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Some Clarification On The Last Play Of The Game

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I didn't want to talk about it, just because I felt that there was no need to. Since it obviously won't go away, I guess we'll be discussing the facemask that should or shouldn't have been called at the end of the game on Sunday. In case you miraculously missed it, on 3rd and 5, Michael Adams sacked Aaron Rodgers, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Karlos Dansby, who then ran it in for the touchdown.

As you can see to the right, Adams finger grasped Rodgers facemask upon impact. After doing some digging, I noticed Kent Somers was able to get an explanation from league officials:

Here's the statement from the league.

"It was ruled a fumble on the field. The ball didn't hit the ground, so the tuck rule is irrelevant. Had the ball hit the ground, it would've been subject to replay. And that would be a judgment call by referee Scott Green.

"But again, the ball didn't hit the ground, so the tuck rule here is not relevant."

On the matter of the facemask penalty that wasn't called, here was the league's statement:

A"facemask" penalty is a judgment call that is not reviewable by replay.

Rule 12, Section 2, Article 5 of the NFL Rule Book (page 81) states that "no player shall twist, turn, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction."

The Rule Book describes the penalty as follows:

"Penalty: For twisting, turning or pulling the mask: loss of 15 yards. A personal foul.  The player may be disqualified if the action is judged by the official(s) to be of a flagrant nature."

The Rule Book describes an approved ruling as it relates to facemask penalties (page 81).

"A.R. 12.12 - Third-and-10 on A30.  Runner A1 runs to the A33, where he is tackled by B1, who incidentally grasps A1's facemask on the tackle, but it is not a twist, turn or pull.  Ruling: A's ball, fourth-and-seven, on A33.  No foul."

Prior to the 2008 season, a rule change was approved that eliminated the foul for the incidental grasp of the facemask.

Personally, I don't see where Adams tugged or twisted at the facemask. Once he struck Rodgers, there was a moment where Rodgers helmet did turn, but it looks more to like it was a result of being sacked and not his facemask being twisted. So here is the official rule that discredits any thoughts of a tuck rule, and states that the facemask penalty was a judgement call. I might say he didn't intentionally pull, others might say he did. I guess you could say no harm, no foul.