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Now, if a quarterback starts to bring the football back toward his body while trying to throw, it will be ruled a fumble instead of an incomplete pass.
Tom Brady was the famous beneficiary of the rule in that 2001 playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. A ball that appeared to be a Brady fumble was ruled an incomplete pass, and the Patriots went on to win the game. Steelers president Art Rooney said, “We didn’t think it was necessary to make that change … We were happy with the way it’s been called.”
The most debate came with the crown of the helmet hits rule, which will affect running backs the most. As of Tuesday, the competition committee felt as though it was only one vote away from passing. After further discussion, the vote was 31-1 with the Cincinnati Bengalsvoting against. It will now be a 15-yard penalty if a player who is more than three yards downfield or outside of the tackle box delivers a blow with the crown of his helmet. If the offensive and defensive player each lowers his head and uses the crown of the helmet to make contact, each will be penalized. Jerry Jones Stated, “It’ll certainly make our runners aware of what we expect relative to use of the helmet … One of the questions I ask a lot is who gains from this, offense or defense? And it’s a toss-up as to which side of the ball has the advantage on this rule, if any. The main thing is it’s pro-health and safety, and that’s the big thing.”
On Tuesday, the NFL voted to prohibit teams from loading more than six defenders on one side of the snapper on extra points and field goals along with giving a 15-yard penalty if a blocker does a peel-back block inside the tackle box. The peel-back rule applies mostly to screen passes and rollouts.
Owners easily passed a change in the replay challenge rule that fixes a problem when coaches challenge a play that would be automatically reviewed in the replay booth. Under the new rule, a coach who challenges such a play is charged a timeout when he throws a challenge flag. If the play is overturned, the coach gets back the challenge. It remains a 15-yard penalty if a coach challenges a booth reviewable play.