Originally posted by DarkKnight1680
: linkboy - your reasoning here is not correct. On punts and kickoffs, even though possession doesn't begin until the team fields/touches the ball, penalties are still assessed and often enforced from the end of the run. In many situations, the receiving team even has the option of re-kicking or tacking the penalty on to the end of the run. This play could be no different, should the league wish to adjust the rule. It wouldn't completely remove the issue - a 20 yard bat-forward followed by a 10 yard enforcement from the end of the play still results in a net +10 for the offending team. But it would make more sense than the current rule. Alternatively, the league could simply tack on a loss of down to an illegally batted ball, similar to an illegal forward pass. This would allow the acceptance of the penalty from the spot of the foul, with 10 yards and loss of down creating the turnover. In no way would this affect other rules or penalties, except in other (rare) illegally batted ball scenarios.
What you're not mentioning is that there was no change of possession. No 49ers player gained possession of the ball in the field of play.
The Seahawks, up until that ball went out of bounds, were the offensive team.
The play wasn't treated like a punt return because it wasn't one. It was treated as if it was a fumble, because that's what it was, a live ball on the field that can be legally advanced by either team. The minute Osgood touched that ball, it ceased to be a punt play.
Had the 49ers recovered the ball and advanced it after the illegal touching, then yes, you're perfectly correct. However, they didn't and the ball went out of bounds instead.
[ Edited by linkboy on Dec 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM ]