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The fumble out the endzone rule


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Having watched this game for over 40 years I agree with the "stick with the rule" crowd in here.  As harsh as it is - there is no other remedy that makes sense in the context of the rest of the r

I found the below on this, if you are interested.  NFL senior vice president of officiating explains why the rule is the way it is - “Because the goal line is involved — and this is a consistent

For context, I'm a Browns fan.  In my opinion, this rule is perfectly fine as is, and it's a good balance between risk vs. reward on stretching the ball out at the goal-line.  Every time I've ever see

Having watched this game for over 40 years I agree with the "stick with the rule" crowd in here. 

As harsh as it is - there is no other remedy that makes sense in the context of the rest of the rules. 

It would create a ridiculous, arbitrary determination of a play (fumbling out the back of the EZ) that has no basis in any other rule. 

Out of bounds = out of bounds. EZ = scoring area. Two different universes right there. Those equating the two simply don't understand all of the other rules that have existed since the NFL was formed.

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Rule doesn't bother me.

Everyone knows it.

I don't know why players keep reaching out with the ball like that and they know the rule too.  The exception would be if it is 4th down, 2XP, game on the line with no time left.  Go ahead and reach for it.

We see this happen numerous times each year and pretty much every time the player has the ball in a compromising player rather than tucked in like normal.

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7 minutes ago, Sternes said:

Rule doesn't bother me.

Everyone knows it.

I don't know why players keep reaching out with the ball like that and they know the rule too.  The exception would be if it is 4th down, 2XP, game on the line with no time left.  Go ahead and reach for it.

We see this happen numerous times each year and pretty much every time the player has the ball in a compromising player rather than tucked in like normal.

Yep.

I don't BLAME Higgins for doing what he did. If he hadn't - he would have been roasted for that too.

It's just that - you have one of the league's best backfields with Chubbles/Hunt. Pick one at the half yard line 1st and goal and you score. Hell have Baker take it in on a keeper.

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3 hours ago, SuperJoint said:

Having watched this game for over 40 years I agree with the "stick with the rule" crowd in here. 

As harsh as it is - there is no other remedy that makes sense in the context of the rest of the rules. 

It would create a ridiculous, arbitrary determination of a play (fumbling out the back of the EZ) that has no basis in any other rule. 

Out of bounds = out of bounds. EZ = scoring area. Two different universes right there. Those equating the two simply don't understand all of the other rules that have existed since the NFL was formed.

A ball cannot make forward progress on a fumble, however, it can make backward progress, hence, a safety.  I personally think the fumble touchback rule is far too punitive, and it should be treated as a forward progress fumble (ball at spot of fumble) if the defense does not recover it in the EZ.

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7 minutes ago, ccimore said:

A ball cannot make forward progress on a fumble, however, it can make backward progress, hence, a safety.  I personally think the fumble touchback rule is far too punitive, and it should be treated as a forward progress fumble (ball at spot of fumble) if the defense does not recover it in the EZ.

I understand. However - fumbling out the back of the EZ - also known as the scoring zone - Is an especially grievous sin. 

Just hold onto the ball - like you were taught since you were 8 or so - and this thread doesn't exist, 

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20 hours ago, ThreadKiller said:

I think it's a stretch to claim that everyone who is able to distinguish the difference between out of bounds and the endzone "loves it". I think they just understand the difference.

To me, the point that out of bound is different than the end zone can't be argued against.

You are either okay with the rule, or you aren't, first part of your response is purely semantic because of the verbiage I used, my point still stands however.

Out of Bounds in the end zone vs out of bounds everywhere else, different, sure. But both do not work under the same rule of fumbles in the field of play, which is the issue for those who don't like the current rule. The primary driver being how severe the penalty is for fumbling and it goes out of the end zone. 

 

Just look at this thread, two very valid stances on the rule for both sides causing disagreement, if a rule can cause that, one of the rules needs to be fixed to promote clarity and uniformity. Just my opinion of course.

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I wonder if the rule is there to deter some sort of abuse or cheating.  

For example - say the rule is "if it goes out of bounds in the end zone, you keep possession at the spot of the fumble" as people suggest here.  An offensive player fumbles the ball....wouldn't it be smart for another offensive player to bat the ball through the endzone so that they retain the ball without actually having to recover it?  There's a good chance a player could do that without making it look like he's doing it on purpose. 

With the current rule, the offensive player doesn't have that option - he has to go to recover the ball.

I'm sure an offensive player could do that at midfield too, toward the sideline, but near the endzone you have the entire back of the endzone to bat the ball out of.

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Hot Take: They should award the defense possession of the ball any time the ball is fumbled out of bounds.

Don't we have enough rules favoring the offense ?

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For context, I'm a Browns fan.  In my opinion, this rule is perfectly fine as is, and it's a good balance between risk vs. reward on stretching the ball out at the goal-line.  Every time I've ever seen this scenario occur, it's because a defender is giving maximum effort to disrupt the play.  You have to give credit where it's due, and I love seeing a player give it his all.  Higgins messed up, it is what it is.

Having said that, the targeting call, or lack of a call, is probably the most disappointing part of this play.

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17 hours ago, fletch44 said:

Hot Take: They should award the defense possession of the ball any time the ball is fumbled out of bounds.

Don't we have enough rules favoring the offense ?

 

This would be an option as well. Good suggestion.

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18 hours ago, fletch44 said:

Hot Take: They should award the defense possession of the ball any time the ball is fumbled out of bounds.

Don't we have enough rules favoring the offense ?

Lol. People already complain enough when a RB gets punished by his coach for fumbling. This would add obscenely more variance to an already unpredictable position. 

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23 hours ago, kmoore1521 said:

You are either okay with the rule, or you aren't, first part of your response is purely semantic because of the verbiage I used, my point still stands however.

Out of Bounds in the end zone vs out of bounds everywhere else, different, sure. But both do not work under the same rule of fumbles in the field of play, which is the issue for those who don't like the current rule. The primary driver being how severe the penalty is for fumbling and it goes out of the end zone. 

 

Just look at this thread, two very valid stances on the rule for both sides causing disagreement, if a rule can cause that, one of the rules needs to be fixed to promote clarity and uniformity. Just my opinion of course.

 

What I don't understand is how someone can agree that out of bounds in the end zone is different than everywhere else but not agree with the fact that they "both don't work under the same rule of fumbles in the field of play." If out of bounds is different in each location, then why in the world should the outcome/penalty/whatever you want to label it be the same? They 100% shouldn't. They're different, so they're different. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

The one thing that maybe can be debated is the "penalty" itself. Maybe it's too severe, maybe it isn't.

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11 minutes ago, ThreadKiller said:

 

What I don't understand is how someone can agree that out of bounds in the end zone is different than everywhere else but not agree with the fact that they "both don't work under the same rule of fumbles in the field of play." If out of bounds is different in each location, then why in the world should the outcome/penalty/whatever you want to label it be the same? They 100% shouldn't. They're different, so they're different. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

The one thing that maybe can be debated is the "penalty" itself. Maybe it's too severe, maybe it isn't.

The overall of rule of a fumble has a caveat specific to the end zone. All fumbles are created equal in the field of play so creating a specific rule for the end zone is an interesting decision. I don't completely disagree there should be a penalty for fumbling out of the end zone (because scoring a TD is simply breaking the plain favoring the offense already). But I also see how some say creating a specific rule for the end zone seems to only further complicate already inconsistent NFL rules. 

 

The biggest thing for me as seen in my posts, is the severity of the penalty which I think overall is the biggest issue fans have as well. Defenses should need to recover the ball to get possession. There are many rules favoring the offense in the NFL so it makes why some would want this to stay to finally have a rule favoring the defense. To each their own.

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19 minutes ago, kmoore1521 said:

The overall of rule of a fumble has a caveat specific to the end zone. All fumbles are created equal in the field of play so creating a specific rule for the end zone is an interesting decision. I don't completely disagree there should be a penalty for fumbling out of the end zone (because scoring a TD is simply breaking the plain favoring the offense already). But I also see how some say creating a specific rule for the end zone seems to only further complicate already inconsistent NFL rules. 

 

The biggest thing for me as seen in my posts, is the severity of the penalty which I think overall is the biggest issue fans have as well. Defenses should need to recover the ball to get possession. There are many rules favoring the offense in the NFL so it makes why some would want this to stay to finally have a rule favoring the defense. To each their own.

 

It sounds like we can agree that the penalty/outcome should be different when the ball is fumbled through end zone rather than anywhere else on the field. That is the point I take issue with because I can't fathom how anyone would claim they should be the same. Unless I misunderstood others, it seems like that's what some would prefer. That the ball be placed where the fumble was lost the same way it is if it goes out of bounds. To me, that makes absolutely no sense.

I'm with you that the issue at hand seems to be the severity of the penalty. That's really the only thing that can be logically debated. For me personally though, I am ok with the rule because I can't really think of a better alternative.

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1 hour ago, ThreadKiller said:

I'm with you that the issue at hand seems to be the severity of the penalty. That's really the only thing that can be logically debated. For me personally though, I am ok with the rule because I can't really think of a better alternative.

For me what I would like to see is the offense keeps possession but the ball is moved back to  the 25 like a touchback of sorts (other options as well to where it should placed). @lolcopter also had an idea of maybe like they get a 4th down play from the 25 or wherever the ball is moved back to. It def shouldn't be placed at the 1-2 yard line that's for sure imo. Its interesting to play around with ideas.

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I found the below on this, if you are interested.  NFL senior vice president of officiating explains why the rule is the way it is -

“Because the goal line is involved — and this is a consistent application of the impetus rule,” Blandino said. “Impetus is the force that puts the ball into an end zone. So if a team provides the impetus that puts a ball into their opponent’s end zone . . . then they are responsible for it. They’re responsible for it. And if the ball gets out of bounds through the end zone then it is a touchback. [...]

“Now that may seem like an egregious penalty but again, think about it, they put the ball into their opponent’s end zone,” Blandino said. “If it’s not fourth down or inside two minutes, if they recover it, it’s a score. So that’s potentially a big play, so the penalty for not recovering it . . . has to be big as well. That’s why it’s a touchback. That’s consistent with other loose balls that go into an opponent’s end zone. Kicks, punts, fumbles, backward passes."

Wait, what?

If that seems like a roundabout explanation, Blandino clarified things with his conclusion:

“You’re responsible for putting the ball into your opponent’s end zone, you’re responsible for recovering it,” Blandino said. “If you don’t and it goes out of bounds or the defense recovers, they’ve defended their goal line, and they get a touchback.”

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On 1/19/2021 at 10:27 PM, Sternes said:

Rule doesn't bother me.

Everyone knows it.

I don't know why players keep reaching out with the ball like that and they know the rule too.  The exception would be if it is 4th down, 2XP, game on the line with no time left.  Go ahead and reach for it.

We see this happen numerous times each year and pretty much every time the player has the ball in a compromising player rather than tucked in like normal.

Reaching for the goal line has produced FAR more positive results for offensive players than negative. 

I'm making these numbers up, but if I told you that reaching for the goal line produces a touchdown 60%, it results in being down short of a TD 38% of the time, and a turnover 2% of the time, you're going to reach, right?

If reaching for the goal line produced negative plays at a higher rate, then your comment makes sense.  But honestly, name me 3 times that a player reached for the goal line this season and it ended up as a turnover.  I think that Browns play was the first one I saw all season (and I watch just about every televised game).  Most of the time it is either a TD or he ends up short.

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2 hours ago, kp96 said:

I found the below on this, if you are interested.  NFL senior vice president of officiating explains why the rule is the way it is -

“Because the goal line is involved — and this is a consistent application of the impetus rule,” Blandino said. “Impetus is the force that puts the ball into an end zone. So if a team provides the impetus that puts a ball into their opponent’s end zone . . . then they are responsible for it. They’re responsible for it. And if the ball gets out of bounds through the end zone then it is a touchback. [...]

“Now that may seem like an egregious penalty but again, think about it, they put the ball into their opponent’s end zone,” Blandino said. “If it’s not fourth down or inside two minutes, if they recover it, it’s a score. So that’s potentially a big play, so the penalty for not recovering it . . . has to be big as well. That’s why it’s a touchback. That’s consistent with other loose balls that go into an opponent’s end zone. Kicks, punts, fumbles, backward passes."

Wait, what?

If that seems like a roundabout explanation, Blandino clarified things with his conclusion:

“You’re responsible for putting the ball into your opponent’s end zone, you’re responsible for recovering it,” Blandino said. “If you don’t and it goes out of bounds or the defense recovers, they’ve defended their goal line, and they get a touchback.”

In a weird way actually kinda makes sense

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2 hours ago, Joe Mama said:

In a weird way actually kinda makes sense

Nah not even weird. This explains it - thanks for posting it.

EDIT - actually I now see @kp96 originally posted it - I appreciate it.

Edited by SuperJoint
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On 1/19/2021 at 10:35 PM, SuperJoint said:

Yep.

I don't BLAME Higgins for doing what he did. If he hadn't - he would have been roasted for that too.

It's just that - you have one of the league's best backfields with Chubbles/Hunt. Pick one at the half yard line 1st and goal and you score. Hell have Baker take it in on a keeper.

 

  Picking up a 25 yard gain to put your team ato the GL and getting roasted for not reaching out with the ball? 

giphy.gif

 

You even said it yourself with Chubb/Hunt at the goalline.  I understand Higgins was trying to make a play, it just ended with the worst possible outcome like we have seen time and time before.

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