30

To answer your question(s), the rule is to discourage intentional fumbling. It was added following the 1978 season in which the famous "Holy Roller" play occurred: The rule was put in the rule book after the Raiders beat the Chargers on an intentional forward fumble in 1978. Once the season was over, the rule as you have quoted was put into effect. ...


28

You can also get 2 points for a safety, when the offensive team commits an infraction or is tackled in their own end zone. In addition to scoring 2 points, the defending team also receives the ball via a free kick. They are rare, but there have already been a few this season. So these are the possible ways to score: Touchdown - 6 points Field Goal - 3 ...


19

In the NFL, if the score is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, the game goes into overtime (OT). The current overtime rules follow a modified sudden death format. In this format, the first team to score wins the game, unless a field goal is scored on the first possession of overtime. In that event, the team that did not score is allowed one ...


16

Yes, the NFC West had all teams finish with a losing record in 2010. Wikipedia mentions this: In 2010, the NFC West became the first division in NFL history to have a champion with a losing record, after the 2010 Seattle Seahawks won the division title with a record of 7-9. I also found this heavy.com article that says the following regarding the current ...


16

There are a few differences between American Football and other sports that lead to this: particularly, the length of playing careers (shortest by far), and the cost of running a team (largest by far). NFL teams are very large, with 53 players active of whom 46 play on any given Sunday, and every single one is typically utilized except perhaps a backup QB ...


15

Wikipedia has a list of NFL win-loss records for each of the current 32 NFL teams. The tables on the page include all games that each team has played in, including regular season and playoffs. Sorted by win percentage, combining the regular season and post-season tables, through Super Bowl LV (2020-21), the best team is the Green Bay Packers, with a win ...


15

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium for Super Bowl LV during the 2020-21 season. Before that, teams entering the playoffs in a year that its stadium was hosting the Super Bowl were: Super Bowl V (1970-71) in Miami: Dolphins lost first round. (2 games away) Super Bowl XIII (1978-79) in Miami: ...


15

Joe Gibbs, the former Washington Redskins coach (1981–1992, 2004-2007), is widely credited with making the phrase popular in a Washington Post article in 1982. Supposedly, he tried to use it to motivate his 1981 team that was off to a terrible 0-4 start and had the worst offensive efficiency in the league when inside their opponents' 20 yard line. The ...


14

In 1972 the NFL moved the hash marks closer together, "looking for a way to produce more action and more touchdowns, now that defenses have become so effective". The article goes on to add, Putting the ball in play farther from each sideline supposedly gives the offense more room to exercise its options. But it also becomes more seductive to try a field ...


14

A punt has no special bearing and follows the rules of football. Meaning you must have 7 men on the line of scrimmage, the end players are eligible, the backs are eligible, you are allowed a forward pass and so on. You can punt on 1st down if you want. For punting anyone can do it behind the line of scrimmage. There are several rules around what ...


14

There is no rule about the required exact distance from the line of scrimmage. It can be taken from the line itself or behind. They kick from 7 yards behind the line primarily because they're used to it. The only rule covering this is Rule 11.4.1 Successful Field Goal (link): a) The kick must be a placekick or dropkick made by the offense from on or ...


14

NFL incentive bonuses are split into two categories, likely to be earned (LTBE) and other. Likely to be earned is based on previous years and count immediately towards the cap, so if you have a 100K 10 sack bonus, if you had 10 sacks last year, the team is charged 100K on their cap for the bonus. If you don't achieve a LTBE bonus, the team gets a credit for ...


13

If you look at Wikipedia under the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_Broadcasting_Act_of_1961) which references Title 15, Chapter 32 of the United States Code (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/chapter-32) which defines "Telecasting of Professional Sports Contests" in dealing broadcating TV. Then to quote wikipedia ...


13

It is not. This is because of the regular reason scheduling: Each team plays 16 games. 6 games are in their own division (3 teams, each twice). 4 games are against a division in the other conference. 4 games are against a division in their own conference. 2 remaining games are against the other 2 divisions in their conference based on final standings from ...


13

This is an example of play calling in the West Coast Offense. The play call itself could be called something else in another offensive scheme. Here is a breakdown of the playcall and terms: Spider refers to the protection or blocking scheme depending on if it is a run or pass. In this case, spider means a slide in the pass protection. 2 refers to the ...


12

For each game, the home team decides whether they want to wear colors or white, and the visiting team wears the opposite. The majority of teams wear colors at home, which means that the visiting teams wear white. However, Dallas traditionally wears white at home, which means that usually teams that go to Dallas to play wear their color uniforms. As a ...


12

It's hard enough to score in American football when you have half an hour to score in. Trying to score when you have 0:30 left in the game? Nearly impossible, if you're on your side of the field. The fundamental problem here is that the defense knows what's going on. They know you have 0:30 left, and need to get to the 30 yard line or so in order to kick ...


12

An article in the Christian Science Monitor indicates that it was Lamar Hunt's idea initially: "It was [Hunt’s] brainchild," said Moore of the numbering system in an interview with Yahoo. "I think people felt from the start that it had something to it, even if they couldn’t quite put their finger on exactly what it was. Before long it was just part of it. ...


11

It depends exactly how you measure "worst", so I have two submissions for you. The Muncie Flyers were one of the NFL's inaugural teams in 1920. After losing their first game 45-0 their other opponents cancelled to play against better teams. They ended their first season 0-1. Their second season didn't go much better as they went 0-2, losing 14-0 both times. ...


11

In the "old days (up to about 50 years ago), teams had two "ends" at either end of the line (i.e., 'tight' to the line and therefore 'tight end(s)') to receive passes. Other pass receivers included two "halfbacks" and one "fullback" situated behind the quarterback. Then teams decided that they only needed one halfback behind the quarterback, and moved the ...


11

From the NFL rulebook (Rule 8, Section 1, Article 1), the definition of a forward pass is when (a) the ball initially moves forward (to a point nearer the opponent’s goal line) after leaving the passer’s hand(s); or (b) the ball first strikes the ground, a player, an official, or anything else at a point that is nearer the opponent’s goal line than ...


11

So there are really 2 things happening regarding to your question: what you're asking, and what those players are actually doing, which is very different than what you asked. I'll explain both situations. But a summary would be that those plays linked are not about a team avoiding a touchdown. In general as a team you want to score as many points as possible,...


10

Let me quote from the rule you have cited. Rule 10, Section 2, Article 1 of the NFL Rules: A Fair Catch is an unhindered catch of an airborne scrimmage kick that has crossed the line of scrimmage, or of an airborne free kick, by a player of the receiving team who has given a valid fair catch signal. The key word is "airborne". Once the kick has bounced, ...


10

Technically yes. One of those 3-3 teams will win the division by tie-breaker and, strangely enough, get a home game as the #4 seed against the top wild card team.


10

This is a more complex question than I initially thought, and most of that stems from some weird wording in the NFL rules. The provision that allows the QB to throw the ball away once he's outside the tackle position refers specifically to that - "the tackle position." (Rule 8, Section 2, Article 1, Item 1.) However, the tackle position is never fully ...


10

Start time is the estimated kickoff time. Back in the day some tickets would actually say EST Kickoff Time 2:00 PM. However most tickets don't include times anymore since game times are so often changed for TV networks. +1 for anyone that can find an old ticket with Kickoff Time printed because they definitely existed. As for NFL and major colleges you ...


10

First, the object is a "football". See Definition 9: The ball used in any game called "football". Second, your premise is mistaken. Commentators do call it the "ball". From http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/league-of-denial/transcript-50/ He fumbled the ball! And let’s see— Minnesota has it! Jeff Seamon on it. Joe Starkey's call of "The ...


10

In high school football my coach told me to do it as a safety measure. Players on defense are trained to go after the ball and to be careful about touching the QB when he isn't in possession of the ball. Spiking the ball reinforces the notion that the play is dead. As a player you're very tuned into the sound of the ref's whistle. Most players stop ...


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