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Why was the Polamalu bat through the EZ a safety and not a touch back?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by SteveKiner, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. SteveKiner

    SteveKiner Rookie

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    Not that it would have mattered, the game was over at that point anyway. But why was the call a safety? Can one of you rules guys pleae explain this? As I see it. Brady fumbled. The ball was illegally batted into the end zone by Polamalu(sp?). It passed through the end zone without being recovered. The "impetus" for the ball being knocked through the end zone was provided by Polamalu. Shouldn't that be a touchback?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  2. ensoul

    ensoul Rookie

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    Well it was in illegal play that was missed. Regardless the defense only can get a touchback in the end zone they are defending which is the one their backs are toward.
  3. WhoaDirty

    WhoaDirty Rookie

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    Because apparently the refs thought the ball could move with that velocity my "accident" and not because Polamalu knocked it forward illegally.
  4. ProudestRyno

    ProudestRyno Rookie

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    Had the Pittsburgh defender recovered the ball before going out of bounds past the end zone, wouldn't it have been a TD?

    I never thought there was even a chance of it being considered a touchback.

    The CBS announcers did a horrible, incorrect job of explaining it to the casual fan...Especially considering they never even mentioned the fact that it could have been a TD.

    And yes, Polamalu illegally punched the ball toward the end zone.
  5. Kjmass1

    Kjmass1 Rookie

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    Jim: "That was a heads up play by Troy P."
    Phil: "Well, actually it was illegal."
  6. mcgraw_wv

    mcgraw_wv Rookie

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    If Brady stepped on the back of the end zone line, it's a Safety, since Pitt did not have posession, it was the same as if a NE player walked with the ball through their own endzone. It's not a touchback, because you can't come out of the endzone, then go back in and down it.

    It's not illegal becuase you can not advance the football on offense by batting/kicking/purposefully fumbling.

    Key word is on Offense.

    What he did was the same as if Brady was holding the ball and he punched it down field.

    Smart, amazing play from a heads up player. We used to have a Safety like that... I remember those days...
  7. SteveKiner

    SteveKiner Rookie

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    Here is the definition of a touchback from the NFL --

    Touchback: When a ball is dead on or behind a team’s own goal line, provided the impetus came from an opponent and provided it is not a touchdown or a missed field goal

    Now a safety --

    Safety: The situation in which the ball is dead on or behind a team’s own goal if the impetus comes from a player on that team.

    In other words, it's only a safety if the team with the ball goes backwards INTO their endzone and is then tackled (or loses the ball out of bounds, or receives certain penalties, like intentional grounding).

    Source(s):

    NFL referree rulebook

    The key to defining whether a play results in a safety or not is called "impetus" by the NFL. Two points are awarded to the opposing team if the impetus for why the ball has been called dead on or behind a team's goal line came from the team originally in possession of the ball. Offensive examples include a player being tackled in the end zone after retreating into it or committing a penalty in the end zone. One of the more common occurrences of a safety happens when a punt is blocked out of the end zone.

    Read more: What Is A Safety Call In A Football Game? | LIVESTRONG.COM

    Can one of the rules gurus answer this?

    All I can guess is that Whoadirty is right. The zebras thought that the ball accidentally, inadvertently or by the Patriots "impetus" crossed the goal line. I don't see how they could think that but maybe I misunderstand the rule. Can someone enlighten me?
  8. Kid~Brady

    Kid~Brady Rookie

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    That wild punk got away with alot of crap.

    The jump on Welker back halfway neck snap pissed me off. He cant tackle for isssshh, he just hangs on people. Thats why Gronk took him for a ride.
  9. Yehoodi

    Yehoodi Rookie

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    A touchback, legally it could not be at that point, should of been an illegal bat penalty tho . . . let me explain . . .

    If the offense has possession of the ball and they step out of the endzone or get tackled in the endzone (or offensive holding in endzone) then it is a safety

    If the offense is in last possession of the ball (i.e. had possession and the ball is loose before the defense can get possession) and it rolls out of their own end zone, then safety . . .

    If the defense has possession of the ball and it goes out of the offense's end zone (see Leon Lett SB 27 and sadly not Champ Bailey in 2005 divsional game, damn refs), then it is a touchback, the same holds true if the offense is driving and balls goes out of the defenses endzone . . .

    The problem with the play was the ball was loose and no one had gain possession of the ball after we (Brady) last has possession of the ball . . . so when the ball goes out of bounds, be it on the side lines or one of the endzones, the possession is maintained by the last who possessed it . . . as it was NE and so we have NE offense possession + ball going out our endzone = safety . . .

    It can not be a touchback as Pittsburgh did not have possession of the loose ball (and therefore no defense possession + ball out of offensive endzone) . . .

    so legally all the refs could do was award a safety . . .

    this may see unfair as Troy S. knocked it out of the our endzone, but there is a rule, illegal bat, which prevents a players from batting (hitting) a ball forward, so this act should have not have been allowed to happen and a illegal bat should have been called on Troy, and in reality it should have been Pats ball + 10 yards penalty and not a safety . . . (i think the bat is 10 yards i am not sure)

    once the refs missed the illegal bat, there was nothing they could do about it other than give a safety . . . so legally it was the only call they could make, but in spirit it was not a safety as it should not have been as Troy's move was illegal and not caught by the refs . . .
  10. Yehoodi

    Yehoodi Rookie

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    Steve, please see my prior, post, i think it comes down to one of possession . . . so often the NFL rules come down to following things chronologically . . . and bottom line this should never of happened as the ball moving forward was an illegal bat . . . so there is a rule in place to prevent this thing from happening, i.e. a defensive playing knocking the ball forward into and out of the endzone to get a safety . . . they can not do that . . . plain and simple one reason why the rule is one the books is to prevent one from knocking it forward to get an advance (a safety when one can not be gained). . .

    if the ball on its own goes out of the endzone then it is a safety as we are the last to have possession . . . if the ball was fought fairly and bounced around and not one gains possession and it goes out then it is a safety, and that is what it appear to by the refs, who made a HUGE mistake . . . since they did not see Troy bat, all they could do was assumed that is was fought for and it was knocked unintentionally out of bounds . . .

    the impetus issues is really kind of covered by the fact that it should of been a penalty on Troy . . . so there is really only two things that could of happened here in my view

    1) Illegal Bat (intentional act by a player)
    2) Safety (balls goes out of bounds as there was no intentional act by any players caught)
  11. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    I wondered about that. Technically he didn't grab the facemask with his hand, but instead used his forearm to turn the facemask, basically accomplishing the same thing. Then when Welker was down on the ground he added the extra twist only in attempt to cause injury and not tackle the player. Will the NFL care? Welker gets picked on every time we play Pittsburgh, but nothing ever happens. Maybe if James Harrison did it they would care more.
  12. SteveKiner

    SteveKiner Rookie

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    Yehood, thank you for the thorough description.
  13. SteveKiner

    SteveKiner Rookie

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    From Mike Pereira.

    In regards to Polamalu play - it should have been an illegal bat and if that was called then it would have been a touchback
    MikePereira(about 16 hours ago)

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback.
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    It's illegal to bat the ball towards the opponent's endzone.
  15. WhoaDirty

    WhoaDirty Rookie

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    So I am assuming this is not a reviewable play? Or did the refs screw it up twice?
  16. rlcarr

    rlcarr PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Illegal batting is not one of the penalties allowed to be reviewed.
  17. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Yes.
    It would have been a touchback and Patriots ball if, for example, a Steeler recovered the ball on, say, the 5 yard line and then he fumbled it forward and through the end zone.
    The announcers were horrible for kissing Polamalu's ass for doing something which neither one of them realized was illegal.
  18. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Did Phil actually say that? If so, I owe him an apology because I've been blasting the announcers for not picking up on the fact that what Polamalu did was pretty blatently illegal. I didn't hear Simms say that but I had certainly tuned out mentally by that point.
  19. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Whuh huh? :confused:
    It's only "smart" and "amazing" in the sense that he got away with a blatent violation of the rules. Fact is that it was a stupid play because it should have given the Patriots a free 10 yards and stoppage of the clock. Otherwise the worse case scenario (from Pittsburgh's point of view) is the Patriots recover the ball and the clock keeps ticking.
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But it is a scoring play, so shouldn't it therefore be automatically reviewed?

    Or does that new rule apply strictly to touchdowns? And if that is the case, then does that mean two point conversions are also not automatically reviewed?
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