The Stupid Rule That Cost The Giants Against The Cowboys
You could easily blame Eli Manning for the New York Giants' stupid late-game collapse against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Eli stupidly threw the ball out of the back of the stupid end zone on third down with less than two stupid minutes to go, when he could've taken a stupid sack and run out more stupid clock. Or you could blame stupid Tom Coughlin, who ended up taking the blame for the loss in his stupid postgame press conference. Why you wouldn't slowly run out the clock over four downs -- as opposed to three stupid downs, a stupid passing play and a stupid field goal -- is beyond me. And let's not forget the Giants' stupid defense, which allowed Tony Romo to move the ball 75 stupid yards in one minute and forty seconds to win the stupid game. Despite keeping Dez Bryant in check all night, they vanished on that final drive (when Bryant wasn't even in the game).
The Giants were very, very stupid last night. So stupid.
But there's another reason why the Giants lost, and it has to do with a rule I cannot wrap my stupid little mind around. It has to do with timekeeping, specifically, how the clock stops and starts after a penalty in the waning minutes of a football game.
Turns out, Section 3, Article 1, A.R. 4.3 subsection F basically gives you a free timeout for an encroachment penalty. How. The. Shit. Is. This. A. Thing?
If the game clock is stopped after a down in which there was a foul by either team, following
enforcement or declination of a penalty, the game clock will start as if the foul had not occurred,
except that the clock will start on the snap if:
(1) the foul occurs after the two-minute warning of the first half;
(2) the foul occurs inside the last five minutes of the second half; or
(3) a specific rule prescribes otherwise.
With exactly two minutes left in the game, coming off the two-minute warning, the Giants converted a third and fourteen on a pass to Odell Beckham Jr., who caught the ball in the middle of the field. The clock should run, right? Wrong. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence jumped offsides, which the officials flagged for encroachment, which the Giants then declined because they had gotten the first down, and...the...stupid...clock...stopped. That's right, the Cowboys got a timeout for breaking the rules.
Here, have a look. This is actual footage verifying that this rule exists in the NFL in 2015. Keep an eye on the clock. Incredible.
Listen, I'm sure there's a perfectly valid reason for this god forsaken abomination. After all, we're talking about the NFL -- and they're on the cutting edge of rule creation and enforcement. (Wink.) But ideally, a declined penalty should mean that the infraction never really happened, so the clock should behave as it would have had there been no flag. Otherwise, as we saw last night, you get to run after the quarterback before the ball is snapped on a third and long, and the worst case scenario is more time to mount a comeback.
Sunday night's loss is still on the Giants, for sure. They could've snapped the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. and let him run around the backfield for three plays until the game was over, but instead they decided to snap the ball with five, eight, ten seconds left on the play clock (when the game clock was running) in an ill-fated attempt to "play to win," as the old adage goes. But they played to win stupidly, because the likelihood of the Giants losing that stupid football game were dramatically increased by their own epic clock mismanagement.
6% chance of losing the game by going on 4th down. 18% by taking the FG. Coughlin TRIPLED their odds of losing. http://t.co/p584RoJhbg
— Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) September 14, 2015
That being said, none of this means the penalties-automatically-stop-the-clock-rule isn't insane. It is. It's stupid.
Butthurt Giants Fan
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