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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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7
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1answer
7k views

How can an NFL team with a worse win-loss record than a division rival clinch a playoff berth before their rival?

As of week 16 of the 2015 NFL season, the top two AFC West teams are the Broncos and the Chiefs. Specifically: Notice the x next to the Chiefs indicates they have clinched the playoffs. So they ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Why do NFL QBs spike the ball after penalty causes refs to call play dead?

QB snaps the ball Refs call penalty - off-sides, false start, or other line-related penalty Before or as refs blow whistle, QB drops back 2-4 steps After penalty called, QB spikes ball into the ground ...
3
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1answer
4k views

Are linemen required to use a 3-point-stance in American football?

In American football, are linemen required to use a 3-point-stance? If they wanted to, could they stand (without moving) next to the line of scrimmage before the snap? Are there different ...
5
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1answer
696 views

If a runner gets pushed back into their end zone and does not try to advance again, is it a safety?

If a runner gets forward progress out of their end zone but gets pushed back into their end zone and tackled, is he awarded with forward progress or is it a safety? Example: Team A is on their own 2 ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Can a football team assign a HB or FB as passer and QB as Running Back?

Is it legal within the NFL and NCAA rules that the main passer is assigned a halfback or fullback number on the team while the running back is assigned to the quarterback one? For example, could Tom ...
12
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1answer
531 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?
4
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1answer
5k views

Captain stars on NFL football jerseys

In American NFL football, team captains now wear a "C" on their jerseys. Under the "C", there are stars. Some players have white stars, while others have gold ones. Others have a mix. What is the ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Why is a PAT required after a game-winning TD at the end of regulation, but not OT?

The NFL overtime rules state that a touchdown by either team wins the game (field goals and esoteric scoring methods are irrelevant to this question). During Sunday Night Football on November 29, ...
3
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1answer
875 views

Can an ineligible receiver catch a ball thrown by a quarterback whose hand was hit while throwing?

During the Patriots-Broncos game on November 29, 2015, Brock Osweiler had his hand hit as he was passing the ball, causing it to pop up and end up in the direction of the linemen. Could an offensive ...
6
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3answers
2k views

American Football: Why take knee before halftime?

I'm interested in the following situation: a team in American football possesses the ball with less than a minute left in the first half of a game and is facing a long field to score. Oftentimes, ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Does the outcome of conference championship games affect College Football Playoff standings?

With the "regular" season of NCAA football over, are the College Football Playoff standings locked, or are the outcomes of the various conference championship games considered when determining the ...
6
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1answer
393 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Fair catch after football hits 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 ...
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 ...
8
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2answers
973 views

Is there a penalty for kicking a PAT from the 2 yard line in the NFL?

This year the NFL changed the way extra points work so that 2-point-conversion attempts are snapped from the 2 yard line as they always were, but extra points are now snapped from the 15. If a team ...
3
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3answers
8k views

Can football players play multiple positions?

Can American football players play multiple positions? I know that in the one-platoon system, the players played both offence and defence. But in modern football can they play other positions than ...
5
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1answer
4k views

NFL overtime: after a field goal, clock runs out on second team's possession

Under the NFL's current "modified sudden death" overtime rules, if the first team scores a field goal, the second team is entitled to one more possession. What happens if the clock runs out during ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Why is an illegal shift treated as a false start at the end of a half in American football?

On 2 November 2015 near the end of the Seahawks-Cowboys game, the Cowboys were down by 1 but had possession of the ball. They had no timeouts and next to no time left on the clock. Hurrying to get a ...
3
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0answers
31 views

Highest combined passer rating [closed]

Following last night's game between the Giants and Saints, where Drew Brees had a passer rating of 140.5 and Eli Manning had 138.2, does anyone know if there has been an NFL game where the combined ...
4
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1answer
432 views

Can an eligible receiver play at an ineligible position?

I was reading through an older question here and I was wondering if a player whose number lies in the eligible receiver range can line up as an interior offensive lineman? Also, if they can line up ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Why are some offensive formations illegal in American football?

In American football you have to have at least 7 players on the line of scrimmage. You can have more, but some of your players are then "covered" by others and are no longer eligible. What's the point ...
3
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2answers
4k views

Can an offensive lineman catch a lateral in high school football?

In high school football, can an offensive lineman legally catch a lateral pass? Does it make any difference if a receiver is covering him from the snap?
1
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1answer
9k views

What are the possible outcomes after a blocked extra point in college football?

I was watching a Div. I NCAA football game today. A PAT was blocked and one of the defenders picked the ball up. The announcer said that it was a live ball. What are the possible outcomes in this ...
-1
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2answers
265 views

Running Head Start Offsides American Football

Is it offsides in American football to have one person start 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage and start running, having the ball snapped just before he crosses the line to give him a running head ...
2
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1answer
3k views

can a football receiver tip the ball to another receiver?

In NCAA football, can a receiver tap the ball to another receiver, similar to a volleyball pass. I thought once an offensive receiver touched the ball it was an incomplete pass if a defensive player ...
3
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1answer
268 views

Why doesn't a neutral zone infraction stop play?

Why is it that a false start by the offense stops play but neutral zone infraction by defense does not? I understand why holding penalties don't stop play because the play is ongoing and they don't ...
2
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1answer
702 views

Why do american commentators call the ball “the football”?

Listening to commentators on NFL games, it seems that all of them systematically call the ball "the football", and not just "the ball". Why is that the case? In Rugby or Soccer (at least in my ...
6
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1answer
76 views

Injured reserve or waiver wire then injured reserve

why would a team place a player on waivers and then IR as opposed to placing him directly on IR
6
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1answer
345 views

What is this piece of training equipment called?

What is this fake player cutout thing called? It appears to be mesh. It looks like it's used simply as a visual point-of-reference for certain drills. You can see it being used in this video.
7
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1answer
2k views

How many of the NFL tiebreakers have actually been used?

The NFL has a long list of tie-breaking procedures. There are seven separate lists of rules depending on possible tie situations. However, it seems incredibly unlikely that two teams would have: Tied ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How to read an NFL “state of game” format

This is the current "state" of an NFL game. What does it mean? 3rd and 24 on SF 20 yd where SF is San Francisco
2
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1answer
117 views

When did incentives and salary escalators start in the NFL?

Today, you commonly hear about players in the NFL breaking some threshold to unlock incentive bonuses. I want to know when these incentives started to appear in players' contracts and how the ...
3
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1answer
883 views

NCAA Football 1 Point [duplicate]

I heard that is possible to get 1 point in an NCAA football game. Can someone explain how that is possible? I believe it is called the "One Point Safety".
2
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1answer
2k views

When football players played offense and defense, what were the substitution rules?

My Dad played high school and college football in the 1930s. He and the other starters played both offense and defense. What prevented a team from putting out 11 fresh players at once when the ball ...
3
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1answer
573 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.
3
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2answers
717 views

How can you toughen up your foot for barefoot kicking?

I'm a mom of a 13-year-old boy. He loves football. (Me, not so much. No dad.) So after football season was over, he and his buddies were at school playing football, and my son was kicking the ball. ...
-2
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1answer
261 views

Will a lateral followed by a forward pass be ruled illegal in future? [closed]

In the 2015 AFC divisional round game between the Patriots and the Raven, Tom Brady threw a lateral pass to receiver Julian Edelman; Edelman then threw a 51 yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Will ...
1
vote
1answer
725 views

Which came first: Boston Bruins, or UCLA Bruins?

The name, "Bruin". And is it reasonable to assume the first had some influence on the naming of the second? (Or is there a Bruin sports team that predates both?)
2
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4answers
5k views

Have any players ever won an NCAA football championship with two different teams?

Are there any players who have won an NCAA football championship while playing for two different teams?
1
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1answer
355 views

can the offensive center in football shift to another position if they do not touch the football?

When using a swinging gate play - can the offensive center (long snapper first being an eligible receiver) shift to another position if they do not touch the ball (only aligning over the ball prior ...
3
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
236 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 ...
3
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2answers
547 views

Do NFL or college football coaches make up plays during the game?

Some sports are sufficiently dynamic and with few enough players that coaches make up plays during the game. But American football seems sufficiently complicated I would imagine it's hard to do that ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What does defensive playcalling sound like for American football?

Whenever I hear audibles discussed, it's usually in the context of offense. But obviously defensive players must modify there formations with play calling schemes too. Can someone given an example ...
4
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1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
389 views

How do college and NFL teams evaluate quarterbacks when scouting?

Both the Browns and the Bears have been through several quarterback "experiments" in recent years. For example, in the Bears case it was Jay Cutler and in the Browns case Johnny Manziel. To my ...
8
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4answers
25k views

How do football players remember so many plays?

A given NFL or college football team has a large variety of plays. How do players remember them all? I don't think I could remember all those plays if I spent years studying those playbooks.
6
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2answers
380 views

Why is an I-formation back not a receiving threat?

I am reading Pat Kirwan's book, Take Your Eye Off the Ball, and he states in Chapter 4 (Ground Rules) that "a [running] back in the I formation is not considered a receiving threat." Why is this so? ...
5
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3answers
640 views

Would it be possible for a kicker from a “non-traditional” background to be drafted by an NFL team?

Almost all football players are drafted out of college, rather than high school, because the extra "seasoning" in college makes them league ready, or nearly so (this is not true in baseball). But ...
-3
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1answer
163 views

Who is this football player? [closed]

My brother pointed out that this football player strongly resembles me, but he doesn't know who it is. Who is my doppelganger? It looks like the player in the rear (third person back, on the right) ...