NFL closes loophole allowing teams to kill clock with dead-ball penalties

Getty Images

NFL owners approved a handful of rules changes during Thursday’s meeting, including one that will close a loophole that allowed teams to run chunks of time off the clock by intentionally committing dead ball fouls.

The Patriots purposely committed fouls to run time before punting in a regular season win against the Jets and their head coach Bill Belichick said after the game that he thought the league would move to eliminate the tactic. He was right, although it couldn’t happen until after Titans coach Mike Vrabel took advantage of the same loophole in a playoff win over New England.

The change covers the fourth quarter and overtime of games. The game clock will now start on the next snap rather than when officials set the ball after assessing a penalty.

In addition to that change, owners also voted in favor of two other changes. One made permanent the rule calling for booth-generated reviews of successful and unsuccessful tries for points after touchdowns and the other approved enhanced defenseless player protections for kickoff and punt returners.

Those protections, which bar forcible hits to the head or neck area, hits from an opponent who lowers his helmet to make forcible contact and hits from an opponent who launch themselves, now extend until returners have a chance to ward off players from the other team.

 

5 responses to “NFL closes loophole allowing teams to kill clock with dead-ball penalties

  1. The NFL still allows the Green Bay Cheese Cheaters to gain yards they can’t earn any way by allowing them to profit off of pre-snap defensive penalties? This is the largest exploitation of rules in a fraudulent way ever conceived. The loophole they just closed is a soft drink straw compared to the tunnel that the Green Bay team gets away with as the biggest offender of the use of such in NFL history.

  2. I didn’t like it but KUDOS to Vrabel for knowing the rules and not being affraid to stroll into these grey areas! That’s what Belichick does and gets called a cheater for it, well walking in the grey area of a rule that isn’t fully explained/covered isn’t cheating, it’s being a good coach, being knowledgeable and knowing the rules, all of the rules.

    What really shocked me was a few years ago when there was a tie right after they changed the tie-breaker rules how so many players and a few coaches claimed “I didn’t know there could be a tie”. Now how can so many people that get paid millions of dollars be so stupid about their profession and then they publicly admitted it!

    Here in the real world you get fired if you know so little about your job, either that or you stay at the bottom of the ladder forever, in the sports world they pay you millions!

  3. Steve Cunningham says:
    May 28, 2020 at 4:11 pm
    I didn’t like it but KUDOS to Vrabel for knowing the rules and not being affraid to stroll into these grey areas! That’s what Belichick does and gets called a cheater for it, well walking in the grey area of a rule that isn’t fully explained/covered isn’t cheating, it’s being a good coach, being knowledgeable and knowing the rules, all of the rules.
    ***************************************************************************************

    You seem to have missed the fact that it was Belichick that knew the rules and wasn’t afraid to stroll into the gray area, and yes, he was called a cheater for it. Vrabel simply saw it on the Patriots tape when preparing for the playoff game against the Patriots, and when the opportunity arose, used the same tactic. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  4. Belichick did it in a game that was already effectively over simply to expose the loophole, not to gain an advantage in the game.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.