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The Tuck Rule is no more

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It’s much too late for the Raiders, but the Tuck Rule has been wiped out.

The NFL owners voted Wednesday to wipe out the Tuck Rule at their meetings in Phoenix. With the rule eliminated, quarterbacks who pump fake and lose the ball while trying to bring it back into their torso will be deemed to have fumbled. Before the change, such a play would be ruled an incompletion.

We led with the Raiders because the Tuck Rule will always be linked to their AFC Divisional Round game against the Patriots in 2002. It was a little-discussed rule until Tom Brady was ruled to have thrown an incomplete pass after dropping the ball when he was hit by Charles Woodson of the Raiders. The Patriots drove for a game-tying field goal, won the game in overtime and went on to win the Super Bowl.

That game was a long time ago and there haven’t been a spate of high-profile instances of the rule being used in subsequent years, but the league obviously decided that the Tuck Rule had outlived its usefulness.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m. ET: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the measure passed by a vote of 29-1 with two teams abstaining. One was the Redskins and, appropriately enough, the Patriots were the other.

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73 Responses to “The Tuck Rule is no more”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 20, 2013 12:43 PM

    This is great news.

    If you want to keep the ball, then keep the ball, or the other team deserves it more. It shouldn’t be much more complicated than that.

  2. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Mar 20, 2013 12:43 PM

    So now we knowthe answer to the question “How long does it take the NFL to address a stupid rule that doesn’t impact it financially?” is “11 years.”

  3. realfootballfan says: Mar 20, 2013 12:44 PM

    Somewhere, Al Davis is smiling.

  4. blacknole08 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:44 PM

    Good. This was a dumb rule too.

    The language of the rule was hard to understand anyways and the refs were inconsistent at implementing the correct call.

  5. blacknole08 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    Forgot to add, even though I think the rule is stupid the correct call was made in the Tuck Rule game.

  6. crush1128 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    great, mark sanchez’ fumble rate will sky rocket

  7. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    Which team voted no?

  8. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    Now justintuckrule will have to find a different stupid name

  9. d0minate says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    The Patriots will also abstain when they make a rule about no video taping other teams signals and practices. — oh wait.. isn’t that already a rule?

  10. monkeesfan says: Mar 20, 2013 12:46 PM

    And when the league sees a high-profile game where a fumble is called on what objectively speaking is an incompletion, will the league flip-flop again?

  11. ufanforreal says: Mar 20, 2013 12:47 PM

    There goes one of Brady’s tools…lol

  12. nzayir says: Mar 20, 2013 12:48 PM

    What a lot of people choose to ignore is that the Patriots still had to get in range for a miracle 40+ yard field goal in a driving blizzard after the call was made. Not only that but Brady had to convert a 4th and 4 to get close enough for the GW field goal.

    Point being the Raiders had their chances. They didn’t get the job done the Patriots did and that’s why they were the Super Bowl champions that year.

  13. sellout1983 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:48 PM

    GOOD

  14. flash1283 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:49 PM

    “That game was a long time ago and there haven’t been a spate of high-profile instances of the rule being used in subsequent years, but the league obviously decided that the Tuck Rule had outlived its usefulness”

    Didn’t it just come up in the playoff game between Denver and Baltimore?

  15. azwildcats96 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:50 PM

    Why would Al Davis be smiling??? He got screwed royally by that rule. Doesn’t do him any good to change it now. I’m sure he’s still pissed off.

  16. chawk12thman says: Mar 20, 2013 12:52 PM

    One rule change that most of us believe needed to be changed.

  17. silvernblackpa says: Mar 20, 2013 12:53 PM

    12 years too late to do me a damn bit of good

  18. swagger52 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:53 PM

    Just like Brady..

    “Outlived his usefulness”

  19. silvernblackpa says: Mar 20, 2013 12:53 PM

    Sorry, 11 years and change. Whatever, I’m still bitter.

  20. nineroutsider says: Mar 20, 2013 12:54 PM

    About time…I never fully understood the reasoning behind the tuck rule, but I’m happy its gone. Nice job cleaning up this small mess; but you replaced it with a dump site by enacting the new offensive helmet rule.

    I’m normally not a blowhard and wasn’t upset about most of the new safety rules over the last few years, but I honestly see this new helmet rule being a nightmare for the league. They better spend a lot of time reviewing film and finding out what should and shouldn’t be called. I can see a lot of bad calls and long drawn out discussions. More commercial $ for the league, so they can’t lose anyway. They know the fans aren’t going anywhere…or are they?

    Enjoy the 4 hour football game: 1.5 hours of game action, 1.5 hours of commercial, and an hour of litigation.

  21. aaa82 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:54 PM

    It feels like they were saving getting rid of the tuck rule to help cover up the stink of the helmet rule.

    Good cover up Roger. We’re too dumb to see what’s going on….

  22. swagger52 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:56 PM

    It was one thrown call, that for 10 years had to be defended with all kind of ridiculous rulings.
    I guess they thought 10 years was long enough so as to not have an Asterisk by a Brady Super Bowl – because he is the Best ever.

  23. serifyn says: Mar 20, 2013 12:57 PM

    People on twitter making a big deal about the Patriots Abstaining from the Tuck rule vote as if it was core to their offense or something.

  24. swagger52 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:58 PM

    No problem..Walt Coleman has a million of them. If Brady fumbles, or throws an incomplete pass, just rule illegal contact on a receiver for a first down. You don’t even have to give the defensive backs number, and CBX won’t review it, so no problem.

  25. gorwr12 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:58 PM

    Even the refs stopped calling the tuck rule. Most evident last year in the Ravens-Broncos playoff game. Manning seemed to start to tuck it before he fumbled and Kruger recovered. Refs reviewed it and called it a fumble. It was the correct call IMO but the refs had the opportunity to call the tuck rule…but didn’t.

  26. ziggy26 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:58 PM

    Bad decision. As odd as the rule was, it was a necessary evil. Now the referees will have to interpret whether or not the quarterback’s arm was coming forward to attempt a pass or to pump fake.

    The tuck rule eliminated the possibility for human error.

  27. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 20, 2013 12:58 PM

    After they passed the helmet rule the owners and the dictator decided to throw the fans a bone.

    LET THEM EAT CAKE!

  28. coltzfan166 says: Mar 20, 2013 12:59 PM

    This was long overdue.

  29. anasdonuts says: Mar 20, 2013 1:00 PM

    Gone but only to be replaced by another dumb rule…..RB’s can’t lower the head

  30. skinsrollyou says: Mar 20, 2013 1:00 PM

    The Brady play didn’t fit the rule anyway. Sure the ball was coming forward, but it wasn’t coming forward in a passing motion. He was bringing it back down. At least the way I understand the rule, or is the ball coming forward in a throwing motion a different rule?

  31. all4patriots says: Mar 20, 2013 1:01 PM

    good!

    It was always a stupid rule, and I’ve personally never met another Patriots fan who felt otherwise.

    Just because in one instance the rule, correctly applied, benefited my favorite team, (among many many instances of the tuck rule –Mike Perera says it was called about 10 times per year, on average) doesn’t mean that getting rid of a bad rule isn’t a good thing.

  32. kingpel says: Mar 20, 2013 1:01 PM

    They had to let enough time pass so the “legacy” of the Patriots wouldnt be tarnished. I dont know. Between spygate and the tuck rule, these guys look like a bunch of chumps.

  33. ironhawk says: Mar 20, 2013 1:01 PM

    I really don’t think most people had a problem with the rule. I think they had a problem with the Patriots beating the Raiders because of the rule. They voted based on emotion, same as the fans. Changing the rule won’t retroactively change history.

  34. audge86 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:02 PM

    PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Mar 20, 2013 12:43 PM

    So now we knowthe answer to the question “How long does it take the NFL to address a stupid rule that doesn’t impact it financially?” is “11 years.”

    ————-

    14 years*. Tuck rule was introduced in 1999

  35. radrntn says: Mar 20, 2013 1:02 PM

    you mean the fumble that was called by all the refs on the field, that some unknown guy in a booth, after getting a call from the commissioner who took 20 minutes to find some rule , because he hated al davis, talled the guy in the booth, to tell coleman to call it a tuck…….charles woodson and the rest of america except for the haters sid exactly what it was….BS

  36. snoop0323 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:02 PM

    Mark Sanchez fumbled just thinking about it.

  37. riseabovecancer says: Mar 20, 2013 1:04 PM

    Does this mean that the pump fake arm hit arm coming forward ball pops out is also required as a fumble.

    Or can quarterbacks still do that…Or will they consider that as a tuck rule as well.

  38. pattunya says: Mar 20, 2013 1:09 PM

    We were all done with that rule anyways. Boo yeah!

  39. flash1283 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:13 PM

    swagger52 says:
    Mar 20, 2013 12:56 PM
    It was one thrown call, that for 10 years had to be defended with all kind of ridiculous rulings.
    I guess they thought 10 years was long enough so as to not have an Asterisk by a Brady Super Bowl – because he is the Best ever.


    Swagger52 showing his jealousy of the Patriots AGAIN.

  40. Stiller43 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:14 PM

    Ziggy26,

    Ummmm….you have it the complete opposite, buddy. The tuck rule added the interpretation. Otherwise, its crystal clear. Either arm moves forward with posession or it doesnt.

  41. riseabovecancer says: Mar 20, 2013 1:15 PM

    Maybe they should call everything a fumble even if the arm is even coming forward…Because they could simply say it is a tuck rule.

  42. mornelithe says: Mar 20, 2013 1:16 PM

    Dominate: As with most uninformed haters of the Patriots, the rule dictates the placement of the camera. Teams have and always will video tape other teams. Or are you forgetting that people, both in and outside the NFL, video tape games every day.

    Oh, that’s right, actual detail of the rule doesn’t support your raving.

  43. deadharvest says: Mar 20, 2013 1:20 PM

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just implement a rule that states “if ball is on the ground behind the line of scrimmage its an automatic fumble, whether it is dropped thrown lateraled, pitched or kicked”

    Then you wouldn’t have to worry about the arm motion or tuck or anything.

    Change the term of forward pass to anything FORWARD of the line of scrimmage.

    Maybe I am missing something…lets add to the rule by subtraction

  44. primemundo says: Mar 20, 2013 1:22 PM

    it’s about time!

  45. ampats says: Mar 20, 2013 1:23 PM

    Raiders fans are still crying about a rule that has been called in several games during this time period.

    But then again, the Raiders have been one of the worst teams for the past decade and look to continue that trend.

    Must really suck to be a Raiders fan !

  46. jvillenole says: Mar 20, 2013 1:26 PM

    So does that mean that the NFL is going to strip the Pats of that BS victory years ago, and thus strip them of the SB (sarcasm of course). Everybody knows Tom Brady fumbled. That was a horsecrap then, and it is still a horsecrap call now.

  47. crush22 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:30 PM

    The Patsies asterisk just got larger.

  48. broncobeta says: Mar 20, 2013 1:35 PM

    It just passed?

    I’m pretty sure this started in the Broncos Ravens playoff game.

  49. mornelithe says: Mar 20, 2013 1:38 PM

    Jvillenole: According to how the game was called, and thus history, you’re incorrect. Pretty sure the Pats won that SB.

    Crush22: What asterisk? The imaginary one in your brain?

  50. citizenstrange says: Mar 20, 2013 1:38 PM

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. — Cheatriot Fans

  51. wrdtoyrmama says: Mar 20, 2013 1:40 PM

    Glad to see this “rule” finally put to rest, but would it surprise anyone if the 1 “No” vote came from the Raiders?

    They are that dumb….

  52. shackdelrio says: Mar 20, 2013 1:44 PM

    “realfootballfan says:
    Mar 20, 2013 12:44 PM
    Somewhere, Al Davis is smiling.”

    Scientifically unlikely

  53. ron69 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:49 PM

    It was the worst call in sports history ever, with the inmaculate deception close second.

  54. datmilehighswagistoodamnhigh says: Mar 20, 2013 1:49 PM

    convenient they abolish that rule after they botched it with Peyton Manning in the divisional round along with countless other calls on both sides. Now they pass the helmet rule. Seriously they need to just set rules and be consistent. Officiating was horrible across the board all season, even after the “real” refs came back. Shoot too many rules will cause hesitation on players part and cause more injuries. They also need to get rid of the qb strike zone and defense reciever bull ish too. But hey what’s done is done, can y’all start doing some scouting reports or something. I’m getting sick of the owners and Goodell. The lockout, the saints crucifixion, and all the Pansy rule changes are really making me start to hate them. Well except Pat Bowlen of course haha

  55. armchairqb says: Mar 20, 2013 2:00 PM

    11 years too late for the Raiders.

  56. ziggy26 says: Mar 20, 2013 2:00 PM

    Stiller43,

    I respectfully disagree. The arm moving forward is part of the tuck, which is why the rule existed in the first place.

    Your team agrees with me, as the Steelers were the only team to vote against the change.

  57. jaialaicharger says: Mar 20, 2013 2:01 PM

    Hey JoTor, this is your sorry teams best victory in 11 years. What a joke of a franchise.

  58. db105 says: Mar 20, 2013 2:01 PM

    Terrible rule but the most enioyable rule when it was used.

  59. returntoexcellence says: Mar 20, 2013 2:13 PM

    nzayir says:
    Mar 20, 2013 12:48 PM
    What a lot of people choose to ignore is that the Patriots still had to get in range for a miracle 40+ yard field goal in a driving blizzard after the call was made. Not only that but Brady had to convert a 4th and 4 to get close enough for the GW field goal.

    Point being the Raiders had their chances. They didn’t get the job done the Patriots did and that’s why they were the Super Bowl champions that year.
    ___________________________________

    What a lot of Patriot fans choose to ignore is that the Pats should of never had a chance to get in field goal range for a miracle 40 yard kick. All the Raiders would of had to do is run the ball and burn the clock. That game would have been over.

    If you’re just going to give the ball to the team that shouldn’t have it in their possession for another chance than I figure a lot of games will turn out differently.

  60. sanitytrek says: Mar 20, 2013 2:21 PM

    Baby errrr Brady can go cry some more now, one less BS rule to designed specifically to protect him.

    It’s so obvious that the NFL tries to protect him more than other players and when he doesn’t get his way he cries!

    Go cry to Belicheat Baby!!!

  61. lombardisshineinfoxborough says: Mar 20, 2013 2:58 PM

    I don’t know any fellow Pats fans who don’t think Brady fumbled, but it wasn’t a blown call and any real football fan acknowledges that what the Pats still had to do to win that game after the call was made was remarkable.

    And Raider fans, you should always remember that you stole one from us in 1976 with the phantom roughing the passer call on Sugar Bear Hamilton. One of the worst calls in the history of the NFL and paved the way for your SB victory that season.

    We’re even. Let’s all move on.

  62. skleech22 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:19 PM

    Now let’s put an ASTERISK by the Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI victory along with their other two for CHEATING!

  63. luckyarmpit says: Mar 20, 2013 3:24 PM

    Tom’s gonna stink up the NFL this year. His favorite target, Welker, is now a Bronco. His two TEs can’t stay healthy for an entire season. Now the Tom Brady Rule is no more.

  64. phatbuddha57 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:31 PM

    Thanks to that stupid rule the raiders missed out on a super bowl, Brady got the starting job and the dynasty was made, if they would have made it a fumble Brady would have still bin back on the bench the next year the tuck rule made his career…think about it

  65. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:38 PM

    The comments here can mostly be summed up by

    WWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Go call the wambulance for the Raiders fans, sounds like they need someone to dry their tears.

  66. crush22 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:49 PM

    mornelithe says:

    Crush22: What asterisk? The imaginary one in your brain?

    _________________________________

    What are you? 12? You would have been better off saying “I know you are, but what am I”?
    It would have been more mature.

  67. bdawk20 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:52 PM

    They should eliminate the arm is going forward rule too. If the quarterback loses the ball, at any time, when the ball is in his hands, it should be a fumble. For all you know, the QB’s arm is going forward and it could be a pump fake, not a throw. I understand that when that rule was instituted, we did not have instant replay, but now we do and we can tell if the ball has left the QB’s hands before he fumbled it.

  68. mullman76 says: Mar 20, 2013 3:54 PM

    Enough pats fans. It was a late hit in 1976 and it was a fumble in 2002.

    Was it the steelers who voted no? Just one last opportunity for the Rooney’s to stick it to Al. The steelers are just another franchise whose dynasty was launched on the back of the Raider due to a suspect call.

    Immaculate Reception? Only after the phone call came down to the field and made it so.

  69. psousa1 says: Mar 20, 2013 4:17 PM

    3 Super Bowls. Love the tuck rule.

  70. sanitytrek says: Mar 20, 2013 4:21 PM

    Anyone who thinks Brady or Belicheat could have any success without cheating is kidding themselves. Brady would be pedestrian on any other team wit any other coach. Belicheat was pedestrian until he started cheating in NE. Let’s not allow them in the hall of fame!!!

  71. crush22 says: Mar 20, 2013 5:01 PM

    psousa1 says:
    Mar 20, 2013 4:17 PM

    3 Super Bowls. Love the tuck rule.
    _________________________________

    * * *

  72. johntonioholmes says: Mar 20, 2013 5:27 PM

    I saw one clear tuck this season–Manning in the Divisional round.

    They got it wrong.

  73. gallyhatch says: Mar 20, 2013 6:20 PM

    The cognitive dissonance employed by bitter fans is astounding.

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