Sorry, the other thread about refs got me thinking about a gripe I've had for awhile. It bugs me that there are situations where a team can be penalized for another team's penalty. There are times when two flags on the same play make a WORLD OF DIFFERNCE. For instance: Let's imagine a Patriots defender picks off a pass and while returning it one of his teammates gets called for holding. In this situation, it does NOT give the offense a first down. We all know that the refs do account for whether the penalty occured after the change of possession. Therefore, the correct ruling would be to enforce a 10 yard penalty from the start of the foul where the Patriots would have the ball at first and ten. Now let's imagine that on that SAME play the offense lined up in an illegal formation. BY RULE the refs consider these offsetting penalties and the Patriots opponent would get to keep possession and replay the down. Whenver any single penalty happens, the other team has an opportunity to decline. Why should this be any different? Why couldn't the Patriots decline the "illegal formation" penalty to keep the ball? For those wondering, I can recall two actual scenario where this was a big deal........ 2011 Giants vs. Eagles - A flag was thrown on a Giants defender for illegal contact (or something) on the same play that DeSean Jackson caught a 50 yard bomb. Immediately after catching it and running out of bounds, DeSean flipped the ball to the Giants sideline only to get flagged with "unsportsmanlike conduct". If the defender did not get penalized, the play would stand with the 15 yards being marched off from the end of the catch. Instead, the penalties were called as offsetting and the down was replayed. I recall this in a Patriots game too. In 2005 against the Jets I recall Colvin getting a sack fumble. Big Willie McGinest picked up the ball ran up the sideline. While he was being tackled he flipped the ball forward to Vrabel. The Pats were flagged for illegal forward lateral. Meanwhile, the Jets were flagged for something else on that same play so they were ruled offsetting penalties. The Jets kept possession of the ball.