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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Oct. 16 2006

    A little-known wrinkle in the NFL rulebook worked against the Rams in the
    closing moments of Sunday's 30-28 loss to Seattle.

    Because Seattle was flagged for an illegal-formation penalty -- and not, say, a
    false start -- there was no 10-second runoff on the game clock. Seattle
    quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hurriedly spiked the ball with 4 seconds remaining
    when the penalty was called.

    "It was an illegal formation," referee Ed Hochuli told a pool reporter. "The
    players were all set, but the widest receiver, instead of being up on the line
    of scrimmage, he was in the backfield, putting only six men on the line of
    scrimmage."

    So that was the penalty. But why no 10-second runoff?

    "There are limited penalties that give a 10-second runoff, and this is just not
    one of those on the list," Hochuli said. "There's only three or four penalties
    that bring with them a 10-second runoff. The common ones are the false start,
    or when the teams are not all set. If that happens when there's less than a
    minute to go in the (game), there's a 10-second runoff. But this is just not
    one of those penalties."

    If the 10-second runoff had occurred, the game would have ended with the Rams
    winning 28-27. Without the runoff, Seattle had a chance to attempt a 54-yard
    field goal, which place-kicker Josh Brown drilled for the game-winning points.

    Interestingly, Rams defensive end Leonard Little said he heard Hochuli tell
    other members of his officiating crew that there were two penalties on the
    play: false start and illegal formation.

    "That's what he said," Little said. "I thought you run 10 seconds off the clock
    with a false start.

    "He said something like: 'The quarterback's going to (spike) the ball anyway.'
    That shouldn't make a difference. ... I think we got the short end of the stick
    with how that went. But I'm not an official. I don't know all the rules that go
    along with that. We came up short. If we'd have gone out and stopped them on
    that drive on defense, we would've won that game."


  2. #2
    BigGameMN's Avatar
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    I want to see the penalties that cause a 10 second run off in writing from an official source. I posted the rule about runoffs's from NFL.com on the sourgrapes thread and it says that a penalty that results in a 4th timeout by a team on offense that is either tied or behind in the last minute results in a 10 second runoff. It says nothing about specific penalties.

    Check out the Wikipedia page on America Football Rules.

    On there it SPECIFICIALLY says that illegal formation results in a 10 second runoff. Now wikipedia could be wrong, but I want to see where in the rulebook the specific plays are listed. I hope Eisen brings this up on NFL Total Access with Mike Pereira.

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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    If we'd have gone out and stopped them on
    that drive on defense, we would've won that game."
    I think that says it all; I don't know what happened at half time, but it seems like they came out thinking the game was in hand and it burned them in the arse. I'm very disappointed.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  4. #4
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    I am in no way saying this one penalty lost us the game, but I do think it is an anomaly worth discussing.

    Rule 4-3-10 says that

    "A team is not permitted to conserve time inside of one minute of either half by committing any of the following acts: fouls by either team that prevent the snap (i.e., false start, encroachment, etc.), intentional grounding, an illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage with the intent to conserve time, throwing a backward pass out of bounds with the intent to conserve time, and any other intentional foul that causes the clock to stop.

    Penalty: Loss of five yards unless a larger distance penalty is applicable. When actions referred to above are committed by the offensive team with the clock running, officials will run 10 seconds off the game clock before permitting the ball to be put in play on the ready for play signal. The clock will start on the ready for play signal. If the offensive team has timeouts remaining, it will have the option of using a timeout in lieu of a 10-second runoff. If the action is by the defense, the play clock will be reset to 40 seconds and the game clock will start on the ready signal. If the defense has timeouts remaining, it will have the option of using a timeout in lieu of the game clock being started.

    Note: There can never be a 10-second runoff against the defensive team."



    So the questions remain. Was it an intentional illegal formation? If so the clock should have been ran down. And how could you ever even interpret whether in this specific case it was intentional or not?

    I have watched that final play many many times from my dvr and if there was an official talking about a false start, that ref was wrong calling the penalty because there was no false start by the hawks. They did not even flinch before the ball was snapped. If Little says he heard them talking about it, I believe him, but the officail that did the talking was in the wrong on the false start penalty.

    My main beef is that even if there was no 10 second run off, in the time it took to figure everything out the hawks had just under 2 minutes to get the FG unit onto the field and get ready for the FG. If not for the penalty, they would have only had the 40 seconds from the playclock, in the midst of the post ball spike chaos, to get the FG unit out there, get the offense off the field, get set and make the FG. Could they have done it? Probably, but it would have been a lot harder off pull of that kind of kick.

    So in summary I guess the NFL needs to look at this game, and this rule, and see what they can do to fix it for the future or teams will start using it for their advantage.

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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    fouls by either team that prevent the snap (i.e., false start, encroachment, etc.)
    Seems to me that illegal formation would qualify as one of those fouls.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    RFT_I_D, I like what you said,
    I am in no way saying this one penalty lost us the game, but I do think it is an anomaly worth discussing.
    And yet, along with Ramman, since yesterday I too have highlighted Little's words, "...I'm not an official. I don't know all the rules that go along with that. We came up short. If we'd have gone out and stopped them on that drive on defense, we would've won that game."

    Thing is, can you imagine if indeed, the officials, Ed Hochuli and Co., had right there and then agreed to call the 10-second runoff and thus end the game with the Rams on top 28-27?

    Can you imagine that!?! :O

    It would not only be difficult to resist the onslaught of protests by the Sawks on the specific 10-second runoff call but also -- and this is the worse part -- we would have a guilt-ridden win hovering over our heads due to Leonard Little's uncalled offside penalty. Yikes!

    If that had been the call by the officials crew, to end the game without allowing Josh Brown's FG attempt and we win still another close, cardiac game ... why yes! It would have been so nice to celebrate along with Coach Linehan who was already anticipating the 10-second runoff and was jumping up and down on the sidelines!

    And immediately after such a victory a Ram fan or two would have petulantly maintained a "I don't want to hear" attitude about how we would have won.

    That clear image of Rams No. 91 jumping offside though, would hang heavy on our conscience. At least in mine.

    No, no, no. All things considered, after all the Ram mistakes and penalties during the game, the missed opportunities ... since we DID come back in a most dramatic fashion by scoring a terrific Bulger-to-Holt TD under two minutes left on the clock, the thing was to have stopped Seattle's last drive, as LL himself declared.

    "If we'd have gone out and stopped them on that drive on defense, we would've won that game." -- LL

    There is just no way to avoid feeling the pain of a hearbreak.

    Must mend and come back with VENGEANCE!
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-16-2006 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Addition

  7. #7
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    lets just hope that the rams dont go into the tank with a demoralizing loss like this one...

  8. #8
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    Guys, as I read it, it wasn't a 10 second run off because the Seahawks didn't use the rules around penalties to stop the clock. A false start penalty actually stops the clock and there is no play. An illegal formation penalty DOES NOT stop the clock and there IS a play which means that in this case, the spiking of the ball caused the clock stoppage, not the penalty itself. If Hasselbeck had continued the play instead of spiking it, the play would have kept going until a whistle. Barring a turnover, the Rams would have accepted the five yard penalty and negated any gain. It would be no different than if the Seahawks had committed holding on the play (besides the difference in penalty yardage.

    In short, a false start is an action that stops the play before it starts. An illegal formation does not stop the play and therefore does not in essence give the offending team a "fourth timeout". It was a regular play in the course of which, the illegal formation penalty occurred.

    Here's more of Hochuli's explanation:
    Hochuli explains ruling
    Posted by Mike Sando @ 02:38:40 pm
    Referee Ed Hochuli explained why he did not run 10 seconds off the clock when Seattle was flagged for illegal formation with four seconds left in the game. Officials are generally off-limits to the media, but they let a pool reporter -- in this case, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch -- speak to the referee following controversial or confusing rulings.

    Question: What was the nature of the penalty called on Seattle?
    HOCHULI: It was an illegal formation. The players were all set, but the widest receiver, instead of being up on the line of scrimmage, he was in the backfield, putting only six men on the line of scrimmage. So it's an illegal-formation foul. With the players all set, it's simply an illegal formation. And that's a situation where there is no 10-second runoff. The 10-second runoff people are familiar with is a false start, or when the players never get set before the ball gets snapped. This is not a 10-second runoff situation.

    Question: How many penalties are on that list?
    HOCHULI: There's only three or four penalties that bring with them a 10-second runoff. The common ones are the false start, or when the teams are not all set. If that happens when there's less than a minute to go in the half, there's a 10-second runoff. But this is just not one of those penalties.
    Source:
    http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Seattle Seahawks - 2004 & 2005 NFC West Champions

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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    There's 3 or 4 penalties that come with the 10 second runoff ? Well what are they ? I have a feeling the officials don't know them all.

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    bela's Avatar
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    There's 3 or 4 penalties that come with the 10 second runoff ? Well what are they ? I have a feeling the officials don't know them all.
    I wise poster once said “you must read the posts before yours.”

    Quote Originally Posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
    Rule 4-3-10 says that

    [I]"A team is not permitted to conserve time inside of one minute of either half by committing any of the following acts: fouls by either team that prevent the snap (i.e., false start, encroachment, etc.), intentional grounding, an illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage with the intent to conserve time, throwing a backward pass out of bounds with the intent to conserve time, and any other intentional foul that causes the clock to stop.
    1. False start
    2. Encroachment
    3. Intentional grounding
    4. An illegal forward thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage, or a backward pass thrown out of bounds with the intent to conserve time

  11. #11
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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    I, like RealRam am not going to use this 10 second runoff Lenoard Little overheard false start as an excuse. Like RR said at one point in the game Little was CLEARLY offsides and it wasn't called. There were many bad calls and they went both ways.

    There are so many "if's" in this game you just can't use them. If Atogwe would have intercepted that ball early in the game the Hawks wouldn't have scored. If Josh Brown wouldn't have missed an EASY FG would would have been down by 9 so Holt's TD wouldn't have put us in the lead etc. We could go on all year about what if, but there's no point. The Hawks put it to us in the 2nd half and came out on top. Let's just accept they won, and it seems like Hochuli was right about the 10 sec runoff rule not being applied to illegal formation penalties, so that's the end of the game. Hats off to the Hawks.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    Quote Originally Posted by bela View Post
    I wise poster once said “you must read the posts before yours.”



    1. False start
    2. Encroachment
    3. Intentional grounding
    4. An illegal forward thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage, or a backward pass thrown out of bounds with the intent to conserve time
    Thanks for the clarification. I still say having only 6 men on the line of scrimmage should be an 8 yard penalty.

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    Re: NFL rule benefits Seahawks

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I still say having only 6 men on the line of scrimmage should be an 8 yard penalty.

    It didn't look like that would've helped from my perspective.

    It looked like that kick would've been good out to at least 60, it went into the net with plenty to spare.

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