Posted by
Here, there, and nowhere
Member since Sep 2004
64302 posts

Football theory
Isn't it a bit odd that football allows the ball to be advanced on a fumble? Yes, I know there are some NFL situations where it's not allowed, but why not just apply the principle universally... spot the ball back where the ball carrier lost possession. Also, the whole present situation runs counterintuitive to forward passing in general and penalties against passing the ball forward beyond the line of scrimmage, in particular.

Suppose Colston had deliberately fumbled the ball away on fourth down when he saw he was coming up short of a first? It's easy enough to make a fumble look genuine, I think... leaves too much to the discretion of the refs.

Is there an NFL rule to cover fourth down fumbles?

New Orleans Saints Fan
Remember landscaping the Alamo
Member since Jul 2007
89377 posts

re: Football theory

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Hugo Stiglitz
Member since Oct 2010
72650 posts

re: Football theory
I think so.

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The Neutral Zone
Member since Oct 2007
24174 posts

re: Football theory

Isn't it a bit odd that football allows the ball to be advanced on a fumble?

Yes, it IS odd, because football is directly descended from Rugby.

In Rugby it is illegal to fumble the football forward. It's a penalty called a "Knock-On".

As such, if American Football wants to be true to the original intent of Rugby, then the rule should state that the ball cannot be advanced by the offense, should the offense fumble and recover. Today's play would be resolved by placing the line of scrimmage at the point of the fumble, not the recovery.

Of course, if the Defense recovers, they may advance the ball.

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