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NFL Changes Rule From NFC Championship Game


The NFL changed 11 total rules at their annual meeting this past week. One of them being a critical play in the NFC Championship game back in January. Most Cardinal fans will tell you, they haven't forgot. It was the 2nd quarter and the Cardinals were up by an improbable lead of 21-6. Arizona was kicking off to Philadelphia after increasing their lead when the ball took an unfortunate bounce. As you can see, it landed at the 26-yard line and was recovered by a Cardinal before the play was whistled dead. The refs had blown the call, ruling that the ball had bounced out of bounds/touched the player while out of bounds. Philadelphia was given the ball, instead of the Cardinals having great field position. The Cardinals would have had the ideal situation to play for the kill with less then 2 minutes left in the half. Although Eagle fans will say that it touched this players elbow, there's no clear evidence of this and as the ball was bouncing backwards, it never so much as flinched when it passed the player. The rule now states that video replay can be used to determine if a loose ball stayed in bounds or hit the sideline. This will take into affect next year, along with these other 10 new rules:

  1. Loose balls that could have been the result of a fumble or an incomplete pass are now subject to video review. (We can just call this the Ed Hochuli Rule)
  2. A defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback's lower legs.
  3. The draft order has been reworked to reflect playoff results, not regular-season results. (This one makes a lot of sense.)
  4. No more rekicks after an illegal onsides kick (ball goes out of bounds before ten yards, etc.). It immediately becomes the other team's ball.
  5. On onside kicks, the kicking team can't have more than five players bunched together.
  6. There's a new waiver period during the first two weeks of training camp, and the postseason waiver period will begin after the NFL's final game, whether it's the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl.
  7. If a fumble or lateral goes out of bounds, the clock will stop only until the referee signals ready for play.
  8. Forming a "wedge" on a kickoff return is no longer legal. If three or more players line up shoulder-to-shoulder within two yards of each other, it will be a penalty
  9. A blindside block cannot be delivered with a helmet, shoulder or forearm to an opponent's head or neck. That'll be a 15-yard penalty.
  10. Contact to the head of a defenseless receiver will also draw a 15-yard penalty.