Officials properly applied “no try” rule after Lions scored go-ahead touchdown with no time left

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
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Many were confused by the fact that the Lions were not required to run a point-after try after taking a 29-27 lead with no time left on Sunday. Some suggested the officials erred by not running one more play. According to the league, it was handled properly.

The provision comes from Rule 4, Section 8, Article 2(c) of the rulebook: “If a touchdown is made on the last play of a period, the Try attempt shall be made (except during a sudden-death period, or if a touchdown is scored during a down in which time in the fourth period expires, and a successful Try would not affect the outcome of the game).”

The key is the presence of the word “successful.” An unsuccessful try on Sunday, if it resulted in a turnover and a return for two points, would have affected the outcome of the game. But the rule doesn’t say “successful or unsuccessful.” Although the smart move in situations like that would be to take a knee 100 out of 100 times, why not require the team to execute a successful kneel down?

They don’t end a game prematurely when the team leading the game needs to simply take one or two or three knees. Why end a game when there’s an incredibly slim — but not impossible — chance that things will go haywire?

Here’s a thought — change the rule to “successful or unsuccessful.” That way, the try would happen in any game that results in the touchown with no time on the clock creating a one- or two-point lead.

14 responses to “Officials properly applied “no try” rule after Lions scored go-ahead touchdown with no time left

  1. I agree. Make them attempt something. No different than taking a knee to run out the clock, and the 1 in a million chance it actually makes a difference would be awesome to see.

  2. Let’s just call it a “mercy rule” and let the humiliated Vikings get out of sight and into their locker room at the earliest opportunity, OK?

  3. I can’t believe you didn’t mention the gamblers. This is an example of the bettors perhaps being negatively influenced and not being properly addressed without a try being executed. The betting line is often swayed by a single point ….

  4. Stupid to play this last down. How many times has a kneeldown NOT worked? This isn’t even meant sarcastically, I truly mean it: when was the kneeldown botched? Ever?

  5. Absolutely no need to add that play. The clock ran out. One team had more points. Stop trying to complicate things to give a losing team a free chance, albeit a tiny one, to change the outcome of the game.

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