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NFL Allows Review of Field Goals


Perhaps in order to avoid confusion similar to the end of the Ravens' controversial home loss to the Cleveland Browns last season, the NFL passed a proposal that all field goals and extra points are subject to review.

In that Nov. 18 matchup, kicker Phil Dawson booted a 51-yard field goal as time expired, and an entire crowd held their breath as the ball hit an upright, bounced over the crossbar and hit the support post. When it bounced back out over the crossbar, the Ravens thought they had won after officials originally ruled the attempt no-good.

As many players walked to the locker room, officials convened and overturned the call, sending the game into overtime and giving the Browns a chance to win.

The ruling was only one of many proposals passed at the NFL owners' meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

Others were:

  • Teams may now defer their decision to kick off or receive in overtime.
  • The force out rule on pass completions near the sideline was eliminated.  A player must land with two feet in bounds in order for a play to be ruled a catch.
  • A direct snap that is untouched by the quarterback is now a live football. In the past, it was ruled as a false start.
  • There is no more 5-yard face mask penalty. Only the 15-yard version continues to exist.

These changes are in addition to the decision allowing defensive players to wear a radio in a designated helmet for sidelinee communication, which was approved Tuesday.

The league decided to table a proposal to re-seed playoff teams, giving a wild-card club the chance to host a postseason contest if it had a better record than a division winner.

Re-seeding, as well as the previously tabled issue of hair length covering nameplates or numbers, will be revisited in later meetings.

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