After making the first down, Welker dove to the ground and rolled out of bounds. The official made the winding motion to keep the clock rolling. As it turned out, it was a big play. If Welker had gone out of bounds, because it was in the last 5:00 of the game, the clock would have stopped. That would have required the Patriots to run another play before the two minute warning, which would have meant they would have needed another first down to avoid punting it back to the colts. In other words, if not for that play, the Colts would have gotten the ball back with 30 seconds or so, unless the Patriots made another first down. I don't understand the rule here. I have actually seen that play called two different ways. Welker was not down by contact when he rolled out of bounds. Why does the clock keep going? Do any of you amature refs understand the rule well enough to say, because I have definitely seen it called the other way. A "passer" can, by sliding feet first, immediately end a play. That is, the passer can, by giving himself up, end the play, and the ball is marked at the position it had when he started his slide. This is a quarterback protection rule. Similarly, a player fielding a ball in the end zone may take a knee, which terminates the play immediately, even if he is not down by contact. Otherwise, any other player remains eligible to advance the ball until he is either downed by contact, or he has demonstrated no intention to move the ball for such a period of time that the ref decides to blow the whistle to avoid an injury. (You see this sometimes when a player has recovered a fumble and falls on it with nobody else around and then just curls up around the ball -- sometimes the ref will blow the whistle to keep him from getting speared.) But what is the deal with the sidelines and clock stoppages? Seemed odd yesterday.