Questions tagged [american-football]

Questions about the sport of American football. This should not be confused with the [football] tag, which only applies to the sport called "soccer" in most of North America.

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4
votes
1answer
1k views

Fair catch after football hits the ground

A kicked ball hits the ground before a fair-catch signal is made. After the ball hits the ground the return man signals for teammates to stay away (hands waving below waist). Is it legal for him to ...
2
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1answer
531 views

When did the NFL move the stanchion out of the end zone?

I was just watching a clip of Bart Starr's game-winning quarterback sneak in the Ice Bowl. One thing I noticed is that the goal post stanchion is inside the end zone, not behind the end zone as it is ...
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0answers
33 views

What differences are there between the XFL rules of today and the rules of XFL past?

As the title states - I know XFL was a league in the past, with rule differences between them and the NFL. I see the list of XFL/NFL rule differences of the current XFL league exist here, but I'm ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Super Bowl home field advantage - home team vs away?

My understanding is that the AFC and NFC alternate nominal home and away team status in the Super Bowl. In the theoretical case where a team makes it to the Super Bowl in the same year that their ...
6
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3answers
17k views

What is meant by “ineligible receiver downfield?”

In (American) football, only the running backs and ends (but not offensive linemen) are supposed to (try to) catch passes. Because of that fact, an offensive team can be penalized if its linemen are ...
6
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2answers
306 views

Is there such a thing as an ineligible runner in football?

In American football, there is such a thing as an ineligible (pass) receiver. That is, a "lineman" (center, guard, tackle) is not allowed to catch forward passes. Are they similarly prohibited from ...
0
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1answer
47 views

In American football, can a player intentionally fake an injury to stop the clock?

Wondering if this is against the rules or if it’s a loophole for teams to stop the clock and use it like a timeout.
5
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1answer
820 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) ...
17
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4answers
779 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 ...
19
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1answer
460 views

Does icing a fieldgoal kicker actually work?

It's a common strategy in most levels of football to call a time out shortly before the ball is snapped prior to a field goal. This is called icing the kicker (as it makes the kicker wait through the ...
0
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1answer
38 views

What are the fewest passing yards by quarterbacks in an NFL playoffs win?

At the end of the Tennessee Titans victory against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2019-2020 playoffs, the commentators announced that Ryan Tannehil became the first Quarterback to ...
5
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3answers
8k 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 ...
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0answers
36 views

What changed so that the measuring chains are so rarely used?

I'm only a casual fan and I don't follow every change in the rules each year. But decades ago I seem to remember that in any given game, NFL or college, the measuring chains would be brought out onto ...
0
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1answer
29 views

How does a fumble at kickoff or a punt - recovered by kicking team - affect win conditions in overtime?

In the NFL, Overtime conditions state that if the team to possess the ball first score a Touchdown on their first possession, then they win the game. If they score a Field Goal, or fail to score, then ...
6
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3answers
5k views

Is there a minimum number of players needed on the field in the NFL?

In the NFC Divisional playoff game on 2018-01-14 between Minnesota and New Orleans, Minnesota's Stephon Diggs scored a touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter to take the lead and thus win the ...
0
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2answers
61 views

NFL players with multiple punt return touchdowns in a game

Nyheim hines of the Indianapolis Colts returned 2 punts for touchdowns in the week 16 game of the 2019-20 season against the Carolina Panthers. How many players have returned multiple punts for ...
2
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2answers
55 views

Largest comeback against Bill Belichick Patriots

What is the largest deficit overcome against the New England Patriots in the Bill Belichick era? I have searched all over the Internet and cannot find a clear answer.
2
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1answer
56 views

Does the coin have to flip in NFL rules?

In a 2016 NFL playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals, the game went to overtime. On the overtime coin flip, the referee threw the coin in the air and it didn't flip. The ...
1
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2answers
77 views

Intentional grounding when receiver has stepped out of bounds

I was reading the Intentional Grounding (American Football) criteria listed on Wikipedia. According to the given criteria I think the following would be intentional grounding although I've never seen ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Can You Down The Ball During an Extra Point?

Let's say hypothetically, a team scored a touchdown but putting them ahead only 1 point late in the 4th quarter and kicking an extra point would only add an additional point. To take time away from ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Why was Iowa's long snapper an eligible receiver after snapping the ball on Iowa Nov. 4, 2017 swinging gate play?

On Nov. 4, 2017 Iowa ran a trick play in their upset of Ohio State in which their long snapper hiked the ball to the punter before running down the field and catching a pass. The long snapper was ...
6
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3answers
8k views

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

In the NFL, is it legal to fake an extra point kick and instead run a two point conversion? E.g. they snap to the holder who runs it into the end zone instead of spotting it for the kick. I would've ...
6
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1answer
411 views

American football delay of game

Scenario: Your team is up by 5. There are 5 minutes remaining in the game. It is 4th down and goal-to-go from the opponent’s 40 yard line (you’ve had a lot of penalties). Your punter can guarantee ...
9
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1answer
4k 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 ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Rule for stopping / starting the clock when running out of bounds with the football in NFL & NCAA

What are the rules and are they the same in NCAA and NFL when it comes to stopping and starting the game clock when a player runs out of bounds with the football. What I have found out is that ...
5
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3answers
9k views

Can a team sign an NFL player during the playoffs?

I was watching the Seahawks playoff game on 5 January 2019 and the kicker got injured. For instance, if the Seahawks won that game, could they sign a new player to replace the injured kicker or is the ...
14
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1answer
7k 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 ...
5
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3answers
6k views

Why not go for a field goal attempt instead of a punt in some situations?

I have noticed that in American football the ball seems to travel farther when launched from a tee on the ground, or from the fingers of a holder on the ground, than when launched from a punt. What ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Why does the game stop after the kicking team catches a punt?

I am a occasional football watcher from Europe, so please excuse my stupid question. My question is the following: The standard outcome of a punt is a catch by the defending team and some running ...
6
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1answer
1k views

NFL blocked punt rules

During the Giants vs Lions game on December 18th 2016 there was a punt partially blocked by the Lions. The ball was deflected after the punter kicked it by a Lions player. This resulted in the ball ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Football field: Defensive goal line “plane” is actually the back of the painted line?

In the NFL and presumably in most football leagues, the goal lines, yard lines, and hash marks are all four inches wide. The hash marks/yard lines are painted at 36-inch intervals; that is, they ...
0
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1answer
38 views

When was the last time a kicker was released after making two 60+ yard field goals during the season?

In 2019, Brett Maher made a 62 and 63 yard field goals during the season. However, he was released on 9 Dec 2019. When was the last time a kicker was released after making two (or more) 60+ yard ...
3
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1answer
316 views

Super Bowl MVP winners from the losing team

How many times a player from the losing team was named the super bowl MVP? Please list all these MVP winners, year it occurred, as well as the team and position they played.
3
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1answer
84 views

Field goal then safety in overtime?

I know this scenario is extremely unlikely and will probably never occur, bit I am still curious. Say, overtime starts and Team A receives the ball first. They end up kicking a field goal and the ball ...
13
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1answer
18k 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 ...
6
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2answers
761 views

What are the pass interference rules on a quarterback throwing a pass to self?

This may be a bit unanswerable but seeing if the community can come up with any historical conversations or rules. We have a quarterback boot we put into the playbook. The wide receivers are trips ...
14
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2answers
6k views

Are you allowed to fake a field goal or punt?

Whenever an offense reaches the 4th down in American Football, i.e. they didn't achieve to get a new 1st down in their past 3 attempts, they're faced with basically 2 fundamentally different options. ...
12
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1answer
533 views

Who pays for the travel for Heisman trophy nominees?

When a player is nominated to receive the Heisman Trophy, he and sometimes his family appears at the trophy presentation. Who pays for this travel?
11
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3answers
14k 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 ...
1
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2answers
134 views

Where is the ball spotted on a quarterback slide

When a quarterback slides feet first, is the ball spotted at the feet or where the ball is held in the hands, which could be 2 or 3 feet behind the feet?
5
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3answers
9k 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 (4-...
0
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0answers
163 views

Most number of successful onside kicks in an NFL game

During the week 13 thanksgiving game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, the Falcons recovered 2 successful onside kicks late in the 4th quarter. With the new rules that came into ...
2
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1answer
131 views

How many seasons did Steve Young play?

Steve Young, in an interview, stated that he played 18 seasons of football. However, if you look at the Wikipedia page on him, it lists 17 seasons (15 in the NFL, 2 in the USFL), not 18. How can ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Why do teams leave ~4 seconds for a field goal attempt

In the NFL, it is common for teams to leave about 4 seconds on the game clock before taking a timeout, or spiking the ball, when going for an end-of-half field goal attempt. Why do they do this? I ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Why NFL kickers wear different shoes on each foot?

I was watching some American Football, and I noticed that the kicker Blair Walsh wore a white shoe on his right (kicking) foot, and a black shoe on his left. Is there a reason for this? Does it ...
1
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1answer
11k views

Drafted NFL Player Never Signs, What Happens?

So in a case like that of Joey Bosa, what happens if a player gets drafted into the NFL, but never signs with the team that drafts him? How long does the team retain the rights to him?
7
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2answers
7k views

When does 12-men on the defense stop play?

I'm a bit confused about the rule for 12 men on the field in American Football when it's called on the defense. It seems like sometimes this penalty stops play and the offense does not get a chance to ...
3
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1answer
273 views

Has anyone been “guaranteed” a Super Bowl ring because they played for both teams during the season?

I was reading this answer to the question "Who gets Super Bowl rings?" which says Also, in some cases, players traded during the season will get them too, if they suited up and played during they ...
5
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2answers
349 views

Is a running back allowed to toss the football out of bounds to stop the clock?

This question applies to all levels of American football from pee wee football all the way up to the NFL. If a running back is past the line of scrimmage and is running towards the sideline with the ...
1
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1answer
644 views

Why is the plane of the goal line not applied on punts?

Why is the plane of the goal line not applied on punts? Ball can break the plane on a punt and player can knock it back into the field of play and it is considered not to be a touch back. This seems ...

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