BOSTON (CBS) — In the waning moments of Super Bowl XLVI, an interesting scenario unfolded. The Patriots faced a second-and-10 from their own 44-yard line with 17 seconds left, and they ran a play that took several seconds off the clock. Meanwhile, the Giants had 12 men on the field.

The Giants gained no real advantage, as their 12th man was running off the field, but the idea that a team could simply put 12 players on the field to keep a team from making a play, with only a 5-yard penalty to pay, spread rather quickly among football fans and media.

The NFL competition committee doesn’t want to see any team use that idea as part of strategy, so it proposed a change to the rule for too many men on the field.

The proposed rule would make officials blow a play dead if a team has more than 11 players lined up for a play, ProFootballTalk explained. The rule would certainly be important for situations such like the one with the Giants and Patriots in the Super Bowl, when killing clock was far more important to New York than losing five yards of field position.

Other rule changes proposed include:

  • Using the postseason overtime rules (game can’t end on a field goal in the opening drive of OT) for the regular season
  • Allowing players on injured reserve to return to rosters during a season
  • Automatic reviews of turnovers
  • Replay decisions made by booth official, not on-field official

Owners will discuss the potential changes at their meetings next week in Florida.


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