Question about football rule

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    In the Bears-Eagles game there were several questionable judgment calls by the refs, but one ruling really puzzled me.

    In the second quarter, the Eagles were driving in Bears territory and had a 2nd-and-5 from the Bears 27. Donovan McNabb scrambled for 8 yards, giving the Eagles an apparent first down at the 19. There was a flag during the play, illegal contact against the Bears. I figured the Eagles would decline the penalty, but the officials tacked on 5 yards to the end of the run, putting the ball at the 14.

    The Bears didn't protest the spotting of the ball, so either it was the right call or they didn't notice the mistake. Was it a mistake by the refs to add 5 yards to the end of the run?
     
  2. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    That does sound strange, have you checked NFL.com? They might have the Official Rules posted so you can look it up.
     
  3. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I believe that since it was during the actual gaining of yardage, the penalty was added on from the spot of the infranction. I believe that an illegal contact play is the same sort of penalty as a facemask or a helmet-to-helmet hit on a player carrying the ball, except the penalty was only for 5 yards instead of 10 or 15. In this play, was McNabb sliding and one of the Bears made contact well after the slide was initiated? I have seen these types of penalties go for 5-10 yards after the end of the run.
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  5. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Not all penalties like late hit and facemask are 15 yard penalties. Like take facemask, for example. If a defender's hand touches and grips the facemask in any way while making a tackle, it is an automatic 5 (or 10, I am not sure) yard penalty. But if the defender grabs onto the facemask and uses this force to make the tackle, then this is a 15 yard penalty.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    An illegal contact penalty should not have been tacked on to the end of the play. Illegal contact occurs when a defensive player contacts a receiver more than 5 yards downfield, and is a 5 yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down (same as defensive holding).

    I did not see the Bears - Eagles game, but it sounds more like an incidental face mask penalty, which would be five yards tacked on to the end of the play.
     
  7. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Scott, the penalties I am talking about are when the defender is tackling the player who has possesion of the ball, not illegal contact penalties. All illegal contact penalties are called from the line of scrimmage, while all penalties involving the ball carrier, past the line of scrimmage, are tacked on from the spot of the foul.
    But if the ruling on the field was an illegal contact against a player without the ball, then the penalty should have been assessed from the line of scrimmage, but from Brian Perry, he said that the penalty was assessed on the person who ended up tackling McNabb, so it was most likely not an illegal contact penalty.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Chung,

    We are saying the same thing. There is no such penalty as "illegal contact" as part of tackling a player. There are incidental face mask penalties (5 yards), as well as personal fouls for face masks, blows to the head, hitting out of bounds, etc (15 yards).
     
  9. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Got you.
     
  10. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    The play I was confused about was the penalty called during MNF (Miami at Green Bay). Lucas had dropped back and the ball popped loose while he was trying to pass. Green Bay recovered but it was ruled an incomplete pass. Green Bay challenged and won (Lucas didn't have the ball in his hand when he made the passing motion)... however, they did not get possession. Rather, it was Miami's ball at the spot of the fumble. I was under the impression that Green Bay couldn't even challenge the call in the first place?
     
  11. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    During the play, the refs waved that there was an incomplete pass, which is the same as blowing the whistle: the play is dead and all players should stop. Green Bay picked up the ball after the refs did this. The Miami players had already stopped pursuing the ball because they were obeying the refs. Green Bay challenged the incomplete pass call. The refs reviewed it and determined that it was a fumble and marked the ball at the spot of the fumble. They could not turn possession of the ball over to the Packers because the play was declared dead as soon as the ball hit the ground. Apparently since the initial ruling was an incompletion, it was valid for Green Bay to be able to challenge the ruling. But somehow they and their fans were under the impression that it would result in their possessing the ball. I don't know how they could possibly think that, it'd be like the ref blowing the whistle but then secretly allowing the other team to keep playing.
     
  12. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Green Bay can challenge that it was a fumble, but they have no hope of it being their ball because it was a deadball when the ref blew the whistle. I think that in these cases, you can challenge the fumble, but you cannot challenge the possesion.
    I am not sure, but I think that since Green Bay was only challenging the fumble, not the possession, they could challenge the call.
    This was a confusing challenge, as all it did was give the Packers about 4 or 5 more yards on 4th down, but I guess they really wanted the call.
     
  13. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    OK, that makes sense (I wasn't sure how GB could even challenge a non-call). I think they challenged because they were still upset by the previous play (another bad call that they could not challenge).
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Actually, I do not think that Sherman realized that he would not get the ball when he requested the challenge on that fumble call. After all, why would he waste one of his two challenges for the game and a possible timeout when Miami had to punt anyway? It was not worth it to gain about five yards of field position.
     
  15. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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