Replay Review Sees the Biggest NFL Rule Change in 2014

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Which rules are changing for the 2014 NFL season?

Last week, we covered 21 potential rule changes, bylaws, and resolutions that the NFL owners were going to vote on. The results are in, with the proposals either having been passed, rejected, or tabled for further discussion in 2015. Listed below are the five rules that passed, which will go into effect during the 2014 season:

NFL Rule Changes / Bylaws That Passed

  1. Extend the goal posts upwards by five yards. This will ensure better calls by the officials on kicks that go above the goal posts.

  2. Protect players from getting rolled up on. Previously, the rule book said that a player cannot roll up on the back of a player's legs for safety reasons. The change now also prevents players from rolling up on the side of a player's legs.

  3. Replay reviews assisted by central office. When an official goes to the booth for a review, the play in question will already be reviewed by an official at the command office in New York. The official at the game will consult with the official in New York to make sure the right call is made, hopefully reducing either bias or the number of mistakes.

  4. Reorganize rule book and the Bowman rule. Part one of this rule involves reorganizing the rule book to better describe which plays are reviewable. Part two of this rule allows the NaVarro Bowman play to be reviewable -- if you recall, in the playoffs, he recovered a fumble, but when it became loose again in a pile, the officials said it wasn't a reviewable play.

  5. Allow clock to run after a sack. Currently, outside of two minutes in each half, when a player is sacked, the clock is stopped temporarily and then re-started. This would seem to discourage defenders from celebrating a sack because they'll need to hurry up and get ready for the next play.

  6. Enforcement of defensive fouls. Previously, defensive penalties that take place beyond the line of scrimmage are sometimes deemed penalties from where the foul occurred, in terms of where to mark off yardage. The rule change makes the yardage marked off from the original line of scrimmage, even if the defensive foul was committed behind the line of scrimmage and runner was stopped behind the line of scrimmage.

  7. Final cuts from 6 PM to 4 PM. When final cuts are made at the end of the preseason, the cuts were previously due in by 6 PM. Now, the deadline has changed to 4 PM.

The other changes involve "dunking over the goal post" being a foul, and for the first two weeks of the preseason, a pilot experiment will be conducted regarding extra points -- they will be placed at the 20 yard line.

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