Late in the first half of Thursday night’s game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals, after Seattle raced out to a 14-0 lead and the Cardinals cut the margin to four, the Seahawks were driving.
On third and 15 from the Arizona 23 with 19 seconds left before intermission, quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled to the eight yard line. He was tackled with 10 seconds left.
But a holding penalty wiped out the play, and it stopped the clock. The infraction gave the Seahawks a shot at a 51-yard field goal, which Steven Hauschka converted.
So why, many of you have asked, didn’t the officials apply a 10-second runoff after the holding penalty? We’ve looked at the rule book, and there’s no provision in it for a 10-second runoff after a holding penalty. Also, the league office has confirmed that, under those circumstances, there’s no runoff.
The question became particularly relevant because the issue of a 10-second runoff came up earlier in the drive. A catch made inbounds by Sidney Rice initially was deemed to be incomplete. Automatic review of play (since it happened with less than two minutes in the half) resulted in a reversal.
This created a situation in which the clock would have been running, forcing the Seahawks to choose between taking a timeout or applying a 10-second runoff. The Seahawks chose the timeout, which left 36 seconds on the clock.
Both rulings were accurate, even though the end result may seem unfair, especially if you’re a Cardinals fan.