The NFL, this past off season, slipped a new rule almost under the radar. Maybe it just went unnoticed because the lockout commenced shortly afterward. Irregardless, the NFL has taken a carte blanche approach to reviewing each and every scoring play that they deem necessary. The first night of games provided a look at the new rule almost immediately. For instance, in the Ravens vs. Eagles game there was a play where Philadelphia’s 3rd string quaterback fumbled the football and it was subsuquently scooped up and returned for a defensive touchdown. A shot to Andy Reid showed no sign of a challenge, but rather Andy pointing his finger towards the sky. After several minutes of the crowd haphazardly trying to convince Andy Reid to throw the flag, the referee emerged from the booth. As he walked towards mid field, word spread throughout the congregation of the new rule. It turned out to work in the Eagles favor as the play was overturned due to Kafka’s arm coming forward before the ball was released. This got me to thinking. Could there be a scenario where a team maybe has zero time outs remaining, and a play similar to the one discussed above unravels. Would it be crazy to think that a player on defense would alert his team to allow the opposition to score? I know this is a big risk, but if you weigh the options, it’s not so unlikely. Try to follow me here. If you’re a poker player, it’ll be a little easier. Take a turnover returned for a touchdown as a 100% bad play. Where as a turnover itself would be a 50% bad play. Any return between the initial turnover and the endzone would result in whatever increments of a percent you like between 50-100%. Now consider that the fastest guys on the offense, usually the ones in position to make the tackle, are the most fragile, weakest tacklers on the field. Most receivers/rbs have the thought of injury in the back of their head. So the way I see it, if there is a chance that the play could be reviewed, if the team had the ability, the players would be inclined to let the defender score. Then the booth review has a 50% chance of overturning the original call, resulting in an incomplete pass that I would rank as a 10% bad play, but still lightyears better than a turnover. This is just a thought in my head, but a thought that should be considered.
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