8 NFL Rules You Need To Know Before The 2014 Season
Goal Posts Lengthened
Goalpost uprights have been lengthened by five feet above the cross bar, making them 35 feet. This influences the kicking game. Officials voted this change into effect to help avoid having the football going above the goalposts. When this happens, referees have to make difficult judgment calls.
Trial Run for Extra Point Kicks at the 20
As a trial run, in the first two preseason games, extra point kicks will occur at the 20 yard line. This does not affect two-point conversions, which will not move from the 2-yard line. Moving the extra point placement to the 25-yard line has been discussed, but for now, it is not going into effect.
Roll-Up Blocks Banned
Officials banned roll-up blocks. Roll-up blocks to the backs of defenders' knees were previously banned. The new ban makes it illegal to block the sides of defenders' knees as well. The call will be unnecessary roughness, which carriers a 15-yard penalty.
Central Command Center for Replays
The replay system now has a central command center. It will be located in New York. It can confer with the officials on replays. By monitoring the games, it will reduce referees' making bad calls. However, this does not diminish the referees' authority. They will still make the final decision on the play.
NaVorro Bowman Rule
The NaVorro Bowman rule is named for the 49ers linebacker, who recovered a fumble by Seahawks Jermaine Kearse. The officials ruled that Seattle recovered the ball. Officials could not review the play. Previously, once the ball was ruled dead, the play was no longer reviewable. Now, these plays can be reviewed.
Game Clock Will Run After Sacks
The game clock will continue running when the quarterback sacks before the two-minute mark. This is a minor change. Before the 2014 season, officials would blow their whistles when the quarterbacks sacked, stopping the clock. This gave receivers enough time to return to the huddle and for the quarterbacks to recover from the sack. The change aligns the NFL with college and high school rules.
All defensive fouls occurring behind the line of scrimmage are to be enforced from the original line of scrimmage, not from the end of the run or the place where the foul happened. This affects where to mark the yardage. Previously, penalties were assessed where the foul happened.
Post-Touchdown Dunks Banned
Post-touchdown dunks over goal posts have been banned. It has been a favorite way to celebrate a touchdown in the past, but it is no longer permissible. This is not a new rule, and is more a specification regarding the pre-existing rule that makes it illegal for players to use the football as a prop.