Questions tagged [nfl]

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

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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why would NFL teams do a fair catch?

I'm still wondering why would football teams do a fair catch if they could run to gain some yards. And, why would the NFL make that sort of rule? Is it because of some sort of safety reason?
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2 votes
1 answer
258 views

NFL: Can timeout be called before first opening drive snap?

In the AFC Divisional Playoff round game between the Steelers and Broncos on Sunday January 17 2016, I noticed a hesitation longer than usual before the first snap from scrimmage on the opening drive. ...
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

NFL broadcast info---HS or college affiliation? What does that mean?

When a professional football player introduces himself and states his college affiliation, must that player have graduated from that college or does 3 years allow for him to declare that school ...
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4 votes
1 answer
682 views

Why does kicking team get a new set of downs in this occurrence?

According to the official NFL rules about punting, http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/12_Rule9_Scrimmage_Kick.pdf Rule 9 (Scrimmage kick), Section 3, (Catch or recovery of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
8k views

What does "dead money" mean when referred to in the NFL?

I always hear this used especially during the off season when players are being signed to a new contract or cut. I still don't understand the significance and usage so what does "dead money" mean when ...
  • 243
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why are fumbles in the NFL automatically reviewed when the result is a turnover but not when the fumbling team recovers the ball?

It seems to me that the likelihood of refs getting a fumble recovery call right does not depend on which team recovers it. Sure there are simple fumbles where there's no scrambling for the ball and ...
  • 151
8 votes
1 answer
8k 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 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
255 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do NFL teams sign and waive players after one week?

I recently read a few things about American Football, especially of course the NFL. In the news I often read that players get signed and waived again after just one week or a comparable short amount ...
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4 votes
1 answer
10k 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 ...
13 votes
4 answers
8k 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?
7 votes
3 answers
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, ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do teams 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, ...
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11 votes
1 answer
11k 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 ...
  • 534
8 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
  • 534
6 votes
1 answer
5k 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 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
  • 1,520
4 votes
1 answer
494 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 ...
  • 143
7 votes
2 answers
9k views

Has an NFL team ever won their division with a losing record within the division itself?

Has an NFL team ever won its division with a losing record in the division? I'm wondering if the Eagles could win the NFC East this year with four division losses, in the six they play within the ...
3 votes
1 answer
87 views

Gold paint this year used in the NFL

Does anyone know for sure (and could possibly give a source) as to why the NFL this year is using gold paint for the 50-yard markers? I assume this is somehow related to an anniversary, since it is ...
9 votes
3 answers
3k 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?
5 votes
1 answer
6k views

Player out of bounds during fumble?

I was watching football this past week and a play got to me. Sorry I can't remember the exact game (I watched all 32 games the past two weeks) but maybe someone will be able to find it. This ...
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3 votes
2 answers
99 views

Is Australia the main source of foreign NFL players?

Occasionally I hear about Australian players switching to the NFL, but haven't heard about it happening with other countries. Is Australia the main source of people who have been successfull in their ...
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

Why did the Houston Texans select a defensive player in the 2015 draft?

I have been watching Hard Knocks featuring the Houston Texans. I watch the NFL draft every year. It appears to me that the Texans are mainly focusing on defense. I understand that the defense is ...
7 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k 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 votes
1 answer
143 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 votes
1 answer
699 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.
8 votes
1 answer
10k views

Has a college team ever played against a professional team?

This question is inspired by the recent debate[1][2][3][4] about whether the 2014-15 University of Kentucky men's basketball team (who had been undefeated until tonight's loss to Wisconsin) could ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
13k views

What is the record for most turnovers by an NFL team that won the game?

In the 2014 NFC Championship game, the Seattle Seahawks committed 5 turnovers (4 interceptions and one fumble) and still won the game. What is the record for most turnovers by an NFL team in a ...
  • 4,871
3 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
123 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 ...
  • 1,520
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
875 views

NFL Draft Picks compared to the Success of Career

I have a couple of questions about the correlation between when a player is drafted and how well his career pans out. 1) How strong is the correlation between which round a prospective NFL player is ...
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

Transition from NCAA to NFL

As a relative newcomer to the NFL I have some questions regarding NCAA players and their transition to the NFL. 1) Do some colleges have a reputation for consistently producing good players (such as ...
21 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
7 votes
5 answers
5k views

Lateral Passes in the NFL

Why are lateral passes so rare in the NFL? I've seen quite a few situations in which it would seem advantageous. For example in a 2v1, 2v2 setting when the ball carrier is about to be tackled, why ...
5 votes
1 answer
380 views

Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom

I've heard commentators and analysts refer to Seattle Seahawks' defense as the "Legion of Boom". I believe they call the secondary that name, to be exact. What is the story behind this? When and how ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Best first 100 career starts by quarterbacks

Few weeks ago Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers played his 100th career start, and with a win, he improved to 68-32; tying Brett Favre. What are the top records for the first 100 career starts ...
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7 votes
1 answer
22k views

calculate winning percentage with a tie

How does the nfl calculate the Cincinati Bengals winning percentage with a 10-4-1 record as .700? I did the math with 14 and 15 games played and my numbers don't add up to their numbers.
7 votes
2 answers
20k views

What is a "football move" in the NFL?

It happens a lot: a receiver catches the ball, drops it, it is called a fumble on the field. Then there is some expert commentator giving his opinion on whether the receiver made a 'football move' ...
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the closest any team has come to playing a home Super Bowl?

When this question was first posed, no team whose home stadium is hosting the Super Bowl had ever made it to the Super Bowl. My question is, which team has come the closest? (Closest in this case ...
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the longest an NFL team has gone without a WR TD catch?

The Kansas City Chiefs have not had a wide receiver catch a touchdown pass so far this season (through Week 15). According to team stats, only running backs, fullbacks, and tight ends have caught a ...
  • 4,871
28 votes
1 answer
9k 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. ...
5 votes
1 answer
30k 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 ...
  • 4,871
5 votes
3 answers
12k 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-...
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6 votes
2 answers
7k views

NFL teams with back to back shutouts

St. Louis Rams beat the Oakland Raiders in week 13 (of 2014 season) by a score of 52 to 0, and went on to beat Washington Redskins the following week 24 - 0. Are the Rams the first team to win back to ...
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