NFL changes replay rule for playoffs; clock errors can be fixed

In a rare case of the league office changing a rule between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, the NFL has decided to add clock errors to the list of mistakes that can be fixed by instant replay.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that starting with this weekend’s playoff games, instant replay can be used to review whether time expired prior to, during or after the last play of either half or overtime.

The decision to tweak the replay rules comes in direct response to a December play in which Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou recovered a fumble by Giants punt returner Domenik Hixon. The Eagles were denied the ability to capitalize on the turnover because time expired in the first half — but replay evidence suggested that a second should have remained after the play ended.

The rule change is temporary for just this postseason. The Competition Committee will review the matter during the off-season and the teams will vote on whether to adopt the rule for the 2010 regular season.

20 responses to “NFL changes replay rule for playoffs; clock errors can be fixed

  1. Does that include possible delay of game penalties like last year in the Raven-Titan game?

  2. I think it’s wrong for this change to happen only for the playoffs. It’s not like a ton of teams were affected. So now on top of regular timeouts, challenges and injuries, the game can be delayed at the discression of the ref for just about anything.

  3. I don’t care how F’d up it is, you don’t change the rules until after season. What is this going to be, NASCAR where they make new rules during each week?
    I would like to think we are above hillbillies.

  4. There have been so many bad calls, noncalls, and overall buffoonery by the refs this year that they probably felt like they needed to make the appearance of fixing SOMETHING. Go Refs…in other words, pls don’t eff up any playoff games too badly!

  5. Uh oh, they must plan on adding time to the Colts divisional game until they win. Must be payback for putting the Jets in the playoffs.

  6. this only guarantees that a replay of a clock error shows up somewhere huge this postseason..cant wait.

  7. It’s not the first time a rule has gone against the Eagles and then was changed shortly after.
    A few years back Sean Considine recovered a bad snap by the Bears’ center to only have it called a false start because only the person under center can touch it first (i.e., the QB).
    The same thing happened in the Saints favor on offense a few weeks later and the refs allowed it to happen.
    The next season the rule came in that the ball is a live ball on a bad snap.
    Go figure.

  8. They MUST apply this to delay of game penalties as well. I’ve seen at least a half dozen of them that were missed this year, at least once with game-changing consequences. This knucklehead refs couldn’t make a call from a phone booth.

  9. @ShruggingGalt …
    Almost didn’t read this thread–it’s irritating when the NFL goes knee-jerk …
    But the laugh was worth it. Thanks!

  10. So if they let 3-4 seconds run off the clock after a field goal (as often happens) in say the middle of the second quarter, and those seconds would have allowed for another play at the end of the half… eh, no big deal?
    The NFL does a terrible job of stopping the clock when the whistle blows, but now they’re worried about getting it right on maybe two plays per game. Whoopdiedoo!

  11. This is cool, and smart, deciding to implement it on a temp basis now, and taking it under consideration for voting later. It’ll give everybody a chance to see the impact BEFORE making a permanent rule change, and will give the teams in this playoffs the benefit of it now.

  12. Speaking of Colt McCoy, the Big 12 needed Texas to win that game, which is why it was reviewed and the :01 put back up on the clock.
    I know this probably sounds like sour grapes coming from someone in Nebraska, but the fact is that the Big 12 did not want Texas to lose their shot at the BCS title. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the NFL — particularly where it concerns league-darling teams like New England and Dallas.
    (BTW, Mr. Suh finished ahead of Mr. McCoy in the Heisman balloting. heh heh heh.)

  13. Watch the replay of Adam Vinatieri’s kick to bea the Rams in Brady’s first SB. The clock had 3-4 seconds left as the kick split the uprights. It was allowed to wind down to zero, game over, Pat’s win, no kickoff to the Rams. The clock is clearly visible from the camera angle showing the kick. The clock should stop as soon as the ball goes through, or at least when it hits the net. The Rams got robbed. Nobody ever picked up on it, that I’ve heard. Course I spend all my time on this site, so I could have missed it.

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