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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. ...


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: ...


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

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-...


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

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.


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

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. ...


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

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 can be answered definitively, without much speculation, by reading articles from the NFL. The initial replay system, in place from 1986 to 1991, was scrapped for two reasons: After a six-season run, instant replay met its demise in 1991 when 17 owners voted against renewing the system. The belief: The system delayed games too much and failed to get ...


10

The most recent appears to be the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, who won their division with a 10-6 record, but only going 2-4 in-division.


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 ...


10

Basically the squib kick is used at the end of the half or end of the game to run out the clock, and keep the ball away from a top of the line return guy. You basically pooch it down the field so someone bigger has to pick it up and run with it, instead of putting it in the hands of the other teams return specialist. According to Wikipedia: The Squib ...


10

In the early 2000s, the NFL felt that touchdown celebrations had gotten out of control, delaying the game and promoting unsportsmanlike behavior. Some of the top "offenders" included Steve Smith (who "diapered and wiped" the football), Randy Moss (who mooned Packers fans at Lambeau) and Chad Johnson (who put on a hall of fame jacket and proposed to a ...


9

First you have two questions here. The first regarding circumstantial analysis about when to punt and so forth. ESPN has done many simulations on when the computers say you should punt, kick, or go for it. To summarize if I remember correctly it was basically go for it until it is over 4th and 10 past your 30. Inside your 30, punt on 4th and 5 or longer. ...


9

Generally penalties can be declined. Though you mostly don't want to decline them. Refusal of Penalties. Unless expressly prohibited, the penalty for any foul may be declined by the offended team, and play proceeds as though no foul had been committed. The yardage distance for any penalty may be declined, even though the penalty is accepted. (NFL rulebook ...


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