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Osgood Punt Block & Illegal Advance of Ball

Originally posted by Liono:
This doesn't make sense. If an offensive player cannot bat the ball forward, then the ball should NOT be placed at the 35 yard line because it's an illigetiment way to move the football according to NFL rules. If a RB throws the ball forward out of bounds the offense would not get the ball where it lands if the defense declined the penalty. Declining the pentalty should result in getting the ball where it was TOUCHED. Either the refs botched this or it's a stupid rule.

If the 49ers accept the penalty, the Seahawks get pushed back 10 yards FROM THE ORIGINAL LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, not the spot of the foul. No offensive penalty is called from the spot of the foul, they're always called from the line of scrimmage. Also, outside of intentional grounding, all accepted offensive penalties have the down replayed.

The only reason the 49ers declined the penalty is because the ball went out of bounds and it was 4th down.

If Seattle had recovered the ball past the first down marker, Harbaugh would have accepted the penalty and forced Seattle to punt the ball again.

The only way the 49ers would have gotten the ball where it was batted is if the Seahawks player had recovered the ball and was down by contact since it was 4th down and Seattle didn't advance the ball past the first down marker.
[ Edited by linkboy on Dec 8, 2013 at 9:55 PM ]
Originally posted by Liono:
This doesn't make sense. If an offensive player cannot bat the ball forward, then the ball should NOT be placed at the 35 yard line because it's an illigetiment way to move the football according to NFL rules. If a RB throws the ball forward out of bounds the offense would not get the ball where it lands if the defense declined the penalty. Declining the pentalty should result in getting the ball where it was TOUCHED. Either the refs botched this or it's a stupid rule.

Same thing i was thinking. Might as well call an incomplete pass a bat ball forward
  • fryet
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Originally posted by linkboy:
And I'm trying to explain to you why they can't, but I must not be making myself clear enough.

On a punt, the change of possession doesn't occur until

A) A player of the receiving team catches the ball

B) The ball touches a member of the receiving team and is recovered by the kicking team.

On a blocked punt, the ball is live the minute it is touched by the player, on the receiving team, and the rules regarding a fumble go into effect.

Since there wasn't a change of possession on the play (the 49ers never recovered the ball in the field of play), the Seahawks were still considered the offense and can advance the ball if they recover it.

Because Seattle is still on offense, any penalty that is called on them will be enforced from the original line of scrimmage (if said penalty is accepted), not the spot of the foul.

I don't believe this is correct. Once the punter has kicked the ball, the ball has changed possession. All 49ers can run off the field, and it will be 49ers ball wherever the ball stops or Seattle possesses the ball. In the case of a blocked punt, once again, all 49ers can run off the field. Wherever Seattle grabs the ball, is where the 49ers next possession will begin. There was a controversial game involving Dallas about 20 years ago. Dallas blocks a punt, and an idiot Dallas lineman tried to possess the blocked punt, touched it but could not grab possession of it. Other team then grabs the ball and it becomes a touchdown. All other Dallas players were trying to tell him to stay away from the ball.

So in this case, where the Seattle player batted it is where Seattle downed the ball, and the penalty should have been assessed from that spot since it was a post punt foul. It is like a punter kicking a punt normally, and then the kicking team batting the ball down the field. You should be able to assign the penalty on where the ball was batted, not force a rekick. Usually the receiving team has the option.

Maybe in this case, there is a loophole in the rules, but it should be easy enough for the league to correct. My suspicion is that the refs got it wrong.
Fumble The distinction between a fumble and a muff should be kept in mind in considering rules about fumbles. A fumble is the loss of player possession of the ball. A muff is the touching of a loose ball by a player in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain possession. A fumble may be advanced by any player on either team regardless of whether recovered before or after ball hits the ground. A fumble that goes forward and out of bounds will return to the fumbling team at the spot of the fumble unless the ball goes out of bounds in the opponent's end zone. In this case, it is a touchback. On a play from scrimmage, if an offensive player fumbles anywhere on the field during fourth down, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball. If any player fumbles after the two-minute warning in a half, only the fumbling player is permitted to recover and/or advance the ball. If recovered by any other offensive player, the ball is dead at the spot of the fumble unless it is recovered behind the spot of the fumble. In that case, the ball is dead at the spot of recovery. Any defensive player may recover and/or advance any fumble at any time. A muffed hand-to-hand snap from center is treated as a fumble.
Originally posted by sanjo49er:
Same thing i was thinking. Might as well call an incomplete pass a bat ball forward

If you decline a penalty, its as if the penalty never happened and the play stands.

You can't have your cake and eat it to. You can't decline a penalty and then punish a team for said penalty.
Originally posted by fryet:
I don't believe this is correct. Once the punter has kicked the ball, the ball has changed possession. All 49ers can run off the field, and it will be 49ers ball wherever the ball stops or Seattle possesses the ball. In the case of a blocked punt, once again, all 49ers can run off the field. Wherever Seattle grabs the ball, is where the 49ers next possession will begin. There was a controversial game involving Dallas about 20 years ago. Dallas blocks a punt, and an idiot Dallas lineman tried to possess the blocked punt, touched it but could not grab possession of it. Other team then grabs the ball and it becomes a touchdown. All other Dallas players were trying to tell him to stay away from the ball.

So in this case, where the Seattle player batted it is where Seattle downed the ball, and the penalty should have been assessed from that spot since it was a post punt foul. It is like a punter kicking a punt normally, and then the kicking team batting the ball down the field. You should be able to assign the penalty on where the ball was batted, not force a rekick. Usually the receiving team has the option.

Maybe in this case, there is a loophole in the rules, but it should be easy enough for the league to correct. My suspicion is that the refs got it wrong.

The minute Osgood touched the ball, it's live.

It's no different then what happened at the end of the NEDen game a few weeks ago when that punt hit the Bronco in the leg, or in the NFC Championship game when the ball hit Williams in the knee.

A punt is a live ball the minute it touches a member of the receiving team, it doesn't matter if it occurs as a block or 50-60 yards down field.
[ Edited by linkboy on Dec 8, 2013 at 10:02 PM ]
  • fryet
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Correction on what I posted about Dallas earlier. It was a blocked field goal. I believe this is true for punts as well, but I am not 100% sure. From Wikipedia:

Trailing 14–13 with 15 seconds left in the game, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich attempted a 41-yard field goal. But the ball was tipped by defensive lineman Jimmie Jones and spun forward toward the Cowboys' end zone. Players from both teams stayed away from the ball, because a blocked field goal is usually ignored according to the rule book. However, Leon Lett tried to jump on the ball, but instead slid on the slick field grazing the ball, and thus making it a live ball (i.e. a fumble). Jeff Dellenbach of the Dolphins recovered the ball at the 2-yard line, and Stoyanovich then kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired, and Miami won 16–14.
looked at mikes Twitter and there was no mention of this play.
Thank you guys for bringing civility back to this discussion. I can also try to help clear up this play

1. A blocked punt can be advanced by the kicking team, but ONLY if the player is behind the line of scrimmage. If the Seahawk player had been ahead of the line of scrimmage--whether the punt was blocked or not--the ball would've been downed at the spot (Technically a downed punt is called "illegal touching", but that's for another thread). So Linkboy is correct that it was not treated like a punt return, but only because the Seahawk touched it behind the LOS.

Please see:
http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/kicksfromscrimmage

See also:
Illegal Bat. It is an illegal bat if: (a) a player of either team bats or punches a loose ball in the field of play toward his opponent's goal line[. . .] Penalty: For illegal batting or punching the ball: Loss of 10 yards. For enforcement, treat as a foul during a backward pass or fumble (see 8-7-7). IRule 8-7-7 states that if a foul is called on a fumble behind the line of scrimmage, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage before the foul is marked off.

2. Since the Seahawk player was behind the line, the play can be thought of as a fumble, recovered by the offense.
3. So the player on the kicking team can be thought of as a quarterback/punter in this situation. He can try to pass it, run it, kick it, etc... where he can use the the normal rules regarding scrimmage plays. So this situation is as if a quarterback had made an illegal bat on 4th down. The niners could've accepted the penalty and marked off the yardage from the LOS, or declined it, and taken the ball where it came to rest.
4. So no one is arguing the call was made incorrectly. We're all saying that it betrays the "spirit of fairness", when a player can do something ILLEGAL, which ends up benefitting his team.
5. If he had tried to run for the first down (LEGAL), and been tackled the niners would've had the ball at the tackle spot. If he would've tried to pass it (LEGALLY) and it would've been incomplete, the niners would've gotten the ball at original LOS (less any applicable Illegal Forward Pass penalty) spot. But by doing something ILLEGAL, knowing that he had no chance to get the first down, the niners got screwed. That just seems unfair. What if he had Popeye arms, and batted the ball 80 yards?
6. I agree with DarkKnight. Please make this a loss of down.


  • fryet
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Originally posted by linkboy:
Originally posted by fryet:
I don't believe this is correct. Once the punter has kicked the ball, the ball has changed possession. All 49ers can run off the field, and it will be 49ers ball wherever the ball stops or Seattle possesses the ball. In the case of a blocked punt, once again, all 49ers can run off the field. Wherever Seattle grabs the ball, is where the 49ers next possession will begin. There was a controversial game involving Dallas about 20 years ago. Dallas blocks a punt, and an idiot Dallas lineman tried to possess the blocked punt, touched it but could not grab possession of it. Other team then grabs the ball and it becomes a touchdown. All other Dallas players were trying to tell him to stay away from the ball.

So in this case, where the Seattle player batted it is where Seattle downed the ball, and the penalty should have been assessed from that spot since it was a post punt foul. It is like a punter kicking a punt normally, and then the kicking team batting the ball down the field. You should be able to assign the penalty on where the ball was batted, not force a rekick. Usually the receiving team has the option.

Maybe in this case, there is a loophole in the rules, but it should be easy enough for the league to correct. My suspicion is that the refs got it wrong.

The minute Osgood touched the ball, it's live.

It's no different then what happened at the end of the NEDen game a few weeks ago when that punt hit the Bronco in the leg.

A punt is a live ball the minute it touches a member of the receiving team, it doesn't matter if it occurs as a block or 50-60 yards down field.

I am pretty sure that is not correct. Let's take another scenario. Punt is partially blocked and goes for 20 yards. Kicking team cannot posses the ball based on only on the ball being partially blocked. Now once the ball is past the line of scrimmage, if it touches any 49er, it becomes a live ball that can be possessed by either team. 49ers had that in the NFC Conference game (infamous Kyle Williams) 2 years ago.
Originally posted by fryet:
Correction on what I posted about Dallas earlier. It was a blocked field goal. I believe this is true for punts as well, but I am not 100% sure. From Wikipedia:

Trailing 14–13 with 15 seconds left in the game, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich attempted a 41-yard field goal. But the ball was tipped by defensive lineman Jimmie Jones and spun forward toward the Cowboys' end zone. Players from both teams stayed away from the ball, because a blocked field goal is usually ignored according to the rule book. However, Leon Lett tried to jump on the ball, but instead slid on the slick field grazing the ball, and thus making it a live ball (i.e. a fumble). Jeff Dellenbach of the Dolphins recovered the ball at the 2-yard line, and Stoyanovich then kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired, and Miami won 16–14.

The ball became live the minute Lett touched it, same with the play today (it was live when Osgood blocked it).

This doesn't apply to XP or two point conversions, the ball is dead on a blocked kick or a turnover.
Originally posted by psueaz:
Thank you guys for bringing civility back to this discussion. I can also try to help clear up this play

1. A blocked punt can be advanced by the kicking team, but ONLY if the player is behind the line of scrimmage. If the Seahawk player had been ahead of the line of scrimmage--whether the punt was blocked or not--the ball would've been downed at the spot (Technically a downed punt is called "illegal touching", but that's for another thread). So Linkboy is correct that it was not treated like a punt return, but only because the Seahawk touched it behind the LOS.

Please see:
http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/kicksfromscrimmage

See also:
Illegal Bat. It is an illegal bat if: (a) a player of either team bats or punches a loose ball in the field of play toward his opponent's goal line[. . .] Penalty: For illegal batting or punching the ball: Loss of 10 yards. For enforcement, treat as a foul during a backward pass or fumble (see 8-7-7). IRule 8-7-7 states that if a foul is called on a fumble behind the line of scrimmage, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage before the foul is marked off.

2. Since the Seahawk player was behind the line, the play can be thought of as a fumble, recovered by the offense.
3. So the player on the kicking team can be thought of as a quarterback/punter in this situation. He can try to pass it, run it, kick it, etc... where he can use the the normal rules regarding scrimmage plays. So this situation is as if a quarterback had made an illegal bat on 4th down. The niners could've accepted the penalty and marked off the yardage from the LOS, or declined it, and taken the ball where it came to rest.
4. So no one is arguing the call was made incorrectly. We're all saying that it betrays the "spirit of fairness", when a player can do something ILLEGAL, which ends up benefitting his team.
5. If he had tried to run for the first down (LEGAL), and been tackled the niners would've had the ball at the tackle spot. If he would've tried to pass it (LEGALLY) and it would've been incomplete, the niners would've gotten the ball at original LOS (less any applicable Illegal Forward Pass penalty) spot. But by doing something ILLEGAL, knowing that he had no chance to get the first down, the niners got screwed. That just seems unfair. What if he had Popeye arms, and batted the ball 80 yards?
6. I agree with DarkKnight. Please make this a loss of down.

A loss of down would be a perfect way to fix this issue.
  • fryet
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psueaz, thanks for the link, a couple of items for it:

Any punt that is blocked and does not cross the line of scrimmage can be recovered and advanced by either team. However, if offensive team recovers it must make the yardage necessary for its first down to retain possession if punt was on fourth down.

The kicking team may never advance its own kick even though legal recovery is made beyond the line of scrimmage. Possession only.

So it appears I am incorrect about recovery of a blocked punt - it is different from a field goal. The second statement seems a little contradictory. If the punt had advanced beyond the line of scrimmage, then the batting would have been a post possession foul. I think psueaz did a good job summarizing the concerns about the current implementation of the rules.
Originally posted by linkboy:
A loss of down would be a perfect way to fix this issue.

This please.
In any case... she hawks where on "offense" and there was an illigell touch??