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Holding on intentional safety exposes loophole in rules

Koch Getty Images

In Super Bowl XLVI, the unintended use of an extra man on defense exposed a loophole that the NFL promptly closed.  In Super Bowl XLVII, another loophole has been exposed.

But this one will be harder to remedy.

Facing fourth and seven from their own eight and clinging to a five-point lead, the Ravens opted to take an intentional safety.  The clock showed 12 seconds at the snap, and the Ravens were able to milk eight of those ticks as punter Sam Koch moved to the back corner of the end zone.

Helping Koch delay as long as possible his exit from the field of play were multiple Ravens players who held 49ers defenders who were trying to get to Koch more quickly.  And while a flag for holding inexplicably wasn’t thrown, the outcome would have been no different.  Holding in the end zone by the offensive team triggers a safety, and that’s exactly what the Ravens were willing to concede.

Under the circumstances, avoiding the safety was irrelevant.  Using as much time as possible was the goal.

The challenge comes from finding an acceptable way to address the situation.  For a play that ends in a safety with a holding penalty committed in the end zone, the most obvious solution would be to enforce the penalty on the free kick, moving the ball from the 20 to the 10.  But that won’t remedy the fact that a deliberate penalty created a strategic advantage by taking time off the clock.

So perhaps the fairest outcome would be to award the safety, and to restore the clock to the time remaining before the play in question began.

Regardless, it’s a situation that cries out for further study by the Competition Committee.

Until then, here’s NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos talking about that and two other questionable calls from Super Bowl XLVII.

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89 Responses to “Holding on intentional safety exposes loophole in rules”
  1. 12strikes says: Feb 4, 2013 8:47 PM

    I think all you have to do is blow the play dead when holding occurs in then endzone.

  2. thebigkahuna23 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:47 PM

    If there is a safety inducing penalty committed after the two minute warning, the play will be reviewed and clock reset to the time the penty was committed. The ensuing punt will then take place from the 10 yard line.

    Sounds aboot right to me, eh?

  3. nyjets1017 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:47 PM

    This happens how often? COme on, just leave the rule alone.

  4. pravin68 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:47 PM

    When they have a rule running 10 seconds off the clock, why not have a rule in the final minute where the other team gets to choose whether they want the clock restored before the play or have 10 seconds added to the clock in case of a penalty by the team trying to waste time.

  5. chipinphilly says: Feb 4, 2013 8:47 PM

    Wouldn’t it also cause a 10 second run off? Right? A penalty on the offense in the final 2 minutes is a 10 second run off.

  6. johnnyb1976 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:50 PM

    It was a good play its exactly what I would have done. Teams use this play at every level of ball it’s not exactly a ” loophole “

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 4, 2013 8:51 PM

    Well there are still about a dozen loopholes for situations similar to this that need to be addressed. The NFL is slow to react and develop solutions for unusual situations that can arise where a team will take advantage of a loophole like this.

  8. vicnocal says: Feb 4, 2013 8:53 PM

    Simple. Just restore the time on the clock, like you suggest in your second option.

  9. aces79 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:54 PM

    Interesting note I found out these refs that were doing the Super Bowl never even did a conference championship game ever what does that tell ya these refs according to the NFL Referee Association they are not qualified to do the Super Bowl the “FIX WAS IN”.

    Flags where all one sided favor of the Ravens only 2 calls where made on the Ravens the whole game there name should be changed to the Baltimore Refs.

    Put it this way if Ray Lewis can get away with Murder so can the Ravens.

  10. wwwmattcom says: Feb 4, 2013 8:54 PM

    Rules are made to be coached into the game.

  11. packerblitz says: Feb 4, 2013 8:55 PM

    You call it a loophole, I’ll call it strategy.

  12. aces79 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:55 PM

    I am starting to think that the Ravens set the tone for the officiating when early in the first quarter #29 shoved one of the officials and did not get a game ejection.

    Please, when does a player get away with that in the NFL. Does anyone recall Andre Reed getting ejected in a playoff game vs Miami when Doug Flutie was the Bills’ QB? Late 90′s, he got up after being tackled and chest-bumped an official in-inadvertently to dispute something but the official immediately threw the flag and ejected him.

    These officials, next to the Seattle-Pittsburgh SuperBowl, were the worst that I have seen. From what I understand, neither of them had even worked a Conference Championship game, yet they are thrown in to the SuperBowl? What an absolute disgrace for the NFL for this sham.

    Gene Seratore and Ed Hochili didn’t get a sniff in this year’s playoffs, yet they have a goon-squad group of clowns officiating a SuperBowl (and I am no fan of Hochili, believe me).

  13. bgsusteelers says: Feb 4, 2013 8:57 PM

    It’s called strategy. Being able to manipulate those rules in your favor are part of the reason coaches put in 80-100 hours every week. There should be no rule to change this.

  14. j0esixpack says: Feb 4, 2013 8:57 PM

    Ray Lewis (Tim Tebow’s role model) tells me that God obviously didn’t want the holding penalty called.

  15. mrw423 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:58 PM

    I have a question, could have the Ravens committed an intentional False Start to take time off the clock for that last drive?

    If so, could they have committed multiple penalties and taken even more time off the clock?

  16. veence69 says: Feb 4, 2013 8:58 PM

    I’m not a fan of either team and I was rooting for both teams last night to play a great game. I was unaffected by the outcome outside of just enjoying it as a spectator and an NFL fan.

    That was THE most blatant holding I have ever seen. The refs, during the game, did an excellent job of allowing the players to play – but that was beyond unacceptable. You have to throw a flag on something that egregious. I have a hard time believing none of the 23 referees they had looking at the play didn’t see what 108,000,000 other people did.

  17. dowhatifeellike says: Feb 4, 2013 9:00 PM

    These sorts of plays have been going on since at least the days of Buddy Ryan and his “Polish” schemes. If they haven’t addressed it yet, why would they do so now?

    If you have the lead, you should be allowed to do everything within the rules to protect it.

    Even if it means intentionally taking a safety.

  18. buzzbeaubank says: Feb 4, 2013 9:01 PM

    No flags were thrown because the officials knew the result would have been the same. Get it?

  19. necr0philia says: Feb 4, 2013 9:04 PM

    Wow are you trying to take away a Ravens win? It’s part of the game GET OVER IT! It’s like chess where you let an opponent take a chess piece on purpose.

  20. nineroutsider says: Feb 4, 2013 9:07 PM

    This is another example of how the Ravens out-coached the 9ers. They made a lot of great calls and their players made enough big plays. Congrats to the Ravens on winning it all.

    I’m getting tired of other 9er fans complaining about the officiating (even though Jim did). It’s all part of football. Last game the 9ers got away with one against Roddy White on 4th down to seal the win. That’s just football. Officials aren’t going to throw a flag, to decide the ending of a Super Bowl, on a ball thrown that far off the WR. So do everyone a favor and don’t make us look like sore losers by complaining about the calls.

  21. rpiotr01 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:09 PM

    It’s something that happens so infrequently that a rule review isn’t warranted.

  22. ravensallday2012 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:10 PM

    The last play was def s hold. Problem is Crabtree was def pushing off. Had his hand in his face. Great no call. Ravens are the champs after everyone kept bashing th

  23. jmac34 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:10 PM

    I don’t understand why it wasn’t called but it was a smart play by the Ravens

  24. patriotinvasion says: Feb 4, 2013 9:13 PM

    Easy solution. If there is a holding penalty in the end zone with under a minute to play, the clock is set to the time the foul occurred. Replay can sync up the two.

    Won’t come up all that often though.

  25. joey49er says: Feb 4, 2013 9:14 PM

    Hey ray dont forget to pay the refs!!!!! over 100 million at vegas was bet on this game ….just watch the game over and look at all the ravens no calls…..

  26. blacknole08 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:14 PM

    I disagree. Yea holding should have been called but the Ravens were willing to hold in order to give Koch the chance to run off as much time as possible. This has been done numerous times by teams. The Ravens basically were conceding the penalty — that was blatantly obvious — the refs just decided not to call it.

    And since you can’t review penalties, it wouldn’t be fair to go back and change the time to when the holding occurred.

    They don’t restore time on regular holding calls, and they shouldn’t because of holding in the end zone.

  27. xenova1 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:23 PM

    Like all sports, football is not perfect. There will always be loopholes. If they start adding more penalties to the rulebook every time something does not seem fair, then the game will cease to be fun to play or watch. The rulebook will never be perfect nor will the humans that work as referees.

  28. killitandeatit says: Feb 4, 2013 9:24 PM

    Another blatant hold and no penalty is not a shocking development by this crew of officials. The officiating was questionable the entire game. East coast bias is alive and well.

  29. billsfan1 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:28 PM

    really? this needs to be addressed? how often does this really happen… move on NFL, perhaps you should spend time deciphoring what an actual legit catch is…

  30. gator2006 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:29 PM

    I like football because it adapts to make sure the spirit of the rules is consistent. This is in contrast to basketball, which has almost every game come down to foul manipulation and free throws- a spectacle that bears little resemblance to the intended sport.

  31. r502 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:29 PM

    A solution in search of a problem. Giving an intentional safety is so rare, the team running it should have the right to exercise the strategy to give away points and kick to the other team, holding or no. They are typically in command of the game, and isn’t a coach supposed to be able to use every advantage at his disposal to seal victory? Aren’t we all tired of more rules that confuse the game further? The NFL doesn’t even get instant replay right half of the time, why make the refs think anymore than they do now? Sheesh.

  32. smarterfootball says: Feb 4, 2013 9:30 PM

    Allow the team on defense to decline the penalty, but take the ball at the line of scrimmage.So no safety, ball at the 5 or wherever it was. Suddenly holding is a big deal there.

  33. mf8590 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:30 PM

    bottom line is the ratbirds got a away with murder….oops, did i say that? But hey, if ray ray got away with double murder then what else can we expect

  34. 6250claimer says: Feb 4, 2013 9:32 PM

    Easy solution. Get the same lawyers who wrote the current 37-page description of what constitutes a legal catch, to write a 44-page rule covering all the contingencies during an intentional safety attempt. That oughta fix it. And I’m sure Jerome Boger would be able to interpret it perfectly.

  35. dowhatifeellike says: Feb 4, 2013 9:32 PM

    I guess if we’re going to make a rule about intentionally giving a team 2 points, we also have to make a rule about letting them score, then marching back down the field to kick the winning FG.

  36. riseabovecancer says: Feb 4, 2013 9:34 PM

    LOL!!!! you guys know just found this loophole…This loophole has been there since the early 80’s and know you guys are finally talking about a loophole on punts…WOW!!!! You guys need to find new re searchers or find you new reporters.

  37. dmartin17 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:34 PM

    Nothing is broken here. Though I would like to see the play ruled dead for forward momentum earlier.

  38. pudgalvin says: Feb 4, 2013 9:38 PM

    I don’t think you people know what the word loophole means. Intentionally breaking a rule that has no negative consequence for the rule breaker is a loophole, and it should be fixed.

  39. maxl49 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:38 PM

    Put Mike Carey or Bill Levy in this game and the Niners win … Jerome Boger makes the guy who called the failed mary look good …

  40. mjkelly77 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:38 PM

    jim hairbough is still whining to the referees about that last play.

  41. robertallen1958 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:42 PM

    first, i don’t care about the safety, but what does bother me is not throwing a flag on the holding, regardless of the outcome its a penalty and you have to throw the flag, that simple, like wise on the pass interference, not throwing the flag was a gutless move, it goes beyond “letting them play” he grabbed him to stop a big play and it was obvious, you have to throw the flag, they didn’t call a lot of plays, i have no dog in this fight but it looked like the ravens were getting the benefit of the calls and “non calls” all night, Ed Reed was jumping and lining up off sides all night, ravens o-line was holding everyone, especially the guards and center, the officials were not Superbowl worthy, they called the game like the replacements!

  42. raiderlyfe510 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:44 PM

    The NFL clearly wanted the Ravens to win. If you ever want to know if the NFL or NBA had their hand in the outcome of game just look at the penalty discrepancy.

    Goodell is trying to be the next David Stern.

  43. jmblosser82 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:46 PM

    Granted both Crabtree and the Ravens DB could’ve been flagged, but the also missed the hold on the other side of the field, on Davis I think. Also Crabtree pushed off because he was being hugged by the DB. On the safety it’s not up to the refs to call a penalty only when it matters, they are to call it when it happens. Just because the game is basically over doesn’t mean a fluke can’t happen. I don’t remember but I believe the Super Bowl was the only raven game that I watched this season(6 or 7 games)that they didn’t have a helmet to helmet hit, but they still had a cheap shot filled postseason. Nothing but a bunch of cheaters on defense who will be the first to sue when they retire and start to have health issues. I hope they go back to a worthless team for the next decade.

  44. yooperman says: Feb 4, 2013 9:47 PM

    Thanks for point this out. I was wondering about it all day. Heck, the offense could even grab a face mask, horse tackle take down, or what ever and the results would be the same.

  45. swagger52 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:47 PM

    How about hands to the face and pushing prior to the ball getting to Anquan Bolden. He made the catch – no penalty was ever called? That happened with Bolden in the Denver game as well. It is an amazing catch because Bolden is interferred, yet no flag. Amazing…when Baltimore Ravens want a review of the rules, nothing is ever done. I suppose that is why they just won the Superbowl. That stuff makes them stronger because they deal with it every week.

    From my perspective, they should just call the plays the same way for each team. The 49ers were grabbing and arm barring Raven Receivers all game. Also they should error on the side of safety…so they call the running into the kicker and the late hit on Kapernick. I have no problem with that. However, what about 2 yards out of bounds hit to Flacco? Is the NFL going to review that rule as well?

  46. dragonfly99 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:48 PM

    I am a not a fan of either team, but the Ravens outplayed and outsmarted the 49ers and deserved to win. This scenario happens so very rarely so just leave the rule alone. There is no sense in complicating the rules any further or over regulating every single possible event that may never happen again. The Ravens won the game, so get over and accept the outcome.

  47. gfyalbert33 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:48 PM

    That’s pretty heady of the Ravens to just hold guys. As some have already said, how often does this happen? These are the little details football coaches and players are paid to remember and often fail to execute. To do it in the biggest moment of your career…. kudos, Only a special teams coach…

  48. shlort says: Feb 4, 2013 9:48 PM

    Just forget about it and move on. That is the best move on this issue. I havent seen an intentional safety given up since a long time ago. Very rare move at the end of a game. what is there? Like one every 10 years?

  49. jdhein22 says: Feb 4, 2013 9:48 PM

    After Ted Ginn secured possession of the free kick, what kept Baltimore from running people off the sidelines to tackle Ginn? I don’t see in the rule book how that creates an untimed down, because technically, Baltimore is the “offense” on the free kick. Am I correct?

  50. 4getu says: Feb 4, 2013 9:56 PM

    Not a fan a fan of either team. I am getting really tired of the 9ers fans that are complaining and saying the game was fixed. It’s time to get over it, the 9ers have a good team and will be competing for the Super Bowl for years to come. Be grateful for that. The ravens won fair, it was a good game, now it’s time to move on

  51. sdakota says: Feb 4, 2013 9:58 PM

    the anti Raven site strikes again, to be fair why did you not ask him about the phantom running into the kicker call, the Ngata roughing the passer call, or the non call of roughing the passer on 3rd and 1 when Flacco threw the ball and then was pushed after he was already 2 yards out of bounds.good journalist would question the calls made against each team, not just one

  52. charger383 says: Feb 4, 2013 10:10 PM

    having a lead needs to gives you some advantage

  53. goodellsadouche says: Feb 4, 2013 10:16 PM

    If my Uncle was born with girl parts, he’d have been my Aunt

  54. lionsdraftguy says: Feb 4, 2013 10:24 PM

    Does this have anything to do with the fact that Jim Harbaugh is the biggest crybaby in the league?

  55. Deb says: Feb 4, 2013 10:30 PM

    First, you don’t eject a player from the Super Bowl unless he flat-out decks an official–and maybe does a Suh-stomp on his head. Come on. It’s the Super Bowl.

    Second … can people just stop whining? Anytime anyone loses at anything, it’s because someone cheated. Please. The NFL puts a filet-mignon product on the field and officiates it with plastic forks. It’s been that way for a while now. The “everybody gets a turn” system of choosing refs for the Super Bowl isn’t new. It’s stupid, but it’s not new.

    Until the league gets serious about ensuring refs are in shape, properly trained, officiate playoffs as cohesive crews who’ve earned the job based on merit, we’re going to have mistakes. No one is cheating. The league makes billions without having to spend big bucks on officiating. Since their cash cow isn’t broken they have no incentive to fix it.

  56. davidwatts1 says: Feb 4, 2013 10:44 PM

    so, you want to change the rule for this kind of holding in the end zone but not for a holding that results in a safety during regular play?

    seems silly. this rarely happens (how many times a season does a team purposely takes a safety? once? none? no need for a rule change.)

  57. lostsok says: Feb 4, 2013 10:50 PM

    Understanding the paradox showed great situational awareness by the Ravens.

  58. angusmaximus89 says: Feb 4, 2013 10:52 PM

    I’m confused on why this is a loophole. the risks go up on doing a play like that. bad snap and he drops it and the SF recovers and they win. if we need to look at this then let’s open it up to a kneel down by a qb running out the clock or spiking the ball to stop the clock. or fair catches. or downing the ball on a kick off. What about a player downing the ball on the one and not scoring so they can run out clock. all of those are just as ridiculous to look at as the intentional safety. Mike florio at his finest.

  59. q1ller says: Feb 4, 2013 11:06 PM

    I get that nobody wants the refs to decide a big game, but they still have to throw a flag when it’s called for. I’m not a fan of either team but c’mon, there should have been flags on both the safety and SF’s 4th attempt.

  60. craigmaitland says: Feb 4, 2013 11:24 PM

    Seems like a pretty easy solution. Give the non foul team the option of adding 10 seconds to the clock, not unlike the 10 second run off. What’s really disturbing is that there was no flag on the play, what if Baltimore really was punting and the niners were going for a block?

  61. hungbob says: Feb 4, 2013 11:24 PM

    Why can’t there be “loopholes”? Our justice system has them. The fix might just create another problem and then another fix and then another loophole.
    How many times in a season does this opportunity arise for a coach to allow an intentional safety? It leaves the coach the chance to use “strategy”, the same as the onside kick that the Saints used at the start of the second half in their Superbowl win.

  62. raideralex99 says: Feb 4, 2013 11:26 PM

    Fix the tuck rule first than you can start working on other rules.
    Seriously people who really really wanted the 49ers to win should really stop complaining about the refs … because if the 49ers would have won this game … the Raven fans would have alot more to complain about the refs than the 49ers.

    How many times was Torrey Smith held???
    Roughing the kicker … really???
    The 5 yards out of bounds hit on Flacco???
    The holding on every pass play by the 49ers OL on the last drive … that was pathetic.
    Oh let’s not forget about the power outage too.

    But it’s okay for Bowman to hold White in the NFC final … right?
    Get over it …. what goes around … comes around.

  63. trekker38 says: Feb 4, 2013 11:27 PM

    This was a BRILLIANT call by the Ravens. Never saw it coming… Neither did the 49’ers… Took the hail mary play away after the eventual punt, and allowed the Ravens to have a free kick from the 20 yard line instead of punting from the back of the end zone… BRILLIANT.

  64. dt58 says: Feb 4, 2013 11:29 PM

    What about when T Smith was mugged on a potential TD in the 2nd quarter? How about the absolute raping of R White to beat the Falcons? GET OVER IT. How come when it goes your way then it was a good non-call but when you don’t agree with it then you cry “fix”. I like the 49ers, always have but SOME of their fans are making me sick. If you don’t know the game KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!

  65. meepein says: Feb 4, 2013 11:31 PM

    Honestly, and this is from a Pats fan with no rooting interest whatsoever, the lack of a holding call there is really disturbing. The holds were blatant, the Ravens were not even covering up what they were doing (and, to their credit, had no reason to cover up a penalty, they were probably told to hold as much as humanly possible.)

    This is an obvious loophole, one that the Ravens took advantage of. Now, it should be closed for the same reason the ’12 men on the field’ thing from last year should be closed, it creates an exceptionally unfair way to bleed time off the clock (as well as potentially make the game unsafe, since the result of a Personal Foul would have the same result as running out of the endzone.)

    I am not blaming the Ravens for using this old method of bleeding time off the clock, just like I did not blame the Giants when they had 12 men on the field and bled time off the clock. Nor do I think either of these two teams found anything groundbreaking, hell I bet you every NFL coach knew of these things long before they came up. But, making sure an intentional penalty does not cause you to win a game should be something the NFL should fix.

  66. thejuddstir says: Feb 4, 2013 11:56 PM

    Not a fan of either team, just wanted to see a good SB that was properly officiated. I can’t help but wonder which team would’ve won had just the major penalties been called…..on both teams. These officials swallowed their whistles early on and that’s why the game got chippy early on as the refs lost control by not calling anything. Worst officiatied SB ever and I have seen every one of them.

  67. Patskrieg dot com says: Feb 5, 2013 12:07 AM

    Jim Nance: Do you think there’s any way the Ravens would intentionally give up a safety here?

    *Cut to John Harbaugh clearly mouthing the word “SAFETY”*

    Phil Simms: No, I don’t see why they’d want to do that.

  68. afreak2u says: Feb 5, 2013 12:29 AM

    As a die hard steelers fan it sucks seeing the ravens win it but as a true football fan they deserved it, I like the no call what u should be asking is the play selection when the 9ers had a 1st and goal and no frank gore, lets remember the 9ers put themselves in a big whole in the first half not the refs, Baltimore did what it took to win congrats

  69. JSpicoli says: Feb 5, 2013 12:30 AM

    Time For the 275th rule change in the past 10 years.

    NFL, yea?

  70. guglielmo70 says: Feb 5, 2013 1:50 AM

    The Ravens coaches get credit (and the win) for using the rules effectively. Fair? Yes, in the sense that the methods they employed during the intentional safety are within the rules, so they didn’t – on one level – do anything wrong. That said, no flags is a travesty, as much as rewarding cheating should be a travesty, and one the game and true fans should take seriously. “Having the game decided by the players” is applicable if the players make plays (and not fouls) to gain victory.

    Otherwise what Baltimore fans seem to be saying is “cheating is ok, if you win, and if you win, nobody should protest about cheating”. And that is silly, and obviously driven by which team committed the infraction, not if one took place and was the penalty appropriate for the penalty.

    That said, the victory is in the books. Baltimore, Super Bowl XLVII winner. The only discussion now – and rightfully so – is how to avoid giving an advantage by breaking rules. Of course, since the refs never called a penalty, technically there was never one committed. So, this is all theoretical, right? Enough with the lame defenses of cheating by any side. Be it steroids or HGH, stickum, sharpened cleats, stomping on a player…. whatever. Cheating only brings the game down.

  71. rhymeswithpunt says: Feb 5, 2013 2:15 AM

    Please change the rule. Also take away the forward pass, helmets, pistol offenses, Gatorade, Tom and Peyton, Russell Wilson, and Gene Seratore and Jerome Bogar.

    But for real, please get rid of Phil Simms. His color commentary is a joke.

  72. rickc402 says: Feb 5, 2013 3:36 AM

    Every 9ers fan should ask themselves why am I complaining about the PI on Crabtree and not the PI on Torry Smith? And then stop complaining once you realize the refs were going to let them play the game. Nothing worse than the refs deciding the game: see Packers v. Seahawks.

  73. judsonjr says: Feb 5, 2013 5:03 AM

    Similar things have been around forever. In one of the first couple years of the Texans, there was a game where they were trailing by 6 points, had no timeouts and the ball was inside the 5.

    There was maybe 15 seconds left on the clock so the other team just kept holding/interfering. I think Texans finally won on a sneak on an untimed down.

    The safety play is still somewhat risky. There’s still a chance for a botched snap, or that someone misses a block and the punter gets clocked.

    It is kind of a disgrace that there wasn’t a flag thrown on the play. Even if it doesn’t make a difference, it looks horrible to not call it there. It makes the rest of the game look as if there was a mandate to not call holding, 50+ runs and not a single hold.

  74. crik911 says: Feb 5, 2013 6:45 AM

    Just wanted to point out that this was a HUGE special teams play. If the punter had messed up and been tackled in the endzone it would have been a touchdown for SF. I thought this was VERY risky and would rather have seen a different approach!!!!!

  75. n0cusd says: Feb 5, 2013 7:16 AM

    Just have the clock stop anytime the football crosses the threshold of the endzone. We have the technology to easily make this happen…

  76. toallpitzberghaters says: Feb 5, 2013 7:21 AM

    So let me get this straight, 9er fans think that the rule of holding in the endzone is bad for the game because 7 seconds were ran off the clock. But you got 2 points? What do u want more, 2 points or 7 seconds hahahahaha. Com’on ricearonis.

  77. n0cusd says: Feb 5, 2013 7:21 AM

    Or…you can say it this way…the clock will run only while the football is within the field of play.

  78. smoothrobinva says: Feb 5, 2013 8:04 AM

    Welcome to the cowboys world everybody laughs when it happens to us but see its not that funny when it happens to you!! I will be the first one to tell you we suck right now but when we some how get on a roll the refs kill us

  79. izlez says: Feb 5, 2013 8:06 AM

    It’s a loophole, not a strategy, because they purposely broke the rules to gain a strategic advantage. That’s not how rules are supposed to work.

    And it’s not a simple fix like if there’s a holding penalty with under a minute to play you add the time back. What about if the offense is trying to score and get a holding penalty, do they deserve to get that time back.

    Or what if it’s just a normal holding play with 59 seconds left. Do we want to change the rules so that it gives the defensive team more time? I sure don’t want the game changed that much for a play that may happen once a year

  80. gpry says: Feb 5, 2013 8:12 AM

    Wow still complaining? What do you expect San Francisco is in the middle of Whine country (Rim Shot)

  81. thejohnsmith1122 says: Feb 5, 2013 8:37 AM

    On another note:
    You’d think there would be some kind of “unsportmanlike conduct” penalty for dancing around the end zone just to burn time. The punter had no intention on advancing the ball.

    I can only imagine there is some rule barring players from intentionly standing in front of the goal line to burn time after leaving the defense in the dust, and then stepping into the end zone only when the D catches up.

  82. sbaltimore says: Feb 5, 2013 8:57 AM

    1. Mike Pereira analyzed the so-called holding infraction and stated categorically that it could not be holding because the ball was in the air. I have no idea what THIS “expert” is talking about allowing a WR to run unimpeded from the line of scrimmage. A defender is allowed to contact a WR for five yards. The play started at the five yard line. The contact, with BOTH players hand fighting, went on for 5 yards and carried over into the end zone. It was a perfect NO CALL. PI might have been called on both of them, because they were both pushing each other, but because the ball was so far over Crabtree’s head it wasn’t a catch-able ball, that nullifies defensive PI. So as Pereira correctly stated, it was a perfect no call.

    2. What about Joe Flacco being hit 6 yards out of bounds with no penalty called?

    3. What about the running into the kicker penalty that gave the Niners another shot at a FG WHEN IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT AIKERS FLOPPED AND WAS NEVER TOUCHED?

    4. What about the constant PI and holding on Torrey Smith all night long?

    You want to present yourself as some sort of truth seeker? Present BOTH sides.

  83. getyourownname says: Feb 5, 2013 9:02 AM

    First, like so many have said, this was a smart play, using the rules to your advantage.

    Second, as to whether to change such a rule, it’s actually a hard question. Holding is already being treated more harshly in end zone holding than any other because the team gets a safety (points) not just yards. This is true even when the holding is not intentional or at the end of a game. Do you really want to create more of a disparity in result? It already requires a fine line in deciding whether holding occurred in the end zone or outside. Lots of judgment with huge consequences. The League has moved away from trying to identify “intentional” fouls because of the difficulty in consistently applying such rules. Lots of times truly minor conduct, away from the ball, is called “holding.” It’s not beyond receving teams who have little to lose to try to induce holding calls with play acting (see “placekickers”), triggering a disproportionate result

    On the other hand, tackling the DL by the punting team could improperly add many seconds to a play.

    If the goal is to not excessively penalize teams for what are already judgment calls, but not allow them to create disproportionate benefit, one solution is to cap the amount of time that can be run off on any punt play in final two minutes of a half where holding occurs to some pre-determined “average” punt play span, like 6 seconds. You can still run around in the end zone as long as no holding occurs. Or, you can allow the receiving team the option of not taking the safety and requiring a replay with half the distance penalty, with clock reset, so the kicking team isn’t excessively hurt by a poor holding call.

    I don’t like changing the rule because “holds” can be so subjective and the receiving team is already getting points, and too often these “solutions” make the situaiton worse.

  84. cmstrick says: Feb 5, 2013 9:19 AM

    Just throw the flag and stop the clock as soon as holding is seen.

  85. steelphins says: Feb 5, 2013 10:02 AM

    as many have said, to me the biggest issue was the fact there wasn’t a flag even thrown during the safety play. I don’t care if it’s the 1st play of the game in the preseason or the last play of the game in the super bowl. a holding penalty is a holding penalty. many of the Ravens OL were deliberately holding and not one ref threw a flag. would the flag have changed the outcome, no.

    the only thing actually affected by the no-call was the integrity of the game itself. the no flag gives all of those conspiracy “the fix-is-in” pundits one more item to chew on.

    until the NFL has full-time refs, we can only expect more issues like this in the future.

    SF was simply out-coached at the end of this game. on the safety play and also on the ensuing free kick. yes Ginn is always a guy that could take the return to the house, but why didn’t he lateral when he knew he was going down? why didn’t he slide and stop the clock with a second left so Kap could attempt a hail Mary? With 2:39 to play, 1st and goal from the 7 and 2 timeouts remaining, and neither Gore nor Kap run the ball once when they are both averaging over 6 yds/carry? crazy play calling to me.

  86. briank1ne says: Feb 5, 2013 10:49 AM

    worse called game ive seen since the greenbay seattle game. what about ed reed offsides on the 2 pt conversion play? what about the hold on the kick return in the second half kickoff? those ravens got away with one. niners should have never gone down that many points to begin with though.

  87. aces79 says: Feb 5, 2013 11:17 AM

    Strategy on a FIXED Super Bowl!

    1 -Start the momentum for the Ravens False Flags on the Niners , 2 flags thrown on the Ravens the entire game. Player Cary Willaims doesn’t get ejected for pushing a official.

    2 -Holding on the Kick Return Jacoby Jones 2 Raven players holding a 49er playerfor about ten yards get unnoticed for some reason , offensive pass interference on Torry Smith never called , Ed Reed Offside on the 2 point converstion , whistle was blown before the fumble by James these calls where so obvious to make non where called.

    3- Continue of clock being run after numerous of plays by the receivers caught the ball and went out of bounds untouched game clock still running figure that one out.

    4- Holding big time on the punt in the end zone on the Ravens not called that led to the punter going out of bounds last 11 secs of the game , last 2 min of the game get interesting there was pass interference not called on the Ravens , Delaine Walker was being held in the end zone last but least Crabtree being held before the ball is even thrown right in front of the ref not called which some say Crabtree pushed off there is nothing that shows Crabtree even extends his arms to push off on Jimmy Smith.

    Conclusion is

    These officiating crew that were doing the Super Bowl never even did a conference championship game ever what does that tell ya these refs according to the NFL Referee Association they are not qualified and there grades for the regular season where rated poor they cant officiate the Super Bowl the “FIX WAS IN”.

    Flags where all one sided favor of the Ravens only 2 calls where made on the Ravens the whole game there name should be changed to the Baltimore Refs.

    Put it this way if Ray Lewis can get away with Murder so can the Ravens.

  88. macklinr61 says: Feb 5, 2013 3:28 PM

    Next year, Jim will run up the score on every team so as not to get into a situation where refs can blow a quick whistle on forward progress (NFC Championship game last year) or not call a penalty because its the last minute of the game.

    What burns Jim is that he loves to compete. His own brother burned him by using the loophole/strategy that allows him to cheat rather than compete. Some will say that cheating is part of competing. Jim will disagree until his veins pop

  89. axespray says: Feb 5, 2013 8:03 PM

    Great way to manage the clock …

    do you want this game to become Hockey/Soccer/Basketball with no strategy ?

    The Strategy of the game is great – last year’s 12 men time run off was a glitch that should’ve been fixed – but this “loophole” isn’t something to complain about …. It’s great strategy – quit ruining the game with complaints.

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