December 2, 2007

Freezing the Kicker

This has been the NFL season of freezing the kicker, but apparently Joe Gibbs isn't up to date on the most recent rule changes.

Oh wait, this rule changed in 2005, and consecutive time outs have never been allowed in the NFL (though it was not always a penalty before). Prior to 2005, the second time out attempt would just be waived off, and the team would risk a discretionary unsportsmanlike penalty under the unfair deception blanket rule, or for delay of game if the illegal second time out gave the team some time-based advantage. [Thanks to SteelersFever for a history of NFL rule changes.]

Presently, if the defense calls consecutive time outs on a field goal attempt, the offending team is hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. In this case, the game-winning field goal was shortened from 51 (in the cold rain) to 36. Lindell converted, and the Bills snatched one from Washington 17-16 (without scoring a TD, safety and five FGs).

Retired NFL referee Jerry Markbreit explained it here:

What is the rule when one team calls a time out and then try's to call a second time out? Is there a penalty? Can a team do that? --Rod Weal, Melrose Park, Ill.

Consecutive time outs called by the same team are not permitted under NFL rules. If this occurs, the officials do not allow the time out and no penalty is assessed. If the second time out is inadvertently allowed, the clock is immediately restarted with no penalty. The only situation that carries a penalty for a second consecutive time out is when a team is attempting a field goal and the opponents, after calling a time out to "freeze the kicker," then ask for a second time out. This is an unsportsmanlike conduct foul and the defense is penalized 15 yards from the line of scrimmage.

1 Responses:

dirtydave said...

Ryan Lindell would have made that kick anyway, but good for the Bills anyway. Go Bills

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!