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Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Getty Images Remember when a game could be won in overtime by winning the toss, gaining a few first downs, and kicking a field goal? When the Saints did just that nine years ago to secure a Super Bowl berth, ...

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Old 12-18-2018, 04:59 AM   #1
 
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Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

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Remember when a game could be won in overtime by winning the toss, gaining a few first downs, and kicking a field goal? When the Saints did just that nine years ago to secure a Super Bowl berth, the league abruptly changed an unfair rule that had been hiding in plain sight for decades. It will take that kind of outcome to make the notoriously conservative NFL change the worst rule on the books.

It’s the fumble out of the end zone. There continues to be no good argument in favor of allowing the offense to keep possession when a fumble in the field of play goes out of bounds at the one-inch line but giving the ball to the defense at its own 20 if the ball ends up hitting the pylon or otherwise ending up out of bounds in the end zone.

The defense in many cases has done nothing cause the fumble, and it necessarily has done nothing in any case to recover it. So why does the offense keep the ball when it goes out of bounds in the 100 yards that aren’t the end zone but lose it if the ball crosses the plane of the goal line? It makes no sense, and the “well don’t fumble it” excuse doesn’t work because, again, if the ball goes out of bounds at the one-inch line, the offense keeps it even if the offense lost it.

While the worst rule in football routinely is discussed (supposedly) by the Competition Committee, there’s never been a push to change it because the worst rule in football has never marred a conference championship game or a Super Bowl. Someday, it will. When it does, the rule will quickly be changed.

It will quickly be changed because millions of casual fans who tune in only for the biggest games of the year will see the outcome and say, “How can this be?” So when the rule embarrasses the NFL in a profound and notorious way, the league will say, “We can’t let this happen again.”

But it should never happen at all. And the league can prevent it from ever happening in one of the biggest games of the year by changing it. Chances are the league won’t, because for whatever reason the league isn’t wired to prevent outcomes like this before they create an otherwise avoidable debacle.



On Monday night, the worst rule in football reared its ugly head again, as Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis lunged for the end zone, lost possession of the ball, and it went out of bounds on the other side of the goal line. Though the Panthers weren’t able to parlay the ensuing touchback into a points, there’s no chance that the situation would have sparked change even if Carolina had driven the length of the field and won the game. The worst rule in football needs to trigger a worst-case scenario in a huge spot before the league will face the kind of P.R. firestorm that will force action.

And it will. Guaranteed. So why not fix it before it gets to that point?
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:30 AM   #2
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Don't agree, if you aren't happy with the rule don't fumble through the end zone.

No reason for Tommy Lee 2 yards to lunge there, he nearly lost us the game and frankly I don't understand why he has a roster spot. Literally brings nothing to the team.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
Don't agree, if you aren't happy with the rule don't fumble through the end zone.

No reason for Tommy Lee 2 yards to lunge there, he nearly lost us the game and frankly I don't understand why he has a roster spot. Literally brings nothing to the team.
+100

and SP needs stop trying to outdo the opposition when we get caught on a trick play. TLL should have never been on the field, let alone have his hands on the ball there
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:08 AM   #4
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

On a crucial play and drive, not sure why you would take the ball away from Brees, Ingram or Kamara.

Luckily our defense was good enough to over a bone headed mistake from TLL. Gotta know the situation.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

I’m sure TLL is a great young man, but good God I despise that Payton is still trying to make him a thing.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
Don't agree, if you aren't happy with the rule don't fumble through the end zone.

No reason for Tommy Lee 2 yards to lunge there, he nearly lost us the game and frankly I don't understand why he has a roster spot. Literally brings nothing to the team.



Couldn't agree with this more - there's a reason why Tommylee never sees the field; because of fearful small-market media, Payton won't receive the criticism that he should...

All those playmakers and you want to get cute and try to show how smart you are and you put it in a guy's hands who are cold?

Smartest moves were made two off-seasons ago when we hired Mike Nolan, Ryan Nielsen and finally got a front-seven put together - that defense and Cam Newton won that game...


As far as the rule, it's not a stupid rule - why should the defense not be rewarded when they make an outstanding stop or an offensive player is foolish with the ball?

We're not the Minnesota Vikings - we do not need to change the rules because we can't own up to our own bone-headed plays...
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Last edited by jeanpierre; 12-18-2018 at 07:38 AM..
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:29 AM   #7
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Berserk move on Payton. There is a reason why TL is way down on the depth chart. Ball security was more important in that situation than the TD. If we are down by a TD then yes, that is the time for it. He can't be trusted in those situations to do the right thing. Even if he had gotten the TD still a selfish act.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #8
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

The rule is somewhat quirky, but the quirky rules are what give football some of its charm.

And the more I think about, I like the rule the way it is. Remember, all the offense have to do to score a TD is to break the plane. So it balances things out to have the fumble/touchback rule there to add high risk to trying to break the plane. You still have to be safe with the ball.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:33 AM   #9
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Originally Posted by neugey View Post
The rule is somewhat quirky, but the quirky rules are what give football some of its charm.

And the more I think about, I like the rule the way it is. Remember, all the offense have to do to score a TD is to break the plane. So it balances things out to have the fumble/touchback rule there to add high risk to trying to break the plane. You still have to be safe with the ball.
i think it's ok to have a penalty for the ball going out of the endzone but i don't like that the penalty is so steep. make it a 10 yard penalty or loss of down something like that. it bugs me because a ball can go out 1 inch in front of the pylon and it's just out but if it is 1 inch past the pylon it's the other teams ball on the 20?????? just seems like an insane penalty that's mostly dictated by the bounce of the ball.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Worst rule in football won’t change until it affects a championship game

Love the rule. It emphasizes the importance of ball security in the red zone. As neugey said, the offense just has to break the plane so they have the luxury to be reckless with the ball near the goal line as once the plane is broken it's a done deal. I like that the defense has a chance to make a drive stopping play forcing a fumble into a touch back. I like that an element of ball security needs to punish carelessness on the part of offenses.

Payton got too cute, Lewis hopefully learned a valuable lesson and Carolina deserved the opportunity they got by taking advantage of our mental errors. The rule is fine and if it costs a team a game in the playoffs it's not a rule needing change. A team commits that error they deserve the outcome.
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