The NFL’s former head of officiating, Mike Pereira, has done a fantastic job as the rules expert on FOX this season. His mastery of the rulebook and insider background give him unique – and unquestioned – credibility. That’s why it’s newsworthy when he suggests that a rule as prominent as the Tuck Rule needs to be altered.
In his recent FOXSports.com column, Pereira talked about the tuck rule ruling on the Matt Cassel fumble (err….incompletion) from the Chiefs-Ravens wild card game.
This was the classic tuck play.
Rule 3, Section 2 states "when a team ‘A’ player (passer) is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his hand starts the forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he attempting to tuck it back toward his body."
This was clearly a correct reversal, but is it time to look at this rule? Cassel was not attempting to pass the ball when it came loose. By instinct, referee Mike Carey ruled this a fumble because that's what it appeared to be.
I think it's time to change this rule. A pass should only be ruled incomplete if the ball comes loose in the actual act of passing the ball. If it comes loose in the tucking motion, then it should be a fumble.
I would support a rule change, although it took me a long time to get to this point. I'm sure it's no consolation to the many Raiders fans around the country.
Ah yes, the infamous originally Tuck Rule play. Without that play, the Patriots aren’t champions in 2001. Without that 2001 banner, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick might not have become leaders of a dynasty.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.