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NFL to keep the clock rolling on QB sacks in 2014

2014 rule changes

For years, the referee has signaled a quarterback sack with a whistle blast and a signal to stop the clock; however beginning with the 2014 season, the NFL will mandate that the clock keep running after a sack.

Up through the 2013 season, the referee would stop the clock on a quarterback sack.   The reasoning behind the rule was to give the receivers time to jog back to their huddle after running their pass pattern.   It would also give the quarterback a few seconds to collect his wits (and maybe scream at his offensive line) after getting dumped for a loss. Once all offensive players returned to their huddle, the referee would signal the clock to restart.   Once the clock was under two-minutes in a half, the rule changed and the clock didn’t stop on a sack — thus punishing the offense running the hurry-up.

Starting this fall, the clock will not stop on a quarterback sack.   This will bring the NFL into line with college and high school rules (which have always mandated the clock to run on a QB sack).   This will put extra pressure on the offense to keep moving and not dawdle back to the huddle after a sack – and it will also help speed up the game.

While not a major rule change, it will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this change will have starting this fall.   

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Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"

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3 thoughts on “NFL to keep the clock rolling on QB sacks in 2014

  1. This is really going to cut into Brady’s time spent sulking on the grass. Oh wait, there are still interceptions for that. Muah ha ha ha…!

  2. Then change the clock stoppage rules for incomplete pass. Always stop inside 2/5 min like runner out of bounds. Outside that, stop clock on incomplete pass and restart when offense is back on their side of the line of scrimmage.

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