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Old Sun Jan 02, 2011, 11:47pm
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Any idea why the NFL stops the clock on a sack?

What is it about the sack that makes them want to stop the clock when they don't really stop it otherwise, except incompletes and OOBs? Today I saw a sack with the clock stopped and I timed it -- 6 seconds later, the R started it again. Makes no sense.

My first year, I was working a frosh game as R (NCAA rules). Real good game that went down to the wire. Late in the game, I stopped the clock on a sack. I quickly realized my mistake and wound it prior to the ready.
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Old Mon Jan 03, 2011, 01:11am
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Ask Jerry Markbreit - chicagotribune.com

Being a high school official, I've never understood the rules surrounding the clock being stopped when the QB is sacked. What is the rationale for stopping the clock in this situation, and what conditions are needed for the clock to actually be stopped? --Mark Dexter, Plainfield, Conn.

This rule only exists in the National Football League. The reason is to allow the deep receivers time to return at or near the line of scrimmage before the clock starts again. Several years ago, this rule was modified. Now the clock is not stopped on sacks during the last two minutes of each half.
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Old Mon Jan 03, 2011, 10:41am
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Imagine that, the NFL actually designs rules to fit the unique level of play and skill sets of their participants. What makes perfect sense at one level of football doesn't always make sense at the other levels.
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Old Mon Jan 03, 2011, 09:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllPurposeGamer View Post
The reason is to allow the deep receivers time to return...
Did you mean deep receivers or deep officials?
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 12:24am
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Quote:
Now the clock is not stopped on sacks during the last two minutes of each half.
It was stopped yesterday in the last minute of the Dallas Philly game. Rule might have been changed again.

Thing is, the reasoning is inconsistent. Same play, no sack, but safety valve dump off to back who is immediately stuffed. Clock keeps on running and receivers are likely farther downfield. Oh, well.
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 12:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Aggie View Post
It was stopped yesterday in the last minute of the Dallas Philly game. Rule might have been changed again.

Thing is, the reasoning is inconsistent. Same play, no sack, but safety valve dump off to back who is immediately stuffed. Clock keeps on running and receivers are likely farther downfield. Oh, well.
The rule hasn't changed...looking at my copy of the rule book, it is still that way.

Perhaps the player who was tackled wasn't the player who originally receieved the snap? Cause the rule only applies to a player who receives the snap.
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Last edited by APG; Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 12:52am.
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 12:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Ump View Post
Did you mean deep receivers or deep officials?
I don't know how much time is needed when the deep officials have a 20/25 yard start...
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 09:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Aggie View Post
It was stopped yesterday in the last minute of the Dallas Philly game. Rule might have been changed again.

Thing is, the reasoning is inconsistent. Same play, no sack, but safety valve dump off to back who is immediately stuffed. Clock keeps on running and receivers are likely farther downfield. Oh, well.
Must have been an error or there was some other reason the clock was stopped (i.e. penalty, injury, time out request). I've noticed they don't stop it if the sack is within the last 2 minutes of a half. I guess they don't want to the offensive team to benefit from a good defensive play when time is of the essence.
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 10:32am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonlj View Post
Must have been an error or there was some other reason the clock was stopped (i.e. penalty, injury, time out request). I've noticed they don't stop it if the sack is within the last 2 minutes of a half. I guess they don't want to the offensive team to benefit from a good defensive play when time is of the essence.
The exact rule as written:

Rule 4
Section 4 Stopping The Game Clock

The game clock operator shall stop the game clock (timeout) upon a signal by any official or upon his own positive knowledge:

(g) when the player who originally takes the snap is tackled behind the line of scrimmage

Exception: After the two-minute warning of a half, the game clock shall not be stopped.

A.R. 4.6 Quarterback A1 drops back to pass and is tackled behind the line.
Ruling: Stop the game clock until the ball can be respotted at succeeding spot (40-second play clock starts when the timeout signal is given).
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Old Tue Jan 04, 2011, 11:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Aggie View Post
It was stopped yesterday in the last minute of the Dallas Philly game. Rule might have been changed again.
Play
Sack Eagles QB -> Eagles took time out
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