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

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20
votes
1answer
759 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. ...
12
votes
2answers
18k views

Who gets Super Bowl rings?

When a team wins the Super Bowl, there are a lot of players and organizational members that helped in the process. For each team playing this year, there are multiple players on injured reserve that ...
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?
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
268 views

Does the defense have to defend the extra point?

At the end of the controversial Green Bay Packer / Seattle Seahawks game on Monday night, the Seahawks were awarded a touchdown as time expired that gave them a 13-12 point lead. In the ensuing ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
507 views

What is the highest number of picks a team has had in the draft?

I was looking at the draft from 2012 and noticed that the 49ers had made a lot of trades to acquire more picks for the 2013 draft. This led me to wonder about trades and the number of draft picks ...
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, it is ...
9
votes
2answers
370 views

Why wasn't Schwartz's challenge during the Thanksgiving Lions/Texans reviewed?

During the Nov 22, 2012 Detroit Lions/Houston Texans game, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz challenged a scoring play where the runner appeared to be down by contact. Since scoring plays are ...
9
votes
1answer
894 views

How come the NFL is not allowed to play on Friday/Saturday

There was some ruling back in the 1960s (or something like that) that barred the NFL from having games on the same days as College or High School games. I think it had to do with their anti-trust ...
9
votes
2answers
687 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
808 views

Professional American Football Kickoff rule concerning onside kick

Team A is still down by two points with less than one minute remaining in the game and they are kicking off to team B after just scoring a touchdown. Team B realizes they are going to try an onside ...
9
votes
1answer
442 views

What are the rules for NFL restricted free agents that have a first round tender?

For teams with multiple first round draft picks, what are the rules defining which first round draft pick that a team would need to give up if it signs a restricted free agent (RFA) that have 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What type of individual player incentives are allowed in the NFL?

Recently, ESPN (and others) reported that the New Orleans Saints had instituted a "bounty" program. This program awarded players for inflicting game-ending injuries against the opposing teams and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the job of the Assistant Coach in the NFL?

I understand what the job of a Head Coach is, but what does the Assistant Head Coach actually do during games/in the office?
8
votes
2answers
228 views

What's the rule governing the Lynch touchdown in the Falcons - Seahawks game playoff game?

In an amazing comeback Seahawks got a TD less than a minute on the clock. The running back Marshawn Lynch seemed to fumble the ball, which was then picked up by the center and carried in the end zone. ...
8
votes
1answer
271 views

By what rule was the final play of the Packers/Seahawks game a touchdown?

There was a controversial call at the end of the Green Bay/Seattle game in which a play which appeared to result in an interception was ruled a touchdown. Because of how chaotic the catch was, it's ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
464 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
13k views

NFL 6th (consecutive) year captain patch

Since 2007, many NFL teams incorporated a "C" patch for team captains, and the number of gold stars filled in represents the number of consecutive years a player has been captain for his team. If he ...
8
votes
2answers
972 views

What do refs do during halftime?

This question largely pertains to basketball and football (American - NFL). I've seen footage from the team locker rooms during halftime where the coaches and players go over issues from the first ...
7
votes
2answers
630 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is no second football game televised (possibly just in NY)?

Something confuses the heck out of me in regards to TV broadcasting of (American) Football. I used to live in Seattle. On Sunday, there were the early games, and the later games. One was selected ...
7
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
863 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

History of NFL scoring format

Can anyone tell me why the NFL uses the current scoring format of 6 points plus extra point for a touchdown, 3 points for a field goal, 2 points for a safety. Is there a history or story behind why ...
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.)
6
votes
1answer
3k views

When a QB slides, is it considered a dead ball?

I was watching the Niners-Lions game last week and saw something that has me a little confused. I was under the impression that when a quarterback slides in the NFL, the play is considered dead when ...
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
109 views

False Start penalty clarification

In the Super Bowl this year Denver was called for a false start on the very first play of the game. The ref clearly stated the false start happened before the snap. Why was the play allowed to ...
6
votes
2answers
756 views

Why would an NFL player under contract accept a cut in pay?

I understand why a star player might take a reduction in pay to ease the team's salary cap situation, allowing it to get better players to help the team win and get him more endorsements. However, ...
6
votes
4answers
95 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
2answers
196 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
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
1answer
106 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
704 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

Safety during overtime's first possesion

For last year's postseason (and this year's regular season), the NFL adopted a new sudden death format. The following approved ruling for a safety on an opening possession states: A.R. 16.19 ...
5
votes
4answers
293 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
825 views

What does waived/injured mean in the NFL?

I'm relatively new to the NFL and while I understand the concept of waiving players and the waiver wire, I've seen the term "waived/injured" and was wondering what is different about that process as ...
5
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
397 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
360 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
925 views

How are compensatory draft picks decided for the NFL?

The draft for the National Football League (NFL) now includes 32 compensatory draft picks awarded to teams that lost value in free agency prior to the draft. These picks are awarded at the ends of ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Has there been any notable impact to the NFL using replacement officials?

This summer the NFL has opened the preseason in a labor dispute with officials, and are instead using college officials from no BCS conferences are replacements until the dispute is involved. What ...