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28

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. ...


24

This is actually a special rule case. Section 2 Intentional Grounding Item 3: Stopping Clock A player under center is permitted to stop the game clock legally to save time if, immediately upon receiving the snap, he begins a continuous throwing motion and throws the ball directly into the ground. So you may spike the ball to stop the clock if you ...


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

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

From the NFL rulebook, Rule 5, Section 1, Article 1: The game is played by two teams of 11 players each. If a snap, free kick, or fair-catch kick is made while a team has fewer than 11 players on the field of play or the end zone, the ball is in play, and there is no penalty. So from a technical standpoint, the Packers did not have to field any players, ...


15

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 ...


14

From the rulebook: Section 5 Position of Players at the Snap Article 1: Offensive Team. The offensive team must be in compliance with the following at the snap: (a) It must have seven or more players on its line (3-18); and (b) All players who are not on the line, other than the receiver of the snap under center, must be at least one yard ...


14

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 LI (2017), the best team is the Dallas Cowboys, with a win ...


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 ...


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

Ties are counted as half wins. So 10.5/15 = .7 Credit to Peter King's MMQB this week for pointing out the half win for a tie rule.


13

Baseball There is a long history of college teams playing against MLB teams in spring exhibition games. This WSJ article has a good description of it: Such was the unusual spectacle of the Phillies’ 6-2 loss to the University of Tampa, a Division II school. It was a sight only possible in Major League Baseball, the lone major U.S. sport with a long-...


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

Typically, a fair catch is called when no yards will be gained if a return was attempted, e.g., when a player of the kicking team is going to crush the returner the moment the ball touches him. It allows the receiving team to safely retain possession while saving the defenseless returner from taking a crushing hit from a player moving at full steam. So yes, ...


11

Every member of the active roster The coaching staff The entire front office and ownership The cheerleaders get rings depending on ownership's decision. But it has been the tradition lately for cheerleaders to get rings. Injured Reserve and practice squad get rings if their team decides to give them out to them. Usually they do. Also, in some cases, players ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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

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

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 ...


10

Well, quite a question. As of the latest (August 2011) NFL CBA - Incentives have a lot of rules around them. I'm not a lawyer or arbitrator but from what I can tell, Brooks' contract sounds legal (and fairly typical) for a player of his status in the NFL. As far as what is spelled out around individual player incentives in the NFL CBA - Section 6(c).v on ...


10

Typically, in NFL and other sports, assistant coaches are responsible for a particular aspect of the team, while the head coach is responsible for the overall direction of the team. For example in football you might have a quarterback coach, an offensive line coach, a running back coach, a kicking coach, a special teams coach, an athletic fitness coach, ...


10

The official statement was just released. The article points out a few rule clarifications. First, about gaining possession of the football: Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 of the NFL Rule Book defines a catch: A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds: (a) secures control of the ball ...


10

According to this article from Boston.com, strength of victory is the composite record of the teams that the team in question has defeated: Using strength of schedule (the composite record of all opponents) and strength of victory (the composite record of teams defeated), New England was in the middle of the pack among the 12 teams that made the ...


10

What exactly constitutes a TD when the running takes a dive in to the endzone? Does the ball have to touch the turf in the end zone? The ruling on the field was that Lynch broke the plane of the endzone per Rule 11, Section 2, Article 1a of the NFL rulebook: A touchdown is scored when: the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal ...


10

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. ...


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