NFL will again revisit most unfair rule in the game

AP

On Thursday night, Washington running back Matt Jones fumbled while approaching the goal line. The ball bounced into the end zone and out of the end zone, unrecovered.

By rule, the Giants got possession at their own 20. Even though they failed to secure possession of the ball before it when out of bounds.

It’s the most unfair rule in the game. If the ball had fallen out of bounds before the end zone, Washington would have retained possession at the spot of the fumble. An extra bounce or two has a dramatic, and arbitrary, impact on the situation, for no good reason.

Whatever the actual reason, the NFL plans to once again discuss the situation in the offseason. NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino has conceded on Twitter that the league will again discuss the rule, acknowledging that a rule giving the team that lost possession the ball at the spot of the fumble “has merit.”

It definitely has merit. Why should the defense get possession if the defense didn’t secure possession before the ball went out of bounds? If possession doesn’t change when a fumble goes out of bounds in the field of play, it should be no different if the ball goes out of bounds in the end zone.

125 responses to “NFL will again revisit most unfair rule in the game

  1. It’s not unfair. It keeps teams from fumbling forward and trying to be a touchdown that way. If you are about to fall and just “fumble” and there’s no risk of losing the ball then everyone will start to do it in hopes to get a touchdown.

  2. I agree, I’ve always wondered why the defense gets awarded possession in that situation when they didn’t do a THING to earn it. Unless the defense clearly recovers it they should treat it like a fumble out of bounds, cuz that’s what it is. The back of the end zone is just as out of bounds as the sidelines, right?

  3. It’s not unfair. It keeps teams from fumbling forward and trying to get a touchdown that way. If you are about to fall and just “fumble” and there’s no risk of losing the ball then everyone will start to do it in hopes to get a touchdown.

  4. The rule should not be changed. If the offense fumbles on their side of the field and it goes out of the endzone it’s a safety. It’s a play made by the defense. The defense is already at a disadvantage with all the crap offensive rules. Leave it alone.

  5. “Why should the defense get possession if the defense didn’t secure possession before the ball went out of bounds? If possession doesn’t change when a fumble goes out of bounds in the field of play, it should be no different if the ball goes out of bounds in the end zone.”
    ——-
    Well, the end zone IS different than the sideline. Your whole argument is predicated on treating them as if they at the same, but they are not.

    I like the rule exactly as it is. Getting to the end zone is the point of the game. It’s the Promised Land. Teams should be severely punished for fumbling into the Promised Land. And let’s be honest here, it’s rarely, if ever, a “bad bounce” that causes this type of play. Most often, it’s a guy diving for the end zone and being careless with the ball.

  6. Take better care of the ball near the goal line. It’s the ultimate punishment. I have no issue with it. It’s been with us forever and some traditions are okay.

  7. Similar play happened in VT-ECU game today. ECU punt returner muffed a punt that bounded into the endzone and then out for a touchback. ECU ball at their 20.

    Why should they be rewarded for that miscue?

    Agree. It’s a bad rule.

  8. It’s not unfair. It keeps teams from fumbling forward and trying to get a touchdown that way. If you are about to fall and just “fumble” and there’s no risk of losing the ball then everyone will start to do it in hopes to get a touchdown.
    ___

    Not sure I see your point here. If they are fumbling it forwards in the hopes to get a TD, then they are attempting to keep the ball in the endzone..where there is definite risk that it could easily be recovered by the defense. Throwing it through the endzone provides no benefit. If they change the rule to the proposed solution above..i don’t think it will cause anyone to ‘attempt’ to fumble to gain an advantage

  9. Perhaps deem it a 15 yd penalty from the spot of the fumble plus loss of down. That way the offence could keep possession but would stop “deliberate” fumbles

  10. My vote for most unfair rule is pass interference .
    Should be a 15 yard penalty and marked off from line of scrimmage .
    If the call is offensive interference than make it 15 yrds from the previous spot.
    If the 15 yrds from the endzone than mark it on the 1 yrd line.

  11. I just can’t imagine there will be many instances of a runner that is about to go down on the 2 yard line purposely throwing the ball forward hoping a teammate will recover it in the endzone for a TD. Just make a rule that inside the 10 yd line, a fumble comes back to the spot of the fumble and problem solved

  12. They should also revisit the “complete the run” rule in the end zone. If a player fumbles while crossing the goal line – before he’s down and the run “completed”, similar to “completing the catch” in the end zone – it should be a fumble. Right now, they have two different rules for catches and runs in the end zone.

  13. I always thought the intent was to keep the offense from fumbling forward for a TD but I think the risk of a loose ball is detirent enough. The rule should be if it’s fumbled into or through the end zone and no one recovers the offense keeps the ball at the spot of the fumble. Or, worst case, keeps the ball but the ball goes back to the 20.

  14. There is nothing wrong with this rule. If you fumble out the end zone you should lose the ball. Why should the ball carrier be rewarded for fumbling? So if the ball carrier fumbles in the middle of the field out of bounds, is that going to be a penalty? Why not just have do over if there is a fumble. Even better if it is an unearned fumble the offense keeps it! Unfair that is funny.

  15. The worst rule in the NFL is the whistle blew the play dead call. Its non-sense and a copout BS call.

    The 2nd worst rule is the kicking team not being able to advance a recovered onside kick.

    Whats the common-thread? Gmabling purposes and a point spread swing.

    Both rules should be outlawed as well as someone else said above, write an accurate definition of a catch.

  16. You can’t advance the ball on a fumble! That’s already a rule. So people saying this would cause people to fumble on purpose to score don’t know what they are talking about.

    Still though I’m with the guys saying leave the rule alone. It should be a tough penalty for fumbling in the end zone.

  17. “Why should the defense get possession if the defense didn’t secure possession before the ball went out of bounds?”

    Why should the offense not be punished for their own error?

  18. if they fumble the ball out of bounds in the endzone trying to score it should be a dead ball and the ball goes back to the spot of the last play and loss of down.

  19. Happened last year with the Redskins and Giants, too. RG3 fumbled just before halftime and it changed the momentum of the game.

  20. It’s not an unfair rule at all. If the defense makes a play before the player crosses the goal line that defense needs to get rewarded for making the play.

    The offense gets rewarded for 99 yards of the field if the ball is not recovered by the defense it’s rewarded to the offense. Why should the defense get a break?

    If anything the offense gets rewarded when a player barely crosses the goal line and loses the football. If the NFL was really playing fair a running back would need to complete the process of the play if the ball gets knocked out at the point of crossing the goal line it needs to become a fumble.

    If a receiver has to complete the process of a catch, why shouldn’t the running back have to finish the process of crossing the goal line with the football fully possessed?

  21. Nonsense…There is nothing arbitrary about the rule…The field has boundaries, and one of them is the end zone…The offense has to cross the goal while controlling the ball…What is so unfair about that?…This is whining at its apex…America is doomed if this mentality is not kicked in the a$$.

  22. Let’s not make rules that make scoring easier. That’s Goodell talk. Pretty soon a TD will have the same impact as an NBA field goal.

    Some of us like it when a team has to do things right to make a TD. Besides, we don’t want this administration making any rules at all. That’s how we lost kickoffs and knocking the ball loose and Sudden Death, etc.

  23. We have no problem giving a defense two points when the offense loses the ball out of the back of the endzone… yet when the offense loses the ball going forward through the endzone we should freak out? No. The game is already slanted enough towards the offense, quit making it easier. Just hold onto the damn ball.

  24. For all the talk of rewriting the “what is and what is not a catch” rule… to what? I agree that it’s a terrible rule, I just don’t know what they could change it to.

    No matter how they write it, at one point or another there will be something that looks like it could be or should be a catch that won’t be a catch. Otherwise, everything is going to be a catch and that’s no good either.

    I thought Calvin Johnson got robbed on his and I think Dez got robbed on his… but how can it be changed without making everything a catch?

  25. There is already a rule like this for ball advancement. Been on the book a long time. I’m thinking it played part in or around the Fins perfect season but I’m not sure.

  26. Because nothing else is different in the end zone, right? Or are there other rules that change how things work in the end zone compared to how they work on the rest of the field?

    (Yes, it’s a rhetorical question.)

  27. Offense keeps the ball which should go back to the LOS from previous play, loss of down (or loss of yardage and down). If it was a 4th down same thing but with a change of possession.

  28. Nothing wrong with the rule. Fumbling the ball forward and into the endzone would be a touchdown if the offense recovered it. So if that’s ok, then add repercussions. Wanna fumble the ball into the endzone? Then you better recover it or else. I like that aspect of the rule.

  29. Absolutely unfair to give the ball to the defense. The ball should be given back to the offense if no one recovers. The ball should be placed at the spot where it was fumbled.

  30. “On a play from scrimmage, if an offensive player fumbles anywhere on the field during fourth down, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball. If any player fumbles after the two-minute warning in a half, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball.” -NFL Rulebook

    This rule should be in effect for the ENTIRE game.

  31. packerbammer1977 says:
    Sep 26, 2015 9:49 PM

    “You can’t advance the ball on a fumble! That’s already a rule. So people saying this would cause people to fumble on purpose to score don’t know what they are talking about.

    Still though I’m with the guys saying leave the rule alone. It should be a tough penalty for fumbling in the end zone.”

    You can actually advance a fumble, only if the ball is fumbled backwards. Even if it was fumbled forward, the offense can recover it but it’s dead at that spot. So, if he fumbles it forward in the endzone, you can still score a TD.

    Happens all the time.

    This rule is fine, imagine if they had enough evidence to show that Champ Bailey did fumble out of bounds in the endzone, then it would’ve been an even more big play by Ben Watson.

  32. Yeah, it makes sense. The object is to get the ball to the end zone, not the one yard line. If you lose the ball outside the end zone, too bad for you. The defense held you out. You can’t place it in the end zone for a score, so why some arbitrary last spot of possession? You screwed up, you pay. It’s that simple. It’s the object of the game itself.

  33. lightningbuggs says:
    Sep 26, 2015 9:36 PM

    “Similar play happened in VT-ECU game today. ECU punt returner muffed a punt that bounded into the endzone and then out for a touchback. ECU ball at their 20.

    Why should they be rewarded for that miscue?

    Agree. It’s a bad rule.”

    Muffs and fumbles are different, so that can happen.

  34. Jeez, trying to change yet another rule? What is unfair about it? You should be punished for fumbling so close to the endzone. How about you hold onto the dang ball! My God, the NFL is already becoming so watered down. These games are so bad to watch now it’s amost unbearable. There’s a flag pretty much every down, you can’t celebrate, we don’t even know what a catch or fumble is anymore, the extra point is stupid looking, Thursday night games are TERRIBLE, and there are more commercials than ever. Just stop with all the rule changes already.

  35. So what are they going to do, place it at the 1? Keep it as is. If a guy is lousy enough to cough it up and it rolls out of the EZ, there should be no benefit for the offense. They already get the call for touching a pylon that isn’t in the endzone anyways and the good ol’ breaking the plane of the goal line. If you lose the ball through the holy grail of scoring, you lose possession.

  36. “It’s not unfair. It keeps teams from fumbling forward and trying to be a touchdown that way.”

    a) there’s already a rule against scoring a TD that way

    b) that’s an insane way to try to score a TD. Intentionally fumbling is a good way to lose the ball.

  37. I don’t think it’s a great rule, however I have more issue with a few other things. Like what is considered a catch, offensive holding and pass interference to me it seems by definition of the rule that these two fouls could be called on almost every play from scrimmage so to have them arbitrarily called every once in a while has more of an influence of the outcome of games than the fumble out of the end zone rule.

  38. NFL will do nothing about this until it affects the patriotd. Then there will be a rule chane. By the way anyone know why the Patriots played the least amount of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish?

  39. i think the stiff arm is unfair. Don’t get my wrong I love the stiff arm, but in today’s watered down NFL, why is it a penalty when a defender hits an offensive player in the head, but when the roles are reversed its ok?

  40. The end zone is not neutral territory and fumbles are treated the same as kickoffs . On a kickoff the kicking team has possession until the receiving teams fields the ball. If it goes out of the end zone the kicking team is deemed to have relinquished possession.

  41. The most unfair rule in football is the challenge limit. A coach cannot challenge obvious errors because the officials were so bad that he successfully challenged multiple bad calls and is now out of challenges. A better way would be to only remove lost challenges. Start with 2. Miss them both that’s it. Get them right and keep the ability to challenge. That penalizes bogus challenges and affords an advantage for smart coaching staffs over desperate ones.

  42. The most logical thing to do is: the offense retains possession of the ball and it’s placed at the 20, like a reverse touchback. That is 20 yards from the endzone, not 80 yards.

  43. Every team is subject to that rule therefore it IS fair. Fairness is equality, and equality is fairness. Every team shares an equal chance of that play occurring. Unfair would be some guy not being called for a PI on a toss in the endzone. If the rule is ignored for one player, and the flag is thrown for another, THEN they have a complaint. That’s happened to my team 4 times this year already, twice in the endzone, both ended up as losses. But if our RB fumbles at the 1 should we complain and whine to the NFL that our RB didn’t protect the ball and let it bounce out of the back of the endzone for a turnover? Nope. We should point out that the RB needs to work on retaining possession of the ball better and the coaches need to coach them better on fundamentals. It sucks when it happens, but those are the breaks. It’s something of a quirky rule, but it makes sense really. If they fumble between the yard posts, they get the ball where it went out of bounds. If it goes out in the endzone, you can’t get the ball where it went out of bounds and if you’re ruling the RB down at the spot of the fumble, you’re basically saying “Do over!” Like a freagin 8 year old playing whatever game. That’s not gonna fly and I don’t support that one bit.

  44. Loosing possession of the ball on the way into the end zone is THE cardinal sin of any offensive player. When it happens the consequences should be severe. The rule should be left alone but if they are going to change the it at all it should be to treat it the same as if the offense fumbled it out of their own end zone and call it a safety. The game has practically been gift wrapped in rules changes for the offense as it is, enough already.

  45. iamthorny says:
    Sep 26, 2015 10:10 PM
    I’m all for giving it back to the offense at the same spot the D would get it…the 20.

    Hey, that’s actually not a bad idea. If they’re going to change it, I wouldn’t mind that. It’s not a turnover but that’s a HUGE penalty.

  46. The most logical thing to do is: the offense retains possession of the ball and it’s placed at the 20, like a reverse touchback. That is 20 yards from the endzone, not 80 yards.

    Also, keep the same down if it was ‘and goal’ for example, if it was 2nd and goal and fumbled out of endzone then ball is placed at the 20 and it is now 3rd and goal from the 20. Or add an exception for ‘and goal’ fumbles to put the ball at the 10 instead of the 20.

    Furthermore, if it was 3rd and 10 from the 50 yardline and the QB throws a quick screen pass that goes for 49 yards and then is fumbled out of the endzone then the ball is placed at the 20 and it’s 1st and 10.

  47. I vote for keeping possession, but placing the ball at the 20 while keeping the same down order (i.e., next down after the fumble) and first down marker (or goal to go, as applicable). Kind of the reverse of a touch back in the endzone.

  48. Its an old rule that was created to stop teams from “fumbling” forward to advance the ball and have one of the offensive lineman fall on it. I think it was the Raiders back in the 70’s or 80’s that did that type of play often enough that made the NFL had to put in this rule.

    I would like to see them fix it so a fumble through the end zone, unrecovered, goes back to the 20 yard line but the same team keeps possession.

  49. My idea even works if it’s 3rd and 5 from the 12 and fumbled out of the endzone. The refs will determine where the ball carrier fumbled the ball to see if it was a first down before losing possession and fumbling in to the endzone.

    If it was fumbled out of the endzone before getting a first down then it would be 4th and 13 from the 20. If they fumbled out of the endzone after they got the first down then it would be 1st and 10 from the 20.

  50. The rule should stand. If you fumble away the ball through the end zone, you lost possession of the ball. Therefore it’s the other teams possession. This rule change would also cause more players to get wreckless and reach for the goal line when they should be trying to protect the ball.

    The NFL is killing the goose that laid the golden egg with these bad rule changes. The rule that allows running QBs to intentionally ground when they’re out of the pocket is absolutely ridiculous. Please stop with the new rules and let’s get back to a more pure game – before it’s too late.

  51. Let the offense retain possession, but put the ball back on the 20 yard line.
    ——————————————————————————
    Good idea!

  52. I love this rule. You want to score, take care of the football near the goal line. The most unfair rule in the game is DPI – no penalty should be worth 30+ yards at at times. Max it at 15.

  53. milam27 says:
    Sep 26, 2015 9:19 PM

    It’s not unfair. It keeps teams from fumbling forward and trying to be a touchdown that way. If you are about to fall and just “fumble” and there’s no risk of losing the ball then everyone will start to do it in hopes to get a touchdown.
    ———————————————————
    I disagree. The risk of intentionally fumbling is already built in. The possibility that the defense would recover it should be enough incentive to not intentionally fumble.

  54. Solution: If the ball is fumbled forward out of the end zone, the offense keeps the ball, but the line of scrimmage goes back to the 20-yard line.

  55. Unfair? I guess fumbling inside your own 20, and having an interception caught by those dang defensive players, and having your punt blocked is unfair too. Geez…if you don’t want them to get the ball…hang on to the ball. It’s not rocket science.

  56. Just make it to where the ball can’t progress past where the player fumbles. If a ball comes loose and rolls up field and out of bounds, spot it where the runner lost control of it at instead of giving free yards. Problem solved.

  57. Also, Dez Bryant did not get robbed. He bobbled the ball, and it hit the ground and came out of his possession.

  58. I rather they get rid of “ineligible man downfield”, can’t get that one

    Also why touchdown by Washington wasn’t overturned after review ( Coughlin tried to challenge the play)

  59. Simple answer.

    Ball goes out of bounds from the end zone via a fumble, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage, the down is counted, and play continues.

  60. Ok, by your premise why should the offense benefit from a major error at the most important time. It gives the defense another incentive for goaline stop.

  61. The defense makes a great play to cause a fumble and you want to take that away from them. How many times does a runner fumbled the ball just after he cross the goal line and it’s a TD … now that’s the most unfair rule.

  62. I guess the Leon Lett play in the super bowl should have been Dallas ball on the 1 what a joke it was good hustle by the buffalo player and they should be rewarded it’s a good rule

  63. The rule is not unfair. Why reward the offense for making an error by giving them the ball back? Why don’t you just let someone punt the ball again next time it gets blocked and goes out the back of the endzone for a safety? The majority of the time the offense fumbles are due to the defense making a play and causing them to fumble. Don’t take away a good play by the defense and let the offense have a do over.

  64. Media talking heads decide football needs fixing again. This rule is SOOO UNFAIR. You suits can’t stop, we have to wait for them to tell us a touchdown has been confirmed before we can celebrate the touchdown we just watched because of you. ESPN is always trying to get a rule changed. A word to “journalists ” football does not need to change for you. But you won’t stop till you kill it.

  65. I don’t think this rule is unfair at all. It’s a touch back.

    Less fair rules include:

    The tuck rule

    The catch rule

    Not being able to challenge a scoring play when the refs clearly “reviewed” it incorrectly.

    Just to name a few.

  66. If anything is unfair about fumbles, I’d say that its offenses aren’t punished for fumbling the ball out of bounds at any other part of the field. Turning the ball over is one of the worst things an offensive player can do for their team, why shouldn’t they get punished when they lose possession of the ball? I’d be fine if the NFL decided that fumbling the ball out of bounds became an illegal procedure type penalty that was a loss of down plus 10-15 yards.

  67. jchipwood says:
    Sep 26, 2015 10:43 PM

    NFL will do nothing about this until it affects the patriotd. Then there will be a rule chane. By the way anyone know why the Patriots played the least amount of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish

    you mean like how Poulian got the rules changed to prevent the pats from touching his receivers?

    or maybe you mean the rule about hitting a qb below the knee for which pollard got nada and Wilfork got fined?

    you see what you want to see I guess.

  68. So the solution would be give the offense back the football at the point of fumble? If the ball is fumbled forwards of backwards on any part of the field it should be bought back to the place where it was fumbled as well.

  69. The NFL needs to go to Lambeau field and stop the nonsense that goes on there. 4 bad calls and an ejection vs the Sehawks last week. 4 opponents players EJECTED in the last 8 games played there. Countless momentum stopping bad penalties called on opponents in the last 3 years. Thank god they lost to Seattle last year.

  70. The rule is only enforced when a team screws up doing something foolish. Negative consequences for screwing up and doing something foolish is just natural.

    It is against nature to reward screwing up and being foolish. It is a wonderful rule and should be kept just as it is.

    No team should ever be stupid enough to have the rule affect them negatively.

  71. Florio is on this again? The end zone is not the sideline. If a guy is running free and the defense bats the ball away, the ball bounces into the end zone and then out if play, clearly a play by the defense, why should the offense get the ball at the 1, and an easy TD for fumbling? If we are going to treat the end zone the same as any part of the field as suggested, then it’s totally unfair to punish the offense for getting tackled in the other teams end zone and awarding the defense 2 points and the ball. If he had been tackled at the “one inch line” the offense keeps the ball and the defense gets no points. Why punish the offense for getting tackled in the end zone?

  72. thisguy124 says:
    Sep 26, 2015 10:24 PM

    Jeez, trying to change yet another rule? What is unfair about it? You should be punished for fumbling so close to the endzone. How about you hold onto the dang ball! My God, the NFL is already becoming so watered down. These games are so bad to watch now it’s amost unbearable. There’s a flag pretty much every down, you can’t celebrate, we don’t even know what a catch or fumble is anymore, the extra point is stupid looking, Thursday night games are TERRIBLE, and there are more commercials than ever. Just stop with all the rule changes already.
    —————————–

    i agree. especially with the thursday games. i’d much rather see friday or saturday games. so what if they play high school or college games. i can certainly do with out those.

  73. I like the rule as is. Is it harsh yes but it places the importance exactly where it should be on ball security. Besides all of the rules that favor the offense it is nice to have one that favors the defense for a change!

  74. i think the stiff arm is unfair. Don’t get my wrong I love the stiff arm, but in today’s watered down NFL, why is it a penalty when a defender hits an offensive player in the head, but when the roles are reversed its ok?
    ———————————————————–
    Why is not “illegal hands to the face”?

  75. My vote for worst rule: an offensive lineman reacts to a defensive movement and an offsides is called. Awful!

  76. Simple. Just make it so the offense can’t advance the ball by fumbling it forward. Don’t reward them for what is a bad football play. If the offense fumbles it and it goes out of bounds, the offense retains at the point where they fumbled from, not where it ended up. It makes more sense this way and it takes care of the whole fumble through the end zone thing.

  77. I think the most unfair rule is defensive holding. A team can be 3rd and 50, but if it’s a 5 yard defensive holding penalty, it’s an automatic first down. That’s never quite made sense to me.

  78. Leave this alone. This consequence should amplify the intensity to retain the ball at the goal line. Don’t drop the rock and there is no issue.

  79. Its now a crazy rule. Dont forget the Raiders won a game against the Chargers on 1978 when they purposely pushed a fumble forward and they won the game because of it aka the “Holy Roller and/or the Immaculate Deception”.

  80. I think the team that fumbled the ball should keep possession but the ball should be placed at the one yard line. The player lost possession before he broke the plain. That’s where the ball should be placed. Same rules should apply throughout the whole field of play. Soo.. if a player lost possession at the 50 yard line and bounced forward seven yards before going out of bounds then the ball should be placed back at the 50 where the player lost possession.

  81. I can see the penalty of using the rule in some situations to fumble forward to gain yardage. I think loss of possession (current rule) is too severe, and could be replaced by placing the ball on the 20 with no loss of possession but maintaining the down count. This would present an (x) down and goal to go as the penalty.

  82. Here is easy solution. If a defensive player causes the player to lose the ball punch out etc, and it goes out of bounds inside endzone, the defense is awarded the ball on the one yard line. If the offense player simply loses the ball without contact or the contact was not sufficent for the offensive player to lose the ball, the ball is placed on the yard marker where he initial lost control of the ball and offensive maitains the ball.

  83. Fumbling out of bounds *SHOULD* be a turnover. That is the rule that needs to be changed. I’m perfectly fine with the current rule regarding fumbling through the endzone. Don’t try to fix what’s not broken, Florio.

  84. The rule is fine as is. The whole point of the game is to reach the end zone while in full possession of the ball. Any fumble that leads to the ball going out of bounds from the sideline, the offense retains possession. The same can’t be said of a fumble but the ball ending out of bounds in the end zone. The safety rule makes sense. And of course, as someone already stated, as such, the NFL, will mess with it.

  85. Whats wrong with that rule? If you are going to change it at least have the offense retain possession but impose a 15 yard penalty from the spot of the fumble.

  86. If you fumble the ball you risk losing possession. If you don’t like the rule, then don’t fumble. Seriously, if you think this is the most unfair rule in the NFL, do you actually know any other rules? Because this one is way down the list of NFL unfairness.

  87. fanofthegame1 says: Sep 26, 2015 11:36 PM

    The most unfair rule in game is the 50 yard PI
    ………………………………………………………………..

    if pass interference penalties are not at the point of the foul, anytime a defender gets beat, just grab the receiver. you would never see a 30 yard plus pass play again.

  88. What does the end zone represent? It represents one team’s “home”. The goal, is to get the ball into the other team’s home. If the ball goes out of bounds in a team’s home, that team gets the ball.

    Florio, stop working so hard, and using your gossip pulpit, to involve yourself in sport. You are not an athlete, you have never been an athlete. You do not know the history of sport, nor have any concept of culture, respect, or history. You are a lawyer who wants to become important in an arena you have no place in.

    Do you know what is unfair Mike? What is unfair is that our culture provides so much attention to those who contribute nothing. Wait, I’m part of the problem 😦

  89. padraighansen says:
    Sep 26, 2015 9:45 PM
    They should also revisit the “complete the run” rule in the end zone. If a player fumbles while crossing the goal line – before he’s down and the run “completed”, similar to “completing the catch” in the end zone – it should be a fumble. Right now, they have two different rules for catches and runs in the end zone.

    Agree with this 100%. I hate when the defense stuffs a runner at the goal line, only for a touchdown to be awarded because the ball “broke the plane…” It is called a “touchdown”, right?

  90. “”anyone know why the Patriots played the least amount of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish”

    Anyone know why PFT allows people to keep posting wild claims about the Pats that have zero basis in truth ?

    Other than “wwwaaaaaa I hate the Pats so I whine about anything I can think of ?”

  91. I think all fumbles out of bounds should be turnovers.

    The defense has caused a fumble. That’s a good job. If the ball then goes running out of bounds before either side can recover it then why not give it to the D?

    The D caused something to happen by making the O stuff up, but the side line gets the O out of trouble.

  92. Giving the ball back to the offense is, in effect, a Mulligan – “Oops! Sorry, let me try again.” We have enough ridiculous rules in football. No need to change this one.

  93. No. Hold on to the ball. The defender punched the ball out right before the RB was going to score. That’s good D. That’s making a play. Guy could have held on tighter. He didn’t and they paid the price.

  94. The ball is spotted and the offense where it went out of bounds but they lose a down. For example If it was 4th down it is a turnover even if the runner had the first down when he fumbled. It may not be fair but you can’t be rewarded for fumbling.

  95. What about something like the offense loses that down and they go back to where the ball was snapped.

    For example: It’s 3rd and goal on the 8. They run the ball, and the RB fumbles out the endzone. Play is done. It’s now 4th and goal on the 8.

    Don’t know if that would work as well if it was a long 60 yard play or something, but you have to be penalized somehow otherwise, like many others have already said, players will do it on purpose if they are short of the endzone.

  96. iamapatsfan says:
    Sep 28, 2015 2:40 PM
    What about something like the offense loses that down and they go back to where the ball was snapped.

    For example: It’s 3rd and goal on the 8. They run the ball, and the RB fumbles out the endzone. Play is done. It’s now 4th and goal on the 8.

    Don’t know if that would work as well if it was a long 60 yard play or something, but you have to be penalized somehow otherwise, like many others have already said, players will do it on purpose if they are short of the endzone.
    —————————–

    They will not “do it on purpose” bro. What is the advantage? A forward fumble recovered by the offense is returned to the spot of the fumble so what is the advantage of doing it on purpose? Best case scenario you’re right where you are. Worst case scenario the defense recovers and you just turned it over in the red zone. So what is the advantage of doing it on purpose? Think.

  97. michol20 says:
    Sep 27, 2015 9:35 AM
    I think the team that fumbled the ball should keep possession but the ball should be placed at the one yard line. The player lost possession before he broke the plain. That’s where the ball should be placed. Same rules should apply throughout the whole field of play. Soo.. if a player lost possession at the 50 yard line and bounced forward seven yards before going out of bounds then the ball should be placed back at the 50 where the player lost possession.
    ————————

    Ummmm….. That IS the current rule.

  98. thermo321 says:
    Sep 26, 2015 9:44 PM
    I just can’t imagine there will be many instances of a runner that is about to go down on the 2 yard line purposely throwing the ball forward hoping a teammate will recover it in the endzone for a TD. Just make a rule that inside the 10 yd line, a fumble comes back to the spot of the fumble and problem solved
    —————————-

    Guys, this IS the current rule. How does nobody not know this? You can’t fumble a ball forward and gain yardage. A forward fumble is always brought back to the spot of the fumble. It must be fumbled backwards for the offense to advance it. In your scenario, if some shlub offensive lineman recovers in the end zone, it’s brought back to the 2. It’s not a touchdown.

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