Worst rule in football robs possession from the Bucs

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One of these years, the NFL needs to take a look at one of the worst rules in the game.

In Tampa on Saturday night, Buccaneers quarterback of the past and future (but not present) Mike Glennon found rookie wideout Mike Evans on third and 15.  Evans, from Texas A&M, ran like his former college quarterback through the Miami defense to complete a 42-yard play.

The ruling on the field was a touchdown, but replay showed that Evans had fumbled the ball before breaking the plane.  It landed in the end zone and then rolled out of bounds before anyone recovered it.  By rule, however, it’s not a touchdown but a touchback.

It’s a horrible rule.  If the ball had gone out of bounds at the one-inch line, possession would have stayed with the Buccaneers.  But because the ball crossed the plane, failure to recover by the offense and failure to recover by the defense became an automatic recovery for the defense.

If the defense, which has surrendered enough field position to put the offense on the doorstep of the end zone, fails to recover tha fumble and the ball goes in the end zone and then out of the end zone, then the defense shouldn’t be rewarded with possession.  If the same thing happens anywhere else on the field (except in the offense’s own end zone), the offense keeps the ball.  Taking the ball away simply because the ball came loose and entered the end zone and exited the end zone makes no sense.

150 responses to “Worst rule in football robs possession from the Bucs

  1. And many of these years I have been requesting that the entire rulebook be revamped anyhow, along with modifications to the officiating system and the monitoring process of that system. It will get better some day in the future.

  2. Nope. Stuff the offense. How many chances do you want? Fumble the ball through the entire end zone why not have a touch back.

    Fumbles out of bounds should be turn overs as well. Such terrible plays

  3. Its a rule as old as the constitution. like it or not, its a rule. When it’s the other team great. If it’s your team you want to change the rule. It would be like trying to change the constitute…….Oh Oh here come the lawyers.

  4. There are certainly a lot of dumb NFL rules but this is not one of them. Hold onto the ball!

  5. How is that a bad rule? Are you suggesting that a player should be able to roll the ball over the line and out of bounds in the end zone for a TD? Ridiculous.

    Just give Brent Grimes the props he deserves for coming all the way across the field and knocking the ball out at the 1 yard line. It was a heads up play on a rookie that didn’t take care of the ball.

  6. So what do you suggest in the rule change? Ball placed inside the 1? If that is the case, than if a ball fumbled out of the teams own end zone shouldn’t be a safety. It should than be placed on 1 yard line with the team who fumbled the ball retaining position.

    IMO, if a team fumbles at goal line, than they deserve to lose the ball. PFT is whinning only because it is Maimi who benefitted from the play.

  7. This is not the worst rule in football. The idea that a quarterback can scramble out of the pocket, throw the ball into section 142 (almost hitting the guy selling hotdogs) and not get called for intentionally grounding is FAR, FAR worse.

  8. Yeah…and what happens when a runner is going down short of the goal line and purposely fumbles through the back of the end zone line when he’s going down? Where should the ball be awarded then?

  9. Getting careless near the goal line SHOULD cost the ball carrier. Maybe after the elections PFT can get of the Redskins podium and devote it’s vast resources to changing a rule as old as the Redskins name.

  10. If this wasn’t the rule players near the goal line would simply try to fumble it forward into the end zone and out of bounds. Doing away with this rule would be stupid. A better solution would be not to fumble.

    And yes, the defense allowed the offense to move down the field, but Evans didn’t just drop the ball, Grimes came from the other side of the field to strip him before he crossed the plane of the goal line. Give credit where credit’s due.

  11. Yes, let’s change the rule so teams can run the ball on, say, the ten yard line. Then, “fumble” the ball by bowling it on the ground through the endzone giving possession,where? On the goal line? Give them a touchdown.?.? Ridiculous.

  12. 100% agreement — the NFL’s rule is astonishingly lame. What kind of board full of morons would or could sign off on that imbecilic idea, let alone the nut bag who concocted the rule?

  13. The rule is fine. If the Offense fumbles and the ball goes out of bounds on the 1 foot line, they get possesion there. Even without recovering. If it goes into the endzone, what should they do, give them a TDown? That’s ridiculous.

  14. If the same thing happens anywhere else on the field (except in the offense’s own end zone), the offense keeps the ball. 

    But it didn’t happen anywhere else. The end zone is serious business. It’s where games are won and lost. Protect the football at all costs or pay the price. The rule is just fine.

  15. I don’t like the rule. A fumbled ball out of bounds warrants a loss of down in the least but if anything the Offense should get 1st-and-10 at the 20, not the defense. The Defense did NOTHING to recover the football, yet they’re rewarded.

    Oh, and screw Goodell and this horrible officiating. You all DO realize that this is the NFL’s method of making us hate the PreSeason more, right?

  16. 1. On replays of fumbles, the whistle blew the play dead. Cop out

    2. There was no conclusive evidence who recovered the fumble- again on replay. Browns got hosed by that call against the Lions last week. Then how did the Browns player get the ball then

    3. Change the rule in last 2 mins of game to stop the clock until the old refs spot the ball. Offense shouldn’t be penalized because they take 10 seconds to spot the ball or worse yet the refs fumble the ball around while trying to spot the ball

    Those are my top 3. There’s more

  17. How about having the offense keep the ball but being reset as first and goal on the opponent’s 20 yard line? Only if the fumble occurs on 4th down should it be a turnover. That way the incentives weigh properly against fumbling, but without it being a turnover just because of where it happened on the field unlike every other fumble that goes out of bounds.

  18. I don’t mind this rule , it is what it is. Evans was not celebrating early, just got hit hard at the 5 and lost the handle. The rookie will learn to secure the ball better.

  19. He had it stripped by Brent Grimes you idiots talking about touchdown celebrating before you get to the end zone. he didn’t pull s desean Jackson and throw it. Big difference. Watch the play before you post. Some stupid fans on here that shouldn’t be allowed to comment

  20. In this context, yes its a stupid rule. However, it is in place because a live ball recovered within the boundaries goes to the recovering team, just as a kick off is live, and if it goes out of the end zone it’s a touchback. You would have to change the definition of live ball to be able to change the outcome of this fumble. Although I think Leon Lett might be on your side.

  21. 100 yards in the field of play. The team with possession must not let the ball be dead in their own endzone or lose possession of the ball and let it be dead in the opponent’s endzone.

    The logic in this post would mean that a fourth and goal catch in the endzone with only one foot down should be ruled a touchdown. It is so close that it should be rewarded. Like most of your posts Florio, but your logic here is flawed.

  22. Fumbles going through horizontal back end of the endzone should count a touchback. That was probably the intension of the rule. If goes out through the vertical sideline first, put it back on the 5 yard line. You also could just give the offense the first vertical half of the endzone for a chance to retain possession.

  23. Incorrect. Don’t fumble the ball into the end zone. There has to be a consequence for that. Worst rule in football is distance foul for defensive pass interference but not the same for offensive. There are many others, but this thing is so far down the list, it’s not worth going into the others.

  24. Champions don’t make mistakes. Just look at the Dolphins. This is why the buccaneers and that other Florida team will always be in the shadow of the legendary Miami Dolphins.

  25. Player must maintain control of the ball, and must establish possession inside the endzone, for the touchdown to count.

    Player had no control, and had no possession.

    The rule is perfect. Otherwise, a ton of other rules must be thrown out.

  26. Read Mike Florio’s Dolphins posts. This is typical. The rule is fine. It could burn the Phins just as well as it helped them tonight. Get over it.

  27. Mike, I’m up to my ears in complaints about this amazing but amazingly flawed game, but I never had a problem with this rule. But since it’s your nomination for WORST RULE in a sea of bad rules, here’s my take:

    I see both sides to this one. An argument can be made that the defense IS penalized by ‘forcing a fumble’ (even though there are enough examples of it being DeSean Jacksoned into the endzone) and not getting the chance to recover it since the endzone, well… ends.

    But upon further review, I think you’re absolutely correct that it’s an ‘over-reward’ as is, especially when any defender had nothing to do with the fumble.

    Small compromise?: if the loose ball goes out of bounds at the sides of the endzone, offense keeps it at the one yard line, but if it goes out at back of endzone, turnover stands and the defense gets it at the one yard line.

    I don’t love it but it dilutes the ‘over-reward’ in a big way.

    I just think the offense deserves punishment for fumbling and NOT recovering (even though the defense doesn’t either) but I can buy that the current rule punishes too harshly.

  28. Are you kidding? This rule has been in place for as long as I can remember, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

    Fumble out of your own endzone – safety.

    Fumble into and out of your opponent’s end zone – turnover.

    That’s football. If you don’t like that, what’s next? If you miss a FG on third down, you get to try it again on fourth down?

  29. maaaaaybe the sideline fumble could use revision, but middle of the field pre-goal line fumble deserves no near- guaranteed td the next play. think of if an offensive player fumbles in the secondary at the 30. most likely that jumped on by a db or lb.

  30. No. No. Changing this rule opens the gate for rules like “running too fast with the ball” and outlawing one-handed catches. The offense can control the ball for the entire length of the field, but if they can’t retain control of the ball going into the end zone they should be rewarded with what? A touchdown? The ball placed at the 1 yard line? How about an offensive 2-point safety? Better yet, give the offense a TD, an offensive 2 point safety AND still have the ball at the 1 yard line. A potential 16 point swing from one play. That’ll teach the defense for trying to force fumbles near the goal line.

  31. i know a stupid rule. the fact that its illegal to tackle drew brees. its stupid that refs can change the rules about roughing the punter to benefit Microsoft in the NFC title game. its stupid that the niners can get a 15 second play clock on 3rd and one in the 4th quarter that leads to a delay of game and a fateful 3rd and long. its stupid that guys like keuchly gets the defensive player of the year award when the #’s say he was fifth best behind, even a rookie. its stupid that the league let microsoft win the super bowl last year and now decide to start calling defensive penalties that were already rules for a century at least. its not a stupid rule to take away possession when a player blows it and fumbles at the goalline.

  32. It happened right in front of me…I was there. The crowd was ecstatic and when I saw the ref under the hood too long, and turned around and said “Oh no…bet it’s a touchback.” Bucs lost by the margin of that TD too!

  33. I like the rule. What should it be? A TD for the team that lost the ball? Give them another chance at the 1? The endzone isn’t like the rest of the field and the risk and reward should be more close to it. Sorry this is a good rule and IMO the only way to rule such an event.

  34. Evans didn’t fumble on his own. Grimes got a hand in and slapped it away.

    If a punter is on his 5 yard line and the ball is snapped high and goes over his head out of the end zone, not only does the defense get the ball, they get 2 points for a safety as well.

    EVERY coach teaches you to protect the ball with all you have. Every player SHOULD know the rules of the game they are getting paid to play. I bet Evans learned a lesson tonight.

  35. The issue is with the player, not the rule. If these divas can’t wait another .10 second for their “look at me moment” then that’s on them.

  36. Once again i disagree. Rule is fine. If my team fumbles ball outta end zone, i have no problem with D getting possession. Why stirring a pot that is empty and nothing to fill with??
    Much bigger rules to focus on and this should never be one. C’mon. Hold onto the ball.

  37. I think that rule is fine…if your looking for consistency then ALL fumbles out of bounds should be awarded to the defense for forcing the fumble

  38. Absolutely nothing wrong with this rule.

    The fumble rule I don’t like is that an offense can advance their own team’s fumble. Example, I fumble at my own 25. The ball rolls to my team’s 28 where my teammate recovers it. The ball is spotted at the 28 (or carried downfield if no one tackles my teammate). I think it should be returned to the spot of the fumble.

    As the rule stands, if it’s 4th and 2 and I realize I’m only getting one yard, I fumble forward and take my chance that a teammate might recover it.

  39. There is no side to this. Its not in the field of play. If you don’t have possession in your opponents end zone and it goes out of bounds then what else can it be other than a touchback? For someone who covers football, you may need to spend time on the rules. Its about force.

  40. The rule’s awful, not because it’s punitive but because it’s inconsistent. Ball carriers are not allowed to fumble the ball forward anywhere on the field except the endzone. If a player fumbles at the 50 and the ball rolls forward and out of bounds at the 45, then it goes back to the spot of the fumble. The intent, obviously to keep ball carriers from intentionally fumbling the ball forwards and out of bounds to gain extra yardage. Just be true to that principle. If a ball carrier fumbles it forward at say the 3 yd line and it goes out of the endzone, then be consistent and move it back to the 3 yd line. That seems simple and would address the fact that the rule is easily the most punitive in the game (surpassing even defensive pass interference and the tuck rule). By the way, I agree with the poster who said the tuck rule is worse. It’s much worse.

  41. Have no problem with the rule.
    Point
    #1. Pretty much all the rules these days favor the offense. A. They changed the Defensive rule on bump and run coverage to stop teams that dominated in this like the Raiders.
    B. Offensive lineman can use their hands therefore they can more easily hold a defensive player.
    C. Defensive players have had to change the way they tackle.
    D. If this keeps up games are going to be like the arena League. Or like the Madden or College Football Video Games.
    I played my Friend head to head with Custom
    teams in Madden 07 on the PC. And the Final Score on like 7 or 8 minute quarters was 71-70
    E. last weekend in the Browns game vs the Lions.
    The Browns Challenged a Lions fumble which
    the Browns Clearly recovered. And the idiot
    Ref said there was no Clear Recovery.
    The NFL Refs for the most part except for Hochuli are Corrupt as it is.
    If they are going to change this rule
    all plays including Pass Interference are subject
    to Replay Challenges.
    And give Coaches 4 Challenges two per half
    with chances to win 2 more.

    #2. The Rule is in place in part because of the Holy Roller play. Where if an offensive player fumbles with under 2 minutes left they have to be the one who recovers it especially if the ball rolls into the endzone.
    #3. If a punt or kickoff goes out of the end zone it is also a touchback.

  42. And if you fumble it out of your own end zone it’s a safety. So let’s change that rule too. Just hold on to the ball and we won’t need to rewrite the rules.

  43. The defense OWNS their endzone and beyond, thus the point of defending it. So when the offense looses the ball there, the owner keeps it. Why is that concept so hard to understand?

  44. I can’t tell you how much of a gem Brent Grimes has been for our team. THANK YOU ATLANTA!!!!
    It’s like talent just falling into your lap. Un freaking Believable.

  45. The worst rule in the NFL is clearly the one that goes against MY team.

    But really the worst rule is how Illegal contact is called, some plays guys get tugged on for 10 yards with no call, other plays a guy nowhere near the play gets a hand put on them and it turns 3rd & 14 into ” …. 5 yard penalty and an automatic 1st down.”

  46. Seems like most players are willing to risk a turnover by reaching for the pylon or goal line just to score a touchdown. Do players know the rules or are they more concerned about personal stats over the best interest of their team?

  47. Always thought an offensive penalty inside the red zone getting the full walk-off while a defensive penalty is half the distance seemed unfair.

    But really, there are so many rules that favor the offense over the defense, I guess it balances out.

  48. This puts the premium on crossing that goal line for a score even more.

    More importantly it eliminates players like Desean Jackson making it all about them and celebrating before they’ve actually scored.

    It’s quite possibly the most simple rule in all of Football.

    If you don’t like it because it happened to your team, you’re just a crybaby

  49. It’s an arbitrary rule but football is made out of arbitrary rules.

    Like the fact that defenders are allowed to contract a receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage but not six.

    The defense is essentially getting rewarded for forcing the fumble, I mean realistically when a guy fumbles out of bounds you generally say the offense got really lucky, no one ever says that the defense got lucky that they forced a fumble out of bounds.

  50. The worst rule in the NFL is Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book, AKA the “Calvin Johnson Rule”. The Competition Committee vowed to review the rule back in 2010/2011, but once the time came they decided not to touch it. It’s sad how fast people forget.

  51. It’s not a terrible rule at all. If the receiver looses the ball before he crosses the goal line why should it be ruled a touchdown if the ball rolls out of the endzone? You’d be rewarding ineptitude.

    You snooze, you loose.

  52. The. only way this rule gets changed is if Tom Brady fumbles at the 1 on a TD run needed for the Pats to stay in the playoff race.

  53. It’s called the end zone for a reason. Whenever the ball crosses the end zone, it’s the end of the possession for the team who had the last possession.

    If this rule is changed for this instance, then this would be the only time that the ball crosses the end zone without the end of the possession.

    The end zone would lose its definition if you changed the rule.

    Leave the rule as is to be consistent IMO.

  54. Normally when the ball is fumbled at the one into the end zone, it’s because the DEFENSE forces the fumble into the end zone and out of bounds. To charge the defense and award the offense for a MISTAKE, it’s dumb. Plain and simple. So can a defender get a “do-over” if a defender trips mid play? Or can a defender ask for a do-over if he reads the wrong route? The rules over favor the offense, let’s not take away the defense altogether. Do we want 50-48 shootouts at all times?

  55. He fumbled the ball, end of discussion. Dolphins got the ball back. What’s stupid about it?
    There are plenty of more stupid rules than that one. The games this season consist of penalty after penalty. I have never seen so many flags, and wonder if the refs got a proper lesson on them.

  56. I saw the play in question this morning. I see both sides of the argument. I don’t think it’s the worst rule. Not sure what the ideal solution would be but if Evans holds onto the ball it’s a TD.

  57. Yes, they need to redo all the rules. Why is a TD 6, not 5 or 10? (Do I need a sarcasm tag?)
    Rules are rules – who was the idiot who said they should make sense? Oh, Florio was the idiot.
    If the same arbitrary nonsense is applied to both teams the rule can be anything, from holding is a 10 yard penalty to an extra point being on the two or 35 yard line.

  58. It’s certainly a bad rule if your team is the one that does it. You fumbled the ball, and didn’t recover it. Now let’s talk about the REALLY bad thing that needs to be changed, the shape of the ball…

  59. If this is the worst rule in football, then the sport has a very elegant and inspired rulebook. What would you do instead? Give the offense a touchdown without breaking the plane? Give the offense the ball somewhere as a reward for being close? Give the defense the ball somewhere besides the 20? (I could actually see putting it on the five or ten in this specific case.) The point is that to get a touchdown, you need to actually have possession of the ball in the end zone. That didn’t happen.

  60. Punched out by Brent Grimes. Had Evan’s been carrying the ball with his outside (left) arm down the sideline it would’ve been a touchdown. A rookie mistake that he’ll definitely remember next time.

  61. Yes, the rule sucks but I thought that Grimes made a special play when he knocked the ball out of the rookie’s hands. It made up for the lack of tackling earlier in the play. No one on the Dolphins likes to tackle or knock the crap out of anyone. Let’s take away the bubble and make them all wallow in mud!

    Oh, please trade Mike Wallace to any one for a right guard. How about trading Jordan and Sturgis too! Ellerbe could be next!

  62. It may be a “bad rule”, but what can you do? The ball is ALWAYS placed where it went out of bounds on the field. For example, if he had fumbled the ball at the 20, and the ball had rolled out of bounds at the 18, it goes on the 18, not where he fumbled it. Sure, I agree that the defense should not be rewarded, but the offense should not be penalized?? They are the ones who lost the football. No fumble, no problem! And I am a BIG Buccaneer fan!!

  63. I don’t think the fumble out of the end zone rule is the worst rule in football. However, I do think it could be tweaked to allow the offense to maintain possession, if the play isn’t a 4th down play. Perhaps a fumble like that could be retained by the offense back at the original line of scrimmage, or the 20 yard line, whichever is closer.
    The WORST rule in football is easily the “possession” rule for receivers. I have seen too many receptions get turned into incompletions because of this rule, more specifically in the end zone. I mean, a runner merely has to break the plane before fumbling, and it is a TD. A receiver who has caught the ball IN THE END ZONE, gets both feet down, but then drops the ball, is ruled “incomplete.” That is RIDICULOUS, given how a runner doesn’t have to maintain possession after breaking the plane. That has to be changed.

  64. Yeah stupid rule the ball should be placed at the point of the fumble.Meaning wherever the runner lost possession of the ball is where the ball should be spotted for the team who was in possession of the ball before the fumble occurred.I need a job with the NFL call me!!!!

  65. This is nowhere near the worst rule in the NFL… The many rules that favor offense over defense are much worse.

    Some others:

    All TD celebration rules are much stupider than the one Florio complains about… especially using the ball as a prop.

    Receivers having to maintain possession through the ground on TDs is stupid.. if it breaks the plane with possession, it is a TD.

    ‘Emphasis’ rules everytime that Peyton loses a Superbowl are stupid.

    Some of the clothing rules are stupid (i.e. fines for wearing the wrong color cleats/socks).

    The current overtime rules are stupid.

    While we’re at it… waiting until Al Davis was dead to repeal the tuck rule was stupid and insulting.

  66. Or you could simply hold onto the ball and not fumble. Why award a player who can’t hold onto the ball. The rule is a good one. All the offense has to do is not fumble. This year is gonna cause 1000s of people if not 100,000s of people to cancel NFL Sunday Ticket and stop going to the game. Roger Goodell is ruling with an iron fist. There has already been 25 million flags in 2 weeks of preseason. Ridiculous. Specifically hands to the face and holding. They are calling contact after 5 yards holding on the defense, even when contact is initiated by the receiver. The crackdown is destroying the integrity of the game. I have seen at least 10 holding/illegal contact penalties when the receiver hasn’t been 5 yards yet. The old men working as officials are pathetic. Goodell is letting it happen. Later, time for a game to come on, I’m going fishing.

  67. Other rules I don’t like:

    Forward progress in regards to spotting the ball when a WR catches a pass then gets driven back a few yards. Not a big fan of that. As long as the defense doesn’t pick the WR up and carry him, wherever he goes down is where the ball should be spotted. (Same thing with running back)

    If a coach challenges a play and he is correct, not only should he not lose a timeout, he shouldn’t be docked a challenge either. With how bad some of the officiating is, there should be unlimited challenges if the coach is correct.

  68. Also to speed up game, when there is a replay then a commercial timeout, the ref should be on the field to make the call.

    I cannot stand when they come back from the timeout and the zebra is still under the hood. No need for that. It amazes me how college refs take 2 mins max to make a call and it takes NFL refs 10 minutes to make a replay call. Or they take 5 mins for a replay when u can judge the call after 1 look at the replay.

  69. Seems kind of asinine to reward an offensive player a TD for fumbling the football, ie not in possession of the ball. So if the defense forces a fumble and it goes out of bounds we reward the offense a TD for a fumble? Now if it were reversed I would agree worst rule in football. What a lame argument to put even more favor to the offense. Don’t fumble!

  70. Hardly the worst rule in football, and hardly even a bad rule.

    Don’t fumble the ball. Especially in the red zone where you have a pretty good chance of at least coming away with 3 points.

    You say defense Shouldn’t get rewarded for giving up enough field position that the ball is in the red zone? They aren’t. They are getting rewarded for forcing a fumble and not letting the opponent cross their goal line with the ball. A bend but don’t break. Making a play when it really matters. Etc.

  71. Never thought about it like that but completely agree. They should change it to instead of awarding the defense the ball just have the offense move back to it’s own 20. So at least they still have possession but are still penalized for fumbling the ball

  72. A bad rule: calling off pass interference because a pass is uncatchable. Defensive holding, offensive holding, and offensive PI are called all over the field regardless of whether the penalty has any effect on the play but referees are given discretion to overturn PI. Dumb rule.

  73. It’s not a stupid rule. It’s frustrating but necessary. Without it, a player would purposely fumble when he’s close to the goal line when he’s being tackled inside the 5 yard line . It’s the same reason they have the rule that replaces the recovery of a forward fumble to the spot of a fumble late in a game. Without the so-called “stupid rule” a player could essentially “toss” a ball thru the endzone

  74. qwantumfysics says:
    Aug 16, 2014 9:13 PM

    How is that a bad rule? Are you suggesting that a player should be able to roll the ball over the line and out of bounds in the end zone for a TD? Ridiculous.
    ———————————————————-

    Agreed. This is an implication of the rule change you’re suggesting which illustrates how perverse the outcomes could be.

  75. Can us Dolphin fans get an article about Tannehill performing well or how Bill Lazors offense is working? Not a single positive for the Dolphins huh?

  76. Here’s another candidate for stupidest rule: the current definition of intentional grounding, which says that grounding can only take place within the tackle box. Why should grounding not be called outside it?

  77. Some of you just don’t get it. If the ball goes out of bounds on any other play, it stays in possession of the offense at the point where it went out of bounds. So WHY should the ball be rewarded to the defense because it took a bad bounce?? It is a dumb rule that is inconsistent.

  78. It is a stupid rule. If the offense fumbles and it goes out through the endzone, offense retains possession at the spot of the fumble. Seems simple enough.

  79. Football is a game of inches, displayed by this play.
    Play Hard. Play to the whistle.
    Things I’m sure Mike Evans and Brent Grimes have heard since Pop Warner. This is not the first time that Mike Evans has been chased down by a DB trying to make a last ditch disruptive tackle.
    Grimes made a play that makes him a perennial Pro Bowl talent.

    Not mentioned here is the rookie mistake by Evans to NOT SWITCH THE BALL to the outside arm away from defenders.
    We’ve all heard this before. Grimes couldn’t make an attempt at a fumble if the ball was on the other side if the much bigger Evans.
    The smaller Grimes might not be able to push the bigger Evans out of bounds before his momentum would’ve carried Evans over the goal line.

  80. The end zone is a completely different part of the field with different rules from rest of the playing field.

    People who don’t really understand the game (obviously) should not be proposing changes to the rules that are there for a purpose.

  81. I’m all for changing the rule … give the defense possession at the point of the fumble instead of at the 20. Offense deserves to lose possession when they fumble out of the end zone, but defense does not deserve to get the ball AND get out of the shadow of their own goal posts.

  82. The author makes a totally valid point. In the same vein, the quarterback should also be allowed to throw the ball through the uprights for a 12 point “Super Touchdown.”

  83. Why not change all the rules then. Make any fumble a turnover at point where ball hits field. Any penalty is the yardage, not half the distance when close to the goal, if it results in a touchdown or safety so be it. And never stop the clock unless other than turnover.

  84. Off the top of my head, the only tweak that I think could improve the rule without unnecessarily throwing it out altogether would be to award the ball to the defense, as they do now, but at the 5 or 10 yard line instead of the 20. Pin them back a bit more to give the fumbling team a better opportunity to get the ball back in descent field position.

  85. The whole concept of the rule was to discourage the offense from fumbling forward, near the goal line, when there was obviously no chance of scoring, then recovering the ball in the end zone for a TD. The penalty for unintentionally trying to advance the ball is far and away what it should be. Here’s a solution, the ball can be placed no closer than the 10 yd line as well as loss of down. See it really isn’t all that hard to come up with a fair solution.

  86. You are right that is a horrible rule. The rule on being able to play the third quarterback in a game is a joke as well. Also, still hate the league’s celebration rule.

  87. The only thing that is horrible about this play is that NOBODY from the Bucs tried to recover the ball in the endzone. I mean just in case Evans didn’t get across the plane long enough for it to count as a score. If they had it would have been a touchdown. Its a lack of awareness team wide. For the defense as well because had they could have given up a touchdown.

    The rule is fine. I believe that if the ball rolls out on the sides of the endzone it goes on the 1 yard line of the offense. If they change this rule then they have get rid of the safety as well.

    All that being said great heads up play by Grimes to not give up on it.

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