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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. ...


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

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 ...


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

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

Yes, it is legal. There was actually a fake 2 point conversion earlier this season in November during the Vikings/Bears game. You can see the highlights about 50 seconds into this video - http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000101022/GameDay-Vikings-vs-Bears-highlights


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, ...


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. ...


12

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 ...


11

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 playoffs in ...


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'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

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 ...


10

The rule regarding safeties in overtime is actually explicitly laid out in the overtime rules (Rule 16, Section 1, Article 3): (a) Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball once during the extra period, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession, in which case it is the winner, or if the ...


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 in his hands ...


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

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, ...


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