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PFT Planet poll: Scrap the tuck rule?

tuckrule Getty Images

On the afternoon of January 19, 2002, the vast majority of football fans had never heard of the tuck rule. By the end of that night, it was the most controversial rule in football.

By the end of next week, the rule may be excised from the NFL.

The Competition Committee will make a simple proposal to the owners at next week’s league meeting: The proposal is a change to the rule book, eliminating the existing “tuck rule” and making it a fumble if a quarterback loses possession during an attempt to bring the ball back to his body.

It’s too late for the Raiders, who had what appeared to be a game-sealing fumble recovery taken away from them when America learned about the tuck rule for the first time on that snowy night in New England. But it’s not too late for fans to weigh in on whether that rule should stay or go.

The league’s owners will vote next week on whether to eliminate the tuck rule, and we’d like PFT Planet to tell us (and to tell the NFL’s owners) whether the league should abolish the tuck rule. Take our poll and post your thoughts in the comments.

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76 Responses to “PFT Planet poll: Scrap the tuck rule?”
  1. transam7816 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:42 PM

    Yes get rid of it. It was bs to begin with

  2. forty9asty says: Mar 15, 2013 2:43 PM

    Ha ha ha…currently 19 votes yes and 1 for no…wonder if that lone “no” is a Patriots fan?

  3. ngatasteelersfan says: Mar 15, 2013 2:43 PM

    So now the rule would be “A fumble is a fumble”.

  4. skoodsports says: Mar 15, 2013 2:44 PM

    This should be a bigger landslide than the 1936 election.

  5. paul82461 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM

    I also vote to put an asterik* next to the Patriots Super Bowl win that year * helped by the refs*.

  6. smartanis says: Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM

    87.7% yes…who knew the Raiders had that many fans?

  7. logast says: Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM

    I voted yes, scrap the rule. A rule, mind you Patriots haters, that was already in place before that infamous call was made.

  8. mjbulls45 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM

    that game changed my life forever

    as a young kid, and an AL DAVIS supporter and raider believer,

    i was crushed…siragusa also had an illegal hit on gannon year before, fell on him, seperated his shoulder, no call…

    then gruden bowl after that

    those 3 raider years has motivated me in life to reach the highest of high ,

    i love you AL . rebel forever, we will win.

  9. romospersonalsnuggie says: Mar 15, 2013 2:46 PM

    Tom Brady is gonna be upset!!!!

  10. silvernblackpa says: Mar 15, 2013 2:46 PM

    Take one guess how I voted.

  11. roadtrip3500 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:47 PM

    If the QB has clearly aborted/faked a throw and is re-establishing his possession of the ball, it should be a fumble if he loses it. He is no longer in a throwing motion, so it can’t be an incomplete pass. It’s that simple.

  12. grndizzle says: Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM

    49 Patriot fans still think that wasn’t a fumble….

  13. castleanthrax says: Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM

    Terrible Rule…signed a Pats fan.

  14. philyeagles5 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM

    the has never made sense. no other player can “tuck” the ball back into their body and not be considered a fumble. stupid rule that screwed the Raiders franchise.

  15. spellingcops says: Mar 15, 2013 2:53 PM

    mjbulls45 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM


    those 3 raider years has motivated me in life to reach the highest of high….
    ———————————————
    So evidently motivation does not equate to results.

  16. watchdawg1103 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:53 PM

    They should. How many fumbles were called back to qb’s just doing a throwing motion once they felt the ball was loose.

  17. patfanken says: Mar 15, 2013 2:54 PM

    Stop making up history, the “tuck rule” didn’t spring into existence on that snowy night. It had been a rule for a while. One which gave a win to the Jets that same year.

    While it was obscure compared to most rules, it was applied correctly that night, and became a huge issue only because it was such a big game, the announcers were completely uninformed and thus misinformed their audience.

    There is a reason the rule has lasted more than a decade after that night. The league felt that the “tuck rule” helped officials by making QB fumbles less of a judgement call.

    You, Florio, the Raiders, and the haters all have to deal with the fact that what happened that night was the CORRECT interpretation of an existing rule. If the call had gone the other way it would have been the Pats who would have gotten screwed

    Its alright to hate the rule, don’t hate the team.

  18. cshearing says: Mar 15, 2013 2:54 PM

    Well I voted no and I’m not a Pats fan.

    I thought the rule removed confusion. If the arm was going forward, it is not a fumble. Removing the rule means refs have to go back to making a judgement call: when does the motion change from a throwing motion to a tucking motion? The tuck rule removed that judgement call.

    In my opinion black & white rules are better than judgement call rules, as long as they are reasonable. I thought the tuck rule was reasonable.

  19. therealraider says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    Whoever invented that “rule” should be taken out back and shot multiple times.. and his body should be jettisoned off the earth and towards the sun.

  20. fwippel says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    I’m not a fan of either the Raiders or Patriots, but that was a fumble, and everyone knows it.

    Fumble-gate, spy-gate; it was quite a year in 2001 for the Pats, who had no business playing in Super Bowl XXXVI.

    It’s about time they changed this idiotic rule.

  21. jkjdawg1 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    Who votes “not sure” on this??? it’s a pretty simple question, and so far it looks like 88% of the voters got it right.

  22. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    ..they only used it ONCE…

  23. j98me2 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    Yes scrap it.

  24. Stiller43 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:55 PM

    Who would possibly vote no on it? If you lose the ball while not attempting a pass (pass attrmpt would be arm already moving forward with posession), then its a fumble…it always was a fumble and always should be…the fact the rule somehow got made in the first place is ludacris at best.

  25. audge86 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:56 PM

    I’m a Pats fan and I think it should go.

    About time people started fighting against the rule instead of blaming the Patriots for benefiting from it.

  26. jets4gold says: Mar 15, 2013 2:56 PM

    probably the dumbest rule in all of sports. Benefits no one other than Brady. Worse thing the NFL did was agree to write it in the rule book.

  27. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 15, 2013 2:56 PM

    ..wait till Gisele hears about THIS…

  28. seahawks80 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:59 PM

    I wonder if Tom “sissy” Brady will vote yes.

  29. warhammer420 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:59 PM

    Awful rule. Get rid of it.

  30. weetsld says: Mar 15, 2013 3:02 PM

    I still wonder: If they would have called this a fumble at the time (when the rule was still in place) if the consensus view would be that New England got screwed and it went to to enforce the tuck rule more strictly. At least it has brought negative attention to it, the adverse would be a nightmare for years to come.

  31. bhindenemylines says: Mar 15, 2013 3:03 PM

    I wanted to vote but couldn’t find the button that said “H3!! F$&ck1ng Yeah. Worst Rule Ever. What Took Them So Long???”

  32. castleanthrax says: Mar 15, 2013 3:04 PM

    jets4gold, well it gave you one of your 5 wins that season. You should be happy as there is nothing in Gang Green to be happy about right now…

  33. stratomaticfan says: Mar 15, 2013 3:05 PM

    patfanken…the rule was not applied correctly. the second Brady’s second hand touched the ball, it was no longer s pass. should have been ruled fumble. that said, the rule is dumb and should go

  34. j4man1 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:05 PM

    Yeah, the NFL really needs to quit obliging cry-baby brady, he’s past his prime, won’t win another superbowl, so get over it! Pats fans, face it, he’s done start looking for his replacement before it’s too late.

  35. unnamedxsource says: Mar 15, 2013 3:05 PM

    This rule totally needs to be reversed. The QB is no different that any other player on the field. If he fumbles the ball he fumbles the ball, period, no exceptions…

  36. dowhatifeellike says: Mar 15, 2013 3:07 PM

    Either the QB threw the ball or he fumbled it. There shouldn’t be a grey area of intent. If it wasn’t a forward pass it has to be a fumble.

  37. skylander14 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:07 PM

    romospersonalsnuggie says:

    Tom Brady is gonna be upset!!!!

    =======================
    Update: Somebody close to Tom Brady is enraged.

  38. joeyashwi says: Mar 15, 2013 3:09 PM

    Get rid of the dumbest rule in the game. Why they ever made a rule that would call a fumble not a fumble is beyond me to begin with.

  39. returntoexcellence says: Mar 15, 2013 3:09 PM

    smartanis says:
    Mar 15, 2013 2:45 PM
    87.7% yes…who knew the Raiders had that many fans?
    __________________________________

    Raiders have a Nation my friend…

  40. steelerben says: Mar 15, 2013 3:11 PM

    Let a fumble be a fumble. If you aren’t attempting to throw a pass that is deflected, it isn’t an incomplete pass.

    It can’t be an incomplete pass if it was a pump fake. I’ve never seen a completed pass on a pump fake, and I watch the Steelers play every week so I see a lot of them.

  41. sb139422 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:12 PM

    we now know that there are at least 324 crybaby patriot fans in the world

  42. efriedo says: Mar 15, 2013 3:14 PM

    patfanken says: Mar 15, 2013 2:54 PM

    Stop making up history, the “tuck rule” didn’t spring into existence on that snowy night. It had been a rule for a while. One which gave a win to the Jets that same year.

    While it was obscure compared to most rules, it was applied correctly that night, and became a huge issue only because it was such a big game, the announcers were completely uninformed and thus misinformed their audience.

    There is a reason the rule has lasted more than a decade after that night. The league felt that the “tuck rule” helped officials by making QB fumbles less of a judgement call.

    You, Florio, the Raiders, and the haters all have to deal with the fact that what happened that night was the CORRECT interpretation of an existing rule. If the call had gone the other way it would have been the Pats who would have gotten screwed

    Its alright to hate the rule, don’t hate the team.

    _______________________________

    Get a clue Bro, it was a FUMBLE!

  43. skittlesareyum says: Mar 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    I’d simplify a lot of things by saying any pass that doesn’t reach the line of scrimmage before hitting the ground is an automatic live ball. It would help defenses more because knocking the QB off-target could be a fumble. There’s no reason just because he intended to pass it has to be incomplete – if he gets plastered and can’t throw it to the line then why should it be a pass just because he intends it to? Give the defense some help there.

    I think there are issues with tipped passes at the line (you don’t want those to be fumbles) but it might work with some refinement.

  44. bsandcs says: Mar 15, 2013 3:19 PM

    Wow cheap tactic by pft to get a lot of hits and comments flowing. Obviously this won’t even be close. But the patriots haven’t been the only team to benefit from this awkward rule.

  45. autumnwind999 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    It’s basically never been called anyway other than maybe a handful of instances.

    I still contend this was trotted out to cover for one of the worst blown calls in the history of sport. Brady had two hands on the ball with it against his body when he was hit. How is that not “tucked”? Walt Coleman, the referee who made the ridiculous overturn of the call on the field, never said anything to indicate he was referring to the tuck rule. He simply said, “The quarterback’s arm was going forward. It was an incomplete pass.”

    The whole “Tuck Rule” thing was trotted out by the league PR people to inject legitimacy into the outcome of that game, which sent the Pats to the AFC Championship Game and ultimately the Super Bowl.

    The real question about that call is not whether it was correct or not — it clearly wasn’t — it’s whether it was part of a conspiracy based on the league’s disdain and vendetta against Al Davis. That, to me, is much more debateable.

  46. drinkdabeers says: Mar 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    This rule is almost as bad as “running backs can’t lower their heads into defenders”.

  47. pencilfart says: Mar 15, 2013 3:22 PM

    Walt Coleman, came up with this rule.

  48. autumnwind999 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:23 PM

    patfanken says:Mar 15, 2013 2:54 PM

    Stop making up history, the “tuck rule” didn’t spring into existence on that snowy night. It had been a rule for a while. One which gave a win to the Jets that same year.

    While it was obscure compared to most rules, it was applied correctly that night, and became a huge issue only because it was such a big game, the announcers were completely uninformed and thus misinformed their audience.

    There is a reason the rule has lasted more than a decade after that night. The league felt that the “tuck rule” helped officials by making QB fumbles less of a judgement call.

    You, Florio, the Raiders, and the haters all have to deal with the fact that what happened that night was the CORRECT interpretation of an existing rule. If the call had gone the other way it would have been the Pats who would have gotten screwed

    Its alright to hate the rule, don’t hate the team.

    —————————————–

    Interesting.
    You know who disagrees with you though, aside from every non-delusional Patriots fan on the planet, is Tom Brady. He’s admitted on more than one occasion that it was a fumble.

  49. pencilfart says: Mar 15, 2013 3:24 PM

    Super Bowl XXXVI*

  50. bsandcs says: Mar 15, 2013 3:24 PM

    The amount of yappy patriots haters chomping at the bit for any patriots related article simply astounds me.

  51. bartlettruss says: Mar 15, 2013 3:25 PM

    Let’s just suspend it until the refs need an excuse to save Tom Brady’s bacon again…

  52. blakeinfla says: Mar 15, 2013 3:25 PM

    Man sour grapes in here….but yea stupid rule…if it looks like a fumble it is a fumble….can we also do away with some of the QB protection rules…I mean this is still football right?? I saw so many plays were a DL accidentally brushes the QBs helmet and its a roughing the passer…I want my real football back

  53. all4patriots says: Mar 15, 2013 3:26 PM

    Like every single Patriots fan I have ever met, I think that the tuck rule is now and always has been a BAD RULE that shouldn’t exist at all.

    That is a completely different question than asking if a ref should be able to decide to not enforce a bad rule, just because he wants to.

    So, the tuck rule that is called (by Mike Pereira’s estmates) 10 times a year should indeed be repealed; and no, the calls that were correctly made in support of that bad rule over these many years are in no way invalidated. Just like we don’t retroactively use replays to invalidate games affected by bad calls that are now reviewable.

  54. stevent92 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:27 PM

    Running Backs & Receivers must hold onto the ball, and do not get the benefit of a “tuck” if they lose it. Same should go for QBs.

    The ONLY time this should apply is if a QB’s arm is going forward during the act of passing (Defender hits him in the arm, causing incompletion). Other than that, QB should be treated as a live ball carrier.

  55. mullman76 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:27 PM

    Anyone who thinks it was not a fumble is an antagonist.

    It was a fumble until the phone call came and they had to change the ruling on the field.

    There was no way the RAIDERS were going be to allowed to beat the patriots after 9/11…. it is what it is.

  56. heyguru1969 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:28 PM

    I always thought “TUCK!” was a strange name for the rule, since that’s obviously not what Raiders fans were yelling. Close though.

  57. boogerhut says: Mar 15, 2013 3:28 PM

    I voted yes just to twist the knife in the belly of raiders fans. Listen to ‘em squeal like the pigs that they are.

  58. bspurloc says: Mar 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    judgement call?
    fyi we have instant replay NOW and all fumbles are reviewed….

  59. boogerhut says: Mar 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    returntoexcellence says:Raiders have a Nation my friend…
    ————————————————————–
    So does islam,…. in the prison system.

  60. SAV says: Mar 15, 2013 3:31 PM

    Spygate+Tuckrule=the answer as too how the Pats have any hardware.

  61. matt14gg says: Mar 15, 2013 3:32 PM

    In 1976 the New England Patriots played a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots were the best team in football and no one wanted to play them. They went to Oakland and got screwed by corrupt referee Ben Dreith, who was admittedly a personal friend of Al Davis. He called a bogus “Roughing The Passer” penalty against “Sugar Bear” Hamilton that extended a drive in which the Raiders scored the go ahead TD. On the final drive, the Patriots had a chance to win the game and Phil Villapiano tackled a wide open Russ Francis on a pass play and the ball went incomplete. The New England Patriots were screwed by a corrupt NFL official, lost the game and the Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl.

    In a million years I will never feel sorry for the Raiders for having the referee, Walt Coleman, interpret a bad rule correctly in the Snow Bowl in 2002. The Oakland Raiders and everyone one of their fans can kiss my A– and I hope it hurts for the next 50 years that the Patriots got revenge for the worst miscarriage of justice in the history of the NFL.

  62. pencilfart says: Mar 15, 2013 3:32 PM

    Stay Classy Patriots

  63. dowhatifeellike says: Mar 15, 2013 3:33 PM

    The “issue” of a QB fumbling the ball in the process of throwing it (or not) is an accepted risk of calling a passing play. If you don’t want that to happen, either protect him better or tell him to get the ball out faster.

  64. metalhead9652 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:39 PM

    Absolutely.. and throw out the Pats superbowl trophy that year while we are at it.

  65. numberoneinthehoodg says: Mar 15, 2013 4:12 PM

    Can we get to other QB bullcrap rules soon? How about intentional grounding? If a QB get’s outside of the “box” and decides to go Uncle Rico into the stands, that’s intentional grounding, if the center snaps the ball an the QB throws it directly into the ground to stop the clock, that’s intentional grounding.

  66. malab377 says: Mar 15, 2013 4:16 PM

    Funny to read all haters posts here.

    “Put an * on the Patriots trophy!”

    This game was in 2002 and the tuck rule was introduced in 1999. Saying that the Patriots cheated that day is like saying that football is played with a 9-iron.

    Still, this rule is horrible and a fumble should be called a freaking fumble.

    Brady’s incomplete pass, Golden Tate’s touchdown, Manning’s fumble… we could put so many * on so many games if we start this…

  67. briguy5 says: Mar 15, 2013 4:16 PM

    This is no solution for this problem. No matter how the rule is phrased, soooner or later some team somewhere is going to feel they got royally hosed.

  68. httr21 says: Mar 15, 2013 4:17 PM

    Yes, scrap it!

  69. TheWizard says: Mar 15, 2013 4:21 PM

    87.7% yes…who knew the Raiders had that many fans?

    Nah, been a Pats fan since Grogan and it’s just a bad rule.

    As far as I’m concerned, the “imcomplete pass” ruling if the QB’s arm is going forward is stupid, too, and should be a fumble. It ain’t a pass if it hasn’t left his hand.

  70. cmonelisha says: Mar 15, 2013 4:26 PM

    silvernblackpa says:
    Mar 15, 2013 2:46 PM

    Take one guess how I voted.
    ________

    LMAO sorry man but that hilarious haha

    and i voted yes, obv that should of NEVER been a rule in the first place. i was completely shocked when i witnessed that ridic. call.

  71. the3taveren says: Mar 15, 2013 4:52 PM

    My question is how would you now decide what is an incomplete pass and what is a fumble. At what point does the throwing motion end? Or will any ball that comes out of a QB’s hand when he is hit a fumble no matter if he is in a throwing motion or not? He throws a pass off target 50yards down field but he is hit when new throws the ball, is that a fumble? Obviously not, but what about five yards?

  72. melikefootball says: Mar 15, 2013 5:04 PM

    It is time to give the defense back something, everything is geared to the offense. Love to see more fumbles by the QB’s

  73. guyljr says: Mar 15, 2013 5:25 PM

    the3taveren
    Mar 15, 2013, 3:52 PM CDT
    My question is how would you now decide what is an incomplete pass and what is a fumble. At what point does the throwing motion end? Or will any ball that comes out of a QB’s hand when he is hit a fumble no matter if he is in a throwing motion or not? He throws a pass off target 50yards down field but he is hit when new throws the ball, is that a fumble? Obviously not, but what about five yards?

    Its simple, if his hand is moving forward, its incomplete. Otherwise, its a fumble. What always pisses me off is when the arm is moving forwards but the ball goes backwards when hit… I think it should be a backwards pass and fumble if it lands behind the lateral line in which it left.

  74. Soulman45 says: Mar 15, 2013 9:27 PM

    Why have a rule no one understand.

  75. malachiofcourse says: Mar 15, 2013 11:53 PM

    they stopped calling it anyway (manning’s fumble in bal at den), so get rid of it!

  76. wkheathjr says: Mar 16, 2013 9:06 AM

    I voted YES because the rules has created controversy that have not gone away for 10 something years. And because, in my opinion, it makes the game more interesting with many different result. So I voted yes!

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