff race tie breakers regarding common games record

Based on the rankings explanation provided by CBS regarding the NFL playoff situation; CBS provides something regarding a common record: Seattle is ahead of Detroit based on common games record ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

NFL teams with back to back shutouts

St. Louis Rams beat the Oakland Raiders in week 13 (of 2014 season) by a score of 52 to 0, and went on to beat Washington Redskins the following week 24 - 0. Are the Rams the first team to win back to ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

NFL division with all teams having a losing or winning record

I'm wondering if there has been any division in the modern day NFL history where all teams finished the regular season with winning or losing record. Even though this might not be so probable, but it ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

Waived/Injured for non-guaranteed contracts before the season starts

If a player is injured in OTAs, minicamp, or training camp, and is waived/injured, is the team responsible for a negotiated amount of a non-guaranteed contract? So, if a player has a $5m ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Determining tiebreakers among teams within a conference

This question mentions how tiebreakers are determined among teams within a division. During the 2013 NFL season, a scenario has developed where four teams are eligible (Baltimore and Pittsburgh - AFC ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is “Strength of Victory”?

The NFL lists the following Tiebreaking Procedures to break ties within a division: Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs). Best won-lost-tied percentage in games ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Why does the NFL enforce injury report rules?

The NFL is investigating why quarterback Tony Romo wasn't listed on the official injury report despite his admission that he was playing with broken ribs. In 2009, the NFL fined the Jets $125K for ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

NFL Play for Ineligible Player

Has there ever been a play in the NFL that is designed for an ineligible offensive player to at some point receive the ball? Examples from college include the fumblerooski (now banned in college too, ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Does a fast paced NFL offense tire out the defense more than the offense?

NFL broadcasts of Philadelphia Eagles games are full of shots of the opposing team's defense struggling to catch its breath. The announcers often discuss how Chip Kelly's fluid, no-huddle offense ...
4
votes
3answers
494 views

3-4 outside linebacker vs. a 4-3 outside linebacker

It looks like a 3-4 outside linebacker is more of a standup DE with some additional duties that include playing in space. This position appears to be more of a 'point of attack' style position. A 4-3 ...
6
votes
4answers
93 views

Are certain bye weeks more advantageous than others in the NFL?

Based on this year's schedule it seems that an NFL team's bye can come anywhere from the 4th week of the season to the 12th. Is there either conventional wisdom or statistical study of which weeks are ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

What is the NFL record for most receivers with a catch in a single game on the one team?

The Saints are up to ten unique receivers with at least one catch in tonight's game against the Ravens, and I can find a reference to the Packers having a franchise record of 12 that's been reached ...
4
votes
2answers
531 views

NFL: Why do kick coverage teams always run all the way down the field

I've noticed this frequently in the NFL. When there's a kickoff that is downed in the end zone for a touchback (or is out of the back of the endzone), the coverage team still runs all the way down the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Who is the worst NFL team in history?

I know there are a lot of bad NFL teams but I want to know who the worst franchise in NFL history is.. (ie: least playoff appearances/wins/win percentage etc.)
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible for an NFL team to go 20-0?

Is it possible for three NFL teams in different divisions in the same conference to all go 16-0 during the regular season? I'm not sure if this is possible with all the scheduling rules that they ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Why is NFL season significantly shorter compared to most other sports?

I am not sure but if I remember correctly the NFL teams play 15-16 games during regular season and a couple more in the play-offs if they can make it the whole way. Why such a short season, in ...
5
votes
3answers
367 views

Ineligible Man Down field on a Punt (NCAA v NFL)

In college football, specifically the NCAA there are many punters that use a "Rugby Style" kick to punt the ball. Often the punter will run to the side of his kicking foot and then punt the ball. ...
6
votes
2answers
95 views

NFL vs. CFL regulations

What are the main differences between regulations of the NFL and the CFL? I live in Canada and follow the NFL, but also watch CFL games once in a while. I know a few differences; for example in the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

NFL standings: 8-6-2 team vs 9-7-0 team?

Are they considered to have the same records? One should just apply tie-breaking procedures? NFL rules say: If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

NFL betting odds during game?

I have a couple basic questions about NFL betting. 1) Are betting odds set in stone before the game begins, or do they evolve with the progression of the game? 2) What are "closing odds?" Are ...
5
votes
4answers
292 views

What kind of impact does a full season suspension of a major player have on an NFL team?

Recently Jonathan Vilma was sidelined by the NFL for the entire 2012 season. Vilma is an impact player on the Saints' defense. What measurable impact does a full season suspension (or injury, like ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

sports odds explanation for NFL

I'm looking at sports odds at for the first time and am a little confused. I understands that if ATS (against the spread) is negative, then the home team is predicted to win. Also, SP (spread) ...
8
votes
2answers
435 views

Can all penalties be declined in American Football?

I saw some highlights from an NFL game the other day (I think it was Detroit's 22-21 comeback win against Atlanta) and the presenter said they won the game with a field goal. Their first attempt at ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Why do coaches not more strongly discourage post-play celebrations, especially when the team is losing? [closed]

This probably applies mostly to American football. This past Sunday a player (Lamarr Houston of the Chicago Bears) suffered a season ending injury while celebrating a sack. The play came during the ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Typical format for quarterback cadence

What is the typical format for an NFL quarterback cadence? I would imagine that they have different words for everything, but they should have the same format in calling the original play, pointing ...
3
votes
1answer
311 views

Sabermetrics Applied to American Football, Specifically the NFL

Sabermetrics and advanced stats have become a big part of baseball in the recent years. Defensive shifts are growing rapidly. "Old School" stats are becoming less relevant compare to "New School" ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Can a player protest injured reserve status?

ESPN is stating that the Jets may put Mark Sanchez on injured reserve instead of cutting him if they decide to replace him. He has a large guaranteed contract and cutting him is a large salary cap ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

Is hiking the football required or just a good idea?

In football, the ball starts at the line of scrimmage and from there is hiked back to the quarterback. Doing this creates room for the quarterback to make passing or running plays. Clearly hiking the ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

When is an offensive lineman allowed to move?

I've noticed that sometimes an offensive lineman will seem to get down in his stance but then stand back up to listen to the Quarterbacks' audible. But when he is in his stance and merely twitches ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't a player have to catch the ball from a punt?

I've been getting in to NFL this season and really like the sport. One point I was unclear about in the rules is when a team punts the ball. Why does the receiving player not have to catch it? I ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Requirements for Touchdown Catch Near the Goal Line

When a ball carrier has possession in the field of play, and carries the ball toward the end zone, the requirement for scoring a touchdown is that the ball cross the plane of the goal line. The ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

What is the proper etiquette when a sports reporter interviews a player after a game?

After the 2013 NFC Championship game, sports reporter Erin Andrews interviewed Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman was enthusiastic to say the least, and has led to media controversy. ...
9
votes
2answers
655 views

Why are NFL hash marks closer than NCAA hash marks?

Typically as you move up to more competitive levels of a sport, elements are adjusted to account for the increase of skill/speed/power of better players. NBA 3-point line is farther from hoop than ...
5
votes
1answer
356 views

How does the NFL decide which teams play in London?

How does the NFL decide which teams play in London every season? Do any teams actually volunteer to play in London, considering the jet lag and also the fact that you might have to give up a home ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Personal Foul causing fumble

In the NFL, supposing a player catches the ball legally and runs with it, for a total of a 25 yard gain, but is hit to the head, causing a fumble before he makes contact with the ground (and is ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Percentage of possible yards traveled?

How would one go about calculating their own NFL stats? For instance, I want to calculate the percentage total possible yards a team could have traveled if they had scored a TD on every drive. ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Why couldn't the referees cancel the timeout in the Jets game?

In this week's Jets-Packers game, the wrong person called a timeout from the sidelines (only the head coach is allowed). The referees played correctly, watching the field instead of who is calling ...
3
votes
2answers
806 views

Why doesn't Los Angeles have an NFL team?

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is the second largest metro area in the United States. It is big enough to support 2 NBA teams (Lakers and Clippers), 2 MLB teams (Dodgers and Angels), and 2 NHL ...
7
votes
2answers
618 views

San Francisco 49ers uniform colors: White or red?

I always thought they wore red while home and white while away. However, when I saw the highlights of their first game (2014 season) against the Cowboys yesterday, I noticed them wearing red even ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Immaculate Reception Legality

Was the touchdown at the end of the game between the Steelers and the Raiders in the 1972 AFC Divisional playoff game legally a touchdown by the NFL double touch rules or was the pass first touched by ...
0
votes
1answer
304 views

Where can I watch old proffesional sports games? [closed]

I was hoping to find a site where I could find old games that are available to watch, specifically NBA and NFl. Any suggestions?
6
votes
2answers
702 views

4-3 defensive end vs. a 3-4 defensive end

I recently asked a question about a 3-4 outside linebacker vs. a 4-3 outside linebacker so this is related. Is a 3-4 end more of a hybrid tackle/END? I think teams that use a 3-4 try to get their ...
3
votes
3answers
181 views

Why do most coaches save key defensive resources till the end of the game?

This question could be asked of a number of sports, but the example I'm using comes from football. Yesterday, during the wild card round, the New Orleans Saints called a time out early in the second ...
4
votes
2answers
80 views

Rushing Yard and Yard Run

To a layman like me, they both sound like similar concepts (though, of course, they're not!): The aggregate number of yards a QB had run with the ball in his hands before either passing off the ball ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Can you identify this New England Patriots player from the 2004 superbowl? [closed]

A friend of mine met him in LA, saw the Superbowl ring, and got a photo with him. She didn't get his name, though, but during their conversation she learned he played with the Patriots in the 2004 ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

How is the location of the Super Bowl determined?

How is the location of the Super Bowl determined? What criteria must a prospective stadium/region meet in order to adequately host the Super Bowl? NOTE: Historically, Super Bowls that take place in ...
7
votes
3answers
861 views

How does the NFL distribute their content online?

Ordinary television shows have sites like Hulu where their content can be viewed online. However, for the NFL, their online content distribution strategy seems less clear. What is the league's ...