interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Bryan » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:03 pm

A lot to get off my chest here. First, I don't hate the Buck-Aikman broadcast team, but I am always irritated when neither of them comprehend what is going on in the game. Phil Simms used to be the most clueless announcer regarding rules, game situations, etc. but at least the network had the good sense to put Simms on the pre-game show. Buck-Aikman is Fox's top broadcast team. Yeesh.

Anyways, Randall Cobb calls for a fair catch on a punt, bobbles the ball, and as he is diving for the ball a Rams player grabs it out of midair. Refs signal that it is Rams ball, Rams offense goes back on the field, but the Packers head coach is having words with the officials. Buck and Aikman say something like "I don't know what he is arguing about, the Rams clearly recovered the ball". Come on. Then they bring on apologist Mike Pereirra to put in his two cents, and he says something like "I think LaFleur may be arguing that Cobb didn't have an opportunity to complete his fair catch..." Gee, ya think? In all their excitement, the refs completely botched a rule, the ruling on the field stands, and the best Pereirra can offer is "well, Cobb probably wouldn't have caught the ball when he was diving for it". Huh? Then the game just resumes as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Can anyone (like 65 Toss Power Trap) clarify what the ruling on the field should have been? I thought you are allowed to bobble the ball on a fair catch and still have the right to complete the fair catch.
User avatar
Bryan
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:37 am

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Brian wolf » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:15 pm

Possibly Bryan but the officials must have considered it a muff once another player got possession. Did that player interfere from him catching the ball ?
Brian wolf
 
Posts: 1079
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:43 am

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Jay Z » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:39 pm

No one interfered with Cobb. He muffed the ball into another player's hands. I don't know how the rule is written. From your interpretation, Cobb has a big perimeter where he can muff and still have first rights to the ball, the defense being required to stand clear. At what point is the defense allowed to recover the ball?
Jay Z
 
Posts: 652
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: Madison WI

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Reaser » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:14 pm

Bryan wrote:A lot to get off my chest here. First, I don't hate the Buck-Aikman broadcast team, but I am always irritated when neither of them comprehend what is going on in the game. Phil Simms used to be the most clueless announcer regarding rules, game situations, etc. but at least the network had the good sense to put Simms on the pre-game show. Buck-Aikman is Fox's top broadcast team. Yeesh.


It's not just those two. I'm also always annoyed that announcers never know what's going on. The worst is also on a punt, when the kicking team touches it and receiving team picks it up after. Half the announcers immediately act like it's a dumb play, especially if he fumbles (which of course doesn't matter at that point) and the other half act completely confused and don't know what's going on. Then they have to bring in the 'rules experts' (who are hilarious wrong more often than not on reviews) to explain something that happens nearly every weekend and the announcers have seen a million times but every single time act like it's never happened before.

Anyways, Randall Cobb calls for a fair catch on a punt, bobbles the ball, and as he is diving for the ball a Rams player grabs it out of midair. Refs signal that it is Rams ball, Rams offense goes back on the field, but the Packers head coach is having words with the officials. Buck and Aikman say something like "I don't know what he is arguing about, the Rams clearly recovered the ball". Come on. Then they bring on apologist Mike Pereirra to put in his two cents, and he says something like "I think LaFleur may be arguing that Cobb didn't have an opportunity to complete his fair catch..." Gee, ya think? In all their excitement, the refs completely botched a rule, the ruling on the field stands, and the best Pereirra can offer is "well, Cobb probably wouldn't have caught the ball when he was diving for it". Huh? Then the game just resumes as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Can anyone (like 65 Toss Power Trap) clarify what the ruling on the field should have been? I thought you are allowed to bobble the ball on a fair catch and still have the right to complete the fair catch.


I immediately was saying Cobb didn't get a chance to catch it [after he bobbled it, obviously.] Which is the rule. You get a chance to catch it until it hits the ground. The ball was still in the air. Now, there might be some language or grey area on if you need to dive for it, as Cobb had to do but you most certainly get the chance on a fair catch to catch the ball uninterferred with -- and someone from the kicking team catching the ball out of the air that the PR had a chance to catch is definitely interferring with the PR catching the ball.

Rule might be different at different levels but I've seen this inconsistently applied a few times. PR slightly bobbles it and kicking team just grabs it from right in front of him, seen that go both ways. Cobb's, having to dive for it -before it hits the ground- makes it different from any of the ones I can remember but he still had a reasonable chance at catching that so while watching the game, and while Buck-Aikman didn't know what was going on even though it was obvious what was being discussed, I thought it should be Packers ball.
Reaser
 
Posts: 1454
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:58 am
Location: WA

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Bryan » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:20 pm

Jay Z wrote:No one interfered with Cobb. He muffed the ball into another player's hands. I don't know how the rule is written. From your interpretation, Cobb has a big perimeter where he can muff and still have first rights to the ball, the defense being required to stand clear. At what point is the defense allowed to recover the ball?


Yeah, that's pretty much the issue. I don't know if there is a clear definition as to when the defense can recover a muff. I thought the ball would have to hit the ground, but maybe its just up the official's judgement. I thought the rule was that you are allowed to bobble the ball on a fair catch and still have 'rights' to make the catch unimpeded. I didn't buy Pereirra's explanation, because it didn't really make any sense. Either you are allowed to bobble the ball on a fair catch and still make the catch, or you aren't allowed to bobble the ball on a fair catch and the ball is immediately fair game for anyone. I don't really comprehend what the "gray area" would be, but who knows...NFL rules aren't always logical.
User avatar
Bryan
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:37 am

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby Reaser » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:36 pm

NFL's online rulebook says:

"After a valid fair-catch signal, the opportunity to catch a kick does not end if the ball is muffed. The player who
signaled for a fair catch must have a reasonable opportunity to catch the muffed ball before it hits the ground without interference by members of the kicking team, and regardless of whether the ball strikes another player or an official."

Which is exactly how I've known the rule. The "reasonable opportunity" may be the "gray area" instead of the black and white "get the chance to bobble it and catch it or you don't." I've always known it as fair catch the PR has the the right to the ball while it's [still] in the air. That Cobb had to dive for it shouldn't matter but that goes to "reasonable opportunity" and however they judge that. It still seems pretty black and white to me, though. And how I've always thought of it and why I thought it should be Green Bay's ball, the ball was still in the air and Cobb had a chance at it until he was interfered with via the kicking team grabbing it out of the air.
Reaser
 
Posts: 1454
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:58 am
Location: WA

Re: interesting play in Packers-Rams game (rules)

Postby 65 toss power trap » Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:33 am

I'm surprised we missed this at Football Zebras, and there weren't many games in the late window.

So, the rule on fair-catch interference with a muff is a little subjective. Let's say the returner muffs the ball and it travels 5 yards in front of him. There is no way he can finish that catch, so it's not fair-catch interference. But if the ball is bobbled, and it is within the reach of the receiver, then the kicking team may not snatch that bobbled ball out of the air. This used to be a 15-yard penalty, but it was revised to a 0-yard penalty (with the fair catch awarded), unless there is contact (an awarded FC 15 yards from the spot of the foul).

To put it another way, the foul is technically "the interference with the opportunity to make a fair catch" and if the muffed ball is out of the reach of the receiver, then the kickers cannot interfere with that opportunity.

In Randall Cobb's case, the second time he touches the ball is with his fingertips, which propel the ball a yard or two further out of reach, and properly judged that he did not have any ability to play that ball.

And, yes, a fair catch kick may be attempted after an awarded fair catch.
User avatar
65 toss power trap
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:24 pm


Return to Football Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 32 guests