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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Tuck rule could be changed

By Field Yates



A proposal from the NFL's competition committee has suggested that the NFL abandon the infamous "tuck rule," which gained popularity during a Patriots playoff win over the Raiders in January of 2002.

Under the proposed rule change, a quarterback who loses control of the football when bringing it back to his body after a pump fake will be deemed to have fumbled. Under the current rule, such a play would result in an incompletion.

That was the case when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was hit from behind by Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson. A video review overturned the call of a fumble, which prolonged the Patriots' drive. They would come from behind to win that game and go on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

The league owners will vote on this and five other proposed rule changes at the upcoming NFL owners meetings.

Among the other proposed rule changes is a modification to illegal challenges by coaches. The competition committee is looking to do away with a rule that prevents challenges if a coach illegally throws his red flag on a play that was to be automatically reviewed.

On Thanksgiving of 2012, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag on a touchdown run by Texans running back Justin Forsett after his knee clearly hit the ground. Because all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, his challenge was illegal and no video replay ensued. The Texans won the game in overtime.