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

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12
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2answers
16k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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
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?
10
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
475 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
741 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
1answer
230 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
406 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
437 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
950 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
358 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
196 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
247 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
2answers
132 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
934 views

NFL Tiebreaking: 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
1answer
631 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
1answer
11k 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
781 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
3answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
437 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
1answer
1k 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
352 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
844 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
1k 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
1answer
70 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
694 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
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
2answers
125 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
1answer
88 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
618 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
267 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
3answers
297 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
1answer
794 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
913 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What is the difference between NFI and IR?

Lawrence Tynes was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list by the Tampa Bay Buccanneers due to a staph infection he claims he got at their training facilities. They are paying his salary, but he ...
5
votes
0answers
75 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

In the NFL, is it legal to fake a point after and run a two point conversion?

In the NFL, is it legal to fake a point after and run a two point conversion? E.g. they snap to the holder who runs it into the endzone instead of spotting it for the kick. I would've expected to ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Legal way to perform a second forward pass?

A receiver catches a forward pass, lands deliberately just on one foot and then throws the football forward with so-called "throwing motion". According to the rules: A Pass is the movement of the ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

When did the NFL start using the Wonderlic test and how is it applied to the draft process?

I recently took a Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test at a job interview. It consisted of logic, mathematics and grammar. The NFL uses this exam as a part of their draft analysis. I can understand why I ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
65 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

In Fantasy Sports, is it proven that first pick tends to win the league most often?

Since most leagues use the "snake style" draft, there are positives and negatives to picking first, or last. First pick gets the First overall pick in the draft, but then has to wait until the last ...
4
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
115 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
122 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.)
3
votes
2answers
38 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...