Unusual play against Bucs led Rams to propose a rule change

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL announced 11 proposed changes to the rules on Thursday, including one that had its genesis in one play during a Week 11 game between the Buccaneers and Rams.

On a third-and-10 with the Rams up 24-17 in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady had a pass batted back to him that he caught before throwing an eight-yard completion. Two forward passes are not allowed on the same play, but the five-yard penalty for what Brady did is not accompanied by a loss of down, which is the case for a forward pass thrown by someone over the line of scrimmage.

That meant the Rams were faced with a choice of accepting the penalty and giving the Bucs a third-and-15 or declining it to leave them with a fourth-and-two. They declined the penalty and the Bucs punted on their way to a loss.

The Rams proposed a change that would amend the penalty for such a play to include a loss of down. Given the penalty for a pass over the line of scrimmage, it seems like a logical addition but team owners will decide if they agree later this offseason.

11 responses to “Unusual play against Bucs led Rams to propose a rule change

  1. happens about once every 10 years so who cares. they should change the dumbest rule in the game…when you fumble and it goes out of the opposing team’s endzone you should maintain possession of the ball at the point of the fumble, just like you would if you fumbled and it rolled forward and out of bounds at the opponent’s 1 yard line.

  2. I’d have proposed the opposite. As long as the ball hasn’t touched the ground, a pass batted back behind the line of scrimmage may be caught by the quarterback and the play allowed to continue as normal (he can run or pass). Seems a lot more fun and what’s the point of making it a penalty, anyway? We already have too many penalties.

  3. For all that is holy – please give defenses more benefits for good plays like batted passes … a 12-9 game may sound boring but if you watch it i- every play is intense

  4. Makes sense. However, the XFL actually allows these types of plays, if a pass is batted back the QB can make another forward throw. Wonder if the NFL would consider adopting that.

  5. Makes perfect sense. I would add the play is dead when if the ball is thrown a 2nd time. Shouldn’t be able to convert on a illegal move.

  6. It’s funny how many inconsistencies like this there are in the rule book. You’d think somebody with the NFL would have identified this long ago and they rules would have been made consistent one way or the other.

  7. I say when the ball is batted or tipped its a free ball and a forward pass should be allowed

  8. If pass is batted back to QB who catches it and it did not hit the ground he should be able to throw it again and stats should give QB a pass and catch for first one and results of second pass.

    QB could get a pass completion, catch and second completion or interception on one play

  9. So TB12 had two passes and two completions and he also caught a pass on the same play. Wow, he is the GOAT! ☺

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