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

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21
votes
1answer
4k 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. ...
19
votes
6answers
17k views

Why isn't spiking the football intentional grounding?

I understand that spiking the football is a time management technique in American football, but I don't understand why there is no penalty (e.g. intentional grounding) associated with it?
18
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
432 views

Does the defense have to defend the extra point?

At the end of the controversial Green Bay Packers/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 ...
14
votes
2answers
38k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Statistically, 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.)
13
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
552 views

What happens if an NFL kicker totally misses the ball on a kickoff?

If during a kick-off, for example at the beginning of a half or after a score, the kicker totally misses the ball when he goes to kick, what happens? Would it be a penalty for delay of game?
12
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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?
12
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
345 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
29k 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(1). If ...
10
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
477 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
101 views

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals for Super Bowl numbering?

This year's Super Bowl broke the tradition of using Roman numerals. According to this article the NFL postseason media guide says: The Roman numerals were adopted to clarify any confusion that may ...
10
votes
1answer
499 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
276 views

How do NFL teams do in their last game if they have already clinched a playoff spot?

Do they tend to rest their good players so they don't have as many injuries going into the playoffs? Basically, I'm wondering if I should bet against teams with playoff locks if the matchup is close......
9
votes
1answer
933 views

What happens when there are 2 turnovers on 1 play?

During the last seconds of the 2015 AFC Championship (Broncos vs Patriots), the ball was intercepted by a Bronco, and while the guy was running, he accidentally fumbled the ball and the Patriots ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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?
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
414 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
2answers
292 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
2answers
74 views

what is the purpose of a 'Squib' kick in the NFL?

What is the purpose of a 'Squib' kick in American Football?
8
votes
1answer
371 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

Can a runner achieve a first down when offensive holding is called down field?

Say it's 2nd and 5 at Team A's own 25 yard line and a runner makes of gain of 10 yards to the 35 yard line. What happens if offensive holding is called down field at Team A's 35 yard line? Offensive ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
461 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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
599 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
21k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
906 views

Why does an unsuccessful NFL challenge result in the loss of a timeout?

What is the reason an NFL team loses a timeout if it challenges and the challenge fails?
7
votes
1answer
131 views

How can a football team tie with another team?

I am, a football beginner, but still a fan. Now I've been wondering how could an football team tie with another team. I know that there, is OT, and I'm not sure if the game ends with a tie after 1 OT. ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
7k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
894 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Is there a rule for when K-Balls are used?

In the NFL, special balls ("K-Balls") are used for kicking plays. These balls are harder and slicker than the balls used during normal play. My understanding is that kickers don't really like using ...
7
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Why do the captains of the New England Patriots not wear captain patches?

I am a die hard Pats fan and I have always wondered this. Before the 2012-2013 season, the Patriots released their captain list... Tom Brady Logan Mankins Vince Wilfork Jerod Mayo Devin McCourty ...
7
votes
2answers
429 views

What are the main differences between regulations of the NFL and the CFL?

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 ...