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  1. #1

    Game Clock Rules

    Forgive my laziness for not looking this up in the rule book, but can someone please explain to me the current game clock rules? Historically, the rules seemed simple. If the ball goes out of bounds during a live play, the play clock stops. If the ball is in bounds, and there are no injuries, etc, then the clock keeps running.

    Now I see a lot of inconsistencies where runners/receivers go out of bounds and the clock is still ticking. Conversely, I've seen plays where the player is down and the clock stops. For example, during this last game against the Pats, with 10 seconds left before the half, the Pats player (can't recall who it was) was stopped inches from the goal-line and the game clock was stopped. Why? Was that a mandatory review within 2 mins? Do refs need time to reset the ball and resume the clock? It's been driving me crazy for a few seasons now.





  2. Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Forgive my laziness for not looking this up in the rule book, but can someone please explain to me the current game clock rules? Historically, the rules seemed simple. If the ball goes out of bounds during a live play, the play clock stops. If the ball is in bounds, and there are no injuries, etc, then the clock keeps running.

    Now I see a lot of inconsistencies where runners/receivers go out of bounds and the clock is still ticking. Conversely, I've seen plays where the player is down and the clock stops. For example, during this last game against the Pats, with 10 seconds left before the half, the Pats player (can't recall who it was) was stopped inches from the goal-line and the game clock was stopped. Why? Was that a mandatory review within 2 mins? Do refs need time to reset the ball and resume the clock? It's been driving me crazy for a few seasons now.
    You want to read this rule:
    Quote Originally Posted by NFL Rule Book
    ARTICLE 2. SCRIMMAGE DOWN
    Following any timeout (3-37-1), the game clock shall be started on a scrimmage down when the ball is next snapped, except in the following situations:

    Whenever a runner goes out of bounds on a play from scrimmage, the game clock is started when an official spots the ball at the inbounds spot, and the Referee gives the signal to start the game clock, except that the clock will start on the snap:
    • after a change of possession;
    • after the two-minute warning of the first half; or
    • inside the last five minutes of the second half.
    TLDR: Clock stops on OoB with less than 2 minutes to go in Q2 or 5 minutes to go in Q4.

    On the play in question in the Patriots game, the clock stopped because the Patriots took a timeout (which they only had because the Ravens stupidly stopped the clock by going OoB twice on their final drive of the half).
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  3. #3
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    Re: Game Clock Rules

    If a player goes out of bounds the clock stops until the ball is reset. So in that scenario you'll see the clock running before the next play is run. However, the clock does not start after the ball is reset if it's under 2 minutes before the half or under 5 minutes in the 4th quarter.





  4. #4

    Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by organizedchaos21 View Post
    On the play in question in the Patriots game, the clock stopped because the Patriots took a timeout (which they only had because the Ravens stupidly stopped the clock by going OoB twice on their final drive of the half).
    I don't think there was a time out on that play. I just looked up the play-by-play and this is what it states. So I guess they stopped the clock for the automatic replay.

    3 & 6 - NE 6
    (0:16 - 2nd) J.White right tackle to BAL 1 for 5 yards (M.Peters). The Replay Official reviewed the short of the goal line ruling and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands.





  5. Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I don't think there was a time out on that play. I just looked up the play-by-play and this is what it states. So I guess they stopped the clock for the automatic replay.

    3 & 6 - NE 6
    (0:16 - 2nd) J.White right tackle to BAL 1 for 5 yards (M.Peters). The Replay Official reviewed the short of the goal line ruling and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands.
    There was. It shows up in the PBP after the challenge, but it was taken prior to the review. See this image, from here:


    As the Lions can tell you, any time there is a booth review during a running clock, the team on offense is provided a chance to take a timeout after the review (otherwise, there is either an automatic 10 second runoff, and the clock restarts on the referee's signal). In this case, I believe the timeout was called prior to initiation of the review, but I'd need to rewatch the play in question to confirm.
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  6. #6

    Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by organizedchaos21 View Post
    You want to read this rule:


    TLDR: Clock stops on OoB with less than 2 minutes to go in Q2 or 5 minutes to go in Q4.

    On the play in question in the Patriots game, the clock stopped because the Patriots took a timeout (which they only had because the Ravens stupidly stopped the clock by going OoB twice on their final drive of the half).
    Yup, been that way for a while now as a way to help speed up the games.
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.





  7. #7

    Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by ERey View Post
    If a player goes out of bounds the clock stops until the ball is reset. So in that scenario you'll see the clock running before the next play is run. However, the clock does not start after the ball is reset if it's under 2 minutes before the half or under 5 minutes in the 4th quarter.
    I am as confused as Gary with the current OoB clock rules .... I was watching the stadium clock on the late halves OoB plays, and I did not see it stop for resetting. Too bad I erased the DVR of the game telecast on NBC to focus on this. I'll do that this Sunday.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).





  8. Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Mista T View Post
    I am as confused as Gary with the current OoB clock rules .... I was watching the stadium clock on the late halves OoB plays, and I did not see it stop for resetting. Too bad I erased the DVR of the game telecast on NBC to focus on this. I'll do that this Sunday.
    First OoB play of the day. You can see the game clock stop at 12:58. 6 seconds run off the play clock before the game clock starts again.



    What do you mean by late half? The clock absolutely stopped when players went OoB according to the rule above. The first example is the pass to Boyle at (Q2, 02:00). Boyle steps out at 01:56, and (unfortunately) the clock does not start again until the next snap. IMO, it was a huge mistake from the Ravens. I don't have many complaints about the offense, but their 2 minute drills have left something to be desired.

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  9. Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I don't think there was a time out on that play. I just looked up the play-by-play and this is what it states. So I guess they stopped the clock for the automatic replay.

    3 & 6 - NE 6
    (0:16 - 2nd) J.White right tackle to BAL 1 for 5 yards (M.Peters). The Replay Official reviewed the short of the goal line ruling and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands.


    Watch the official in the back corner of the EZ (top left of the shot). He's looking down the sideline as soon as the play ends, and he signals for the clock to stop when BB takes his timeout. Al Michaels also comments that BB has taken a timeout (but I can't get audio in a GIF). It does look like the clock stopped before the signal we see though, so maybe an off-screen official saw the call first (all-22 provides no view of another official stopping the clock).
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  10. #10

    Re: Game Clock Rules

    And to confuse everything further - the Zebras in many cases on what looks like a OoB play are calling the ball carrier down inbounds and the clock keeps running.





  11. Re: Game Clock Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by mmi16 View Post
    And to confuse everything further - the Zebras in many cases on what looks like a OoB play are calling the ball carrier down inbounds and the clock keeps running.
    They make that ruling if they determine your forward progress was stopped prior to going OoB. Remember Hollywood's play where he ran backward on Sunday? The clock would have kept running there. I'll say that IME, the officials give runners the benefit of the doubt more often than they should. In particular, there was a play in Pittsburgh this season (Q2, 01:36) where Lamar went sideways OoB. The official stopped the clock (wrongly, IMO). The Ravens, gifted with a free TO, proceeded to run their shitty half-2-minute drill. 3 plays later, Lamar threw a pick, and the Steelers got 3 free points.
    Proud member of The Coordinators! Check out our latest articles on the run and pass games!

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