The NFL will hold their annual league meetings next week and ahead of those taking place, several proposed rule changes for the 2016 season have now been made public.
While several of the 19 proposed rule changes were submitted by the league’s Competition Committee, the Kansas City Chiefs submitted two of them of which one will catch the attention of the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as their fan base.
The chiefs proposed a new rule that would prohibit quarterbacks from falling to the ground, getting up, and throwing a forward pass. Does that sound familiar? It should, because that’s exactly what Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning did in last year’s Divisional Round playoff win over the Steelers.
On the play in question, which you can see below, Manning certainly looked as though he gave himself up in order to avoid a first down sack in the fourth quarter of that game. Several Steelers players thought that was the case as well.
Manning then proceeded to get up after avoiding the sack and easily completed a pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a gain of 34 yards.
Several days after that game was played, Dean Blandino, the league’s Vice President of Officiating, released his officiating video from the Divisional Round of the playoffs and he stated how the play is interpreted under current NFL rules.
“Now let’s talk about the rule. A player gives himself up by going to the ground and making no immediate attempt to advance the football. That’s the rule, said Blandino. “You’ll see that when a runner slides feet-first. Typically, that’s a quarterback who slides feet-first. You’re going to slide feet-first when contact is imminent. You’ll see here, the defenders are being blocked. There really is no imminent threat to the quarterback and we rule that he was attempting to avoid the rush. And you can see here, he’s clearly stepping up to avoid that contact by No. 20. As soon as he goes to the ground he realizes he wasn’t touched. He makes the immediate attempt to get back up and then throws a pass. That’s the rule. If he had stayed on the ground for another count, not making that immediate attempt to get back up, then we should come in and kill it and rule that the player gave himself up.”
It will certainly be interesting to see which way the league ultimately winds up voting when it comes to this particular rule.
Below is an overview of all 19 proposed rule changes for 2016:
- By Competition Committee; Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team’s 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.
- By Competition Committee; Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches’ booth.
- By Competition Committee; Makes all chop blocks illegal.
- By Competition Committee; Disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.
- By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.
- By Baltimore; to amend Rule 5, Sections 3, Articles 1 and 2 (Changes in Position) to require players to wear jersey vests with numbers appropriate for their positions.
- By Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Articles 1, 4, and 5 (Instant Replay) to provide each team with three challenges and expand reviewable plays.
- By Buffalo; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Articles 1, 4, and 5 (Instant Replay) to permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision except scoring plays and turnovers.
- By Carolina; to amend Rule 8, Section 2, Article 1 (Intentional Grounding) to expand the definition of intentional grounding.
- By Kansas City; to amend Rule 14, Section 2, Article 1 (Half-distance Penalty) to add penalty yards to the distance needed to gain a First Down.
- By Kansas City; to amend Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2 (Legal Forward Pass) to prohibit quarterbacks from falling to the ground, getting up, and throwing a forward pass.
- By Minnesota; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 1 (Coaches’ Challenge) to eliminate the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two Instant Replay challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.
- By Washington; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, Articles 1, 4, 6 and 7 (Overtime procedures) to eliminate overtime periods in preseason games.
- By Washington; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 4 (Reviewable Plays) to subject personal foul penalties to Instant Replay review.
- By Washington; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 1 (Coaches’ Challenge) to eliminate the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two Instant Replay challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.
- By Competition Committee; Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.
- By Competition Committee; Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.
- By Competition Committee; Eliminates the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.
- By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.