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

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6
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3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

How does the rise in popularity of fantasy sports affect league ticket sales?

I've seen some guesswork on the web around the economic impact fantasy sports has had on tv viewership and general product sales. However, I can't find any hard research on what the effect on ticket ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

What's the difference between “questionable” vs “doubtful” injury designations in the NFL?

In the NFL, what is the difference between each of the designations for questionable vs doubtful? Which one is more severe?
4
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
236 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Why can a defensive lineman wear a number in the 60s?

Leonard Williams, a defensive end, wears number 62 for the Jets. Why can a defensive lineman wear a number in the 60s? My understanding was that 62 was for an offensive guard.
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Has a college team ever played against a professional team?

This question is inspired by the recent debate[1][2][3][4] about whether the 2014-15 University of Kentucky men's basketball team (who had been undefeated until tonight's loss to Wisconsin) could ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

NFL Schedule Procedure

During the 2012 NFL Season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens play each other in weeks 11 and 13, two weeks (in both NFL schedule and time) apart. To me, that seems too close for comfort. ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Which non-players in the NFL are the highest paid apart from the GM and head coach?

One of the things I learned from Michael Lewis's The Blind Side is that how much various parties get paid is a good window into their perceived value by their franchises (in the case of The Blind Side ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the record for most turnovers by an NFL team that won the game?

In the 2014 NFC Championship game, the Seattle Seahawks committed 5 turnovers (4 interceptions and one fumble) and still won the game. What is the record for most turnovers by an NFL team in a ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

What does an NFL salary cap department do?

I sometimes hear about NFL GMs being "cap experts" rather than player-evaluators. And I just saw this headline: "John Idzik joining Jags as consultant". The article goes on to say, "Idzik, who was ...
4
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2answers
172 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Why would Belichick spilt Gronk out wide against the Seahawks?

Bill Barnwell writes about the 2014-15 Super Bowl, Gronkowski spent a surprising amount of time matched up early split out as the world’s biggest decoy against Richard Sherman, but as the game ...
3
votes
1answer
747 views

What is the longest an NFL team has gone without a WR TD catch?

The Kansas City Chiefs have not had a wide receiver catch a touchdown pass so far this season (through Week 15). According to team stats, only running backs, fullbacks, and tight ends have caught a ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does every American sport except Football seem to have a farm league?

Baseball (MLB) has a minor league, Hockey (NHL) has the AHL, Basketball (NBA) has the D-League, and even Soccer (MLS) has the USL and NASL although they may not be farm leagues in the same sense as ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a “football move” in the NFL?

It happens a lot: a receiver catches the ball, drops it, it is called a fumble on the field. Then there is some expert commentator giving his opinion on whether the receiver made a 'football move' ...
7
votes
1answer
820 views

Alternate Team to Super Bowl?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 the NFL announced they were investigated the New England Patriots for deflating footballs (to make it easier to handle) during the AFC Championship game against the ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

NFL Draft Picks compared to the Success of Career

I have a couple of questions about the correlation between when a player is drafted and how well his career pans out. 1) How strong is the correlation between which round a prospective NFL player is ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

By what rule was the Fail Mary pass in the 2012 Packers/Seahawks game a touchdown?

There was a call at the end of the 2012 Green Bay/Seattle game in which a play which appeared to result in an interception was ruled a touchdown. The controversy surrounding the referee lockout adds ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Transition from NCAA to NFL

As a relative newcomer to the NFL I have some questions regarding NCAA players and their transition to the NFL. 1) Do some colleges have a reputation for consistently producing good players (such as ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
126 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
244 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
5answers
191 views

Lateral Passes in the NFL

Why are lateral passes so rare in the NFL? I've seen quite a few situations in which it would seem advantageous. For example in a 2v1, 2v2 setting when the ball carrier is about to be tackled, why ...
4
votes
3answers
703 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

What is the closest any team has come to playing a home Super Bowl?

It's a well known fact that no team whose home stadium is hosting the Super Bowl has ever made it to the Super Bowl. My question is, which team has come the closest? (Closest in this case means how ...
5
votes
4answers
745 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
293 views

Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom

I've heard commentators and analysts refer to Seattle Seahawks' defense as the "Legion of Boom". I believe they call the secondary that name, to be exact. What is the story behind this? When and how ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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, it is ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Best first 100 career starts by quarterbacks

Few weeks ago Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers played his 100th career start, and with a win, he improved to 68-32; tying Brett Favre. What are the top records for the first 100 career starts ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

calculate winning percentage with a tie

How does the nfl calculate the Cincinati Bengals winning percentage with a 10-4-1 record as .700? I did the math with 14 and 15 games played and my numbers don't add up to their numbers.
12
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2answers
4k 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?
20
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1answer
900 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
278 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
444 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 ...
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
269 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
138 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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.)
11
votes
7answers
5k 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
870 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
200 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
4k 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
99 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
309 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
249 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
1k 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 ...