Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Odd play

I watched the Texans-Jags game earlier, and there was one play that I wanted to mention.  It was a punt, and #11 went into the endzone and came back out.  He was the first one to touch the ball, but the official spotted it at the 1 anyway.
Mike Tirico made some vague reference to establishing himself in the endzone, but he was wrong.  And I'm fairly confident the refs got it wrong at that point as well.
Then, to complicate matters, Jack Del Rio challenged the spot, arguing that it was a touchback.  However, the replay showed that the ball never crossed the goal line, so he lost that challenge.

What he couldn't challenge was that 11 touched it first, because you can't challenge a penalty or non penalty. 
The rule is that a player who goes outside the field of play can not be the first one to touch the ball.  On a punt, the endzone is considered outside the field of play.    So that player left the field, and came back on to touch the ball, which should have been a penalty.

The penalty should havd been a 5 yard one from the  original line of scrimmage, and a rekick.  The result may have been better for Del Rio.  But since it was an illegal touch, that's the rule...
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