By Mike Florio
Remember when a game could be won in overtime by winning the toss, gaining a few first downs, and kicking a field goal? When the Saints did just that nine years ago to secure a Super Bowl berth, the league abruptly changed an unfair rule that had been hiding in plain sight for decades. It will take that kind of outcome to make the notoriously conservative NFL change the worst rule on the books.
It’s the fumble out of the end zone. There continues to be no good argument in favor of allowing the offense to keep possession when a fumble in the field of play goes out of bounds at the one-inch line but giving the ball to the defense at its own 20 if the ball ends up hitting the pylon or otherwise ending up out of bounds in the end zone.
The defense in many cases has done nothing cause the fumble, and it necessarily has done nothing in any case to recover it. So why does the offense keep the ball when it goes out of bounds in the 100 yards that aren’t the end zone but lose it if the ball crosses the plane of the goal line? It makes no sense, and the “well don’t fumble it” excuse doesn’t work because, again, if the ball goes out of bounds at the one-inch line, the offense keeps it even if the offense lost it. ...
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