Super Bowl sparks rule change

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
12:45
PM ET
The NFL annual meeting has concluded in Palm Beach, Florida, and the proposal to alter the 12-men-on-the-field penalty has been passed. As NFL competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay previously explained, this rule change was in response to Super Bowl XLVI.

The 12-men-on-the-field infraction will now be a dead-ball penalty.

This could have helped the Patriots at the end of the Super Bowl, as they were attempting to drive for a touchdown late and had the ball at their 44-yard line with 17 seconds left. At the snap, the Giants had one extra defender on the field (12 instead of 11) and were penalized, but the play continued.

The play, a long incomplete pass to Aaron Hernandez, took up eight seconds.

With this in mind, the NFL Competition Committee proposed making it a dead-ball penalty.

"It deals a little bit with, and is a little bit of a reaction, obviously, to the Super Bowl (XLVI) play," McKay had said.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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