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  1. #1

    Possibly Idiotic NFL rules question...

    I've looked all through out the nfl rules online, and cant find an answer.
    Here goes:
    If a QB crosses the line of scrimmage, then throws forward, it is considered an illegal forward pass? subject to a 5 yard penalty. right?

    or is this a live ball at this point? whether or not the pass is completed.

  2. #2

    Re: Possibly Idiotic NFL rules question...

    It's not considered a live ball -- it's an illegal foward pass, as you said, so the whistle blows and the offense is penalized. I think it's a five yard penalty and a loss of down, but I haven't actually seen that in such a long time I could be wrong.

  3. #3

    Re: Possibly Idiotic NFL rules question...

    I could look this part up but I'm going to guess: Highwater is 100% correct *and* it's a dead ball foul, like a false start, so it doesn't matter what happens to the ball (pick, fumble), it's a 5 yard penalty on the offense.


    edit: from the rulebook -
    The passer must be behind his line of scrimmage (Loss of down and five yards, enforced from the spot of pass).

    So it's a "spot" foul. Doesn't appear to say anything about whether it's a dead ball foul, I may have been wrong on that point. Anyone else?
    Last edited by festivus; 09-22-2008 at 11:29 PM.

    His definitions and arguments were so clear in his own mind that he was unable to understand how any reasonable person could honestly differ with him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Norwich, England

    Re: Possibly Idiotic NFL rules question...

    Brett Favre was guilty of one of these in the Jets vs Patriots game last week, he passed 2 yards beyond the LOS Chansi Stuckey for a 12 yard gain. It's marked down as a 2 yard rush and a 10 yard pass. The 5 yard penalty and loss of down is spotted from the spot of the throw. Here's how that officiating crew called it and it was marked down in the NFL gamebook for that game:

    1-20-NYJ 13 (13:10) B.Favre scrambles right end to NYJ 15 for 2 yards. B.Favre pass short right to C.Stuckey to NYJ
    25 for 10 yards (D.O'Neal).
    PENALTY on NYJ-B.Favre, Illegal Forward Pass, 5 yards, enforced at NYJ 15.

    2-23-NYJ 10 (12:40) T.Jones right guard to NYJ 11 for 1 yard (R.Harrison).

  5. #5

    Re: Possibly Idiotic NFL rules question...

    Thanks guys. I actually found some reference on wiki just now that clarifies why I asked the question. I was wondering if, in desperate, last play of the game and down by 7 or less, there was a way to intentionally "fumble" a trick play. I found this:

    The Holy Roller: The Oakland Raiders won a September 10, 1978, contest against divisional rivals the San Diego Chargers through another intentional fumble. With ten seconds left, down 20-14, quarterback Ken Stabler fumbled the ball forward to avoid being sacked at the Chargers' 15-yard line. Two other players, Pete Banaszak and Dave Casper, attempted to recover it but batted it forward when they could not. Finally it reached the end zone, where Casper fell on it for the tying touchdown, which cleared the way for the extra point that gave the Raiders the win. Officials decided to allow the touchdown on the grounds that the fumbles did not appear to be intentional and thus could not be considered forward passes, but Stabler freely admitted his was. Chargers fans have referred to the play as the Immaculate Deception ever since, and the NFL quickly instituted the current rule that a forward fumble in the last two minutes of play (or on fourth down) can only be recovered and/or advanced by the player who originally fumbled.

    So it seems like the NFL has made rules to change what otherwise would have to be considered a fumble. thanks again, hope that made sense.


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