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Does a defender have to tackle a player to stop the clock?

JohnB : 9/10/2019 4:52 am
Yesterday's Saints/Texans' game:

End of the 4th quarter, 6 seconds to go and the Saints have the ball on the 50 and one timeout. They ran a pass play for 10 yards to the Texans 40 yard line. The receiver fell to the ground as he caught the ball and the Texan defender jumped on to complete the tackle. Saints than called a TO with 2 seconds left and kicked the winning field goal.

I'm wondering why did the defender "tackled" him. Can't he just hover over him and not tackle him and let the time run out? Or can an offensive player go to the ground and "give himself up" allow the Saints to call a TO without there being contact with the defensive team? I know the QB can give himself up but there's rules about that like he has to slide feet first etc etc.....

I don't know the rule so I ask.
Once an offensive player gives himself up the play is over  
robbieballs2003 : 9/10/2019 5:12 am : link
so you really arent asking about the clock stopping. The clock stopped due to the timeout not the tackle. As far as the play being over, it doesn't matter whether he was touched or not. Just like a QB sliding the play is now dead when the offensive player gives himself up but the clock is still running if he was down in the field of play.
It really was  
lecky : 9/10/2019 6:33 am : link
A bad play by the defender. Maybe if he does not touch him, by instinct, the player may have got up and tried to advance the ball. There really was no indication the player gave himself up before he was touched.
No  
ZogZerg : 9/10/2019 7:06 am : link
Ge can go down and call TO.
RE: It really was  
RickInCharlotte : 9/10/2019 7:16 am : link
In comment 14569748 lecky said:
Quote:
A bad play by the defender. Maybe if he does not touch him, by instinct, the player may have got up and tried to advance the ball. There really was no indication the player gave himself up before he was touched.


Brees or the coaches are likely calling for a time out as soon as the ball is thrown as it's a designed play. They've likely told the refs what they're going to do. The refs - just as they did on the "timeout" for DAL with 12 men on the field - would likely give the timeout to the coaches/home team if there was confusion. (Certainly to NO as a makeup call for last year, lol)

The mistake was HOU not playing tighter coverage, right?
Thatís right...  
bw in dc : 9/10/2019 7:37 am : link
Houston playing way too soft created the issue. The safeties were so deep you wondered if they knew Lutzís range.

It was a real indictment on the Texans coaching staff.
In that situation  
lecky : 9/10/2019 8:16 am : link
With about a minute to go, against guys like Brees, Brady, Rodgers, and only needing a field goal. You will hardly ever stop them from at least trying a field goal unless you get a sack sometime during that drive. You need to put pressure on those guys and not sit back and give them the 3 ten yard gimmes they need to be in field goal range. How do coaches not see this?
An offensive player can give himself up  
Mike from Ohio : 9/10/2019 8:50 am : link
which is exactly what happened on that play. The defender touching him down is not necessary for the play to stop as long as the runner willingly goes to the ground and make no attempt to make progress.
I think Cruz gave himself up  
markky : 9/10/2019 1:04 pm : link
On a play a few years ago. Donít need to be touched.
RE: I think Cruz gave himself up  
81_Great_Dane : 9/10/2019 3:12 pm : link
In comment 14570351 markky said:
Quote:
On a play a few years ago. Donít need to be touched.
The issue with Cruz on that play was that he didn't execute the giving-myself-up properly and arguably he'd fumbled. The Giants got a break on the call and retained possession.
as others said  
giants#1 : 9/10/2019 3:18 pm : link
the D player touching him doesn't matter if he gives himself up. This is especially the case with 6 secs left. If there were 1-2 secs left and the runner gave himself up without a D player touching him, it's much more subjective as to when the play "ends" since the ref might take a second or two to react and blow the play dead.
It has been  
FatMan in Charlotte : 9/10/2019 3:19 pm : link
on the books for probably a decade now.

They also made a number of changes to the clock at that time. They put an emphasis on forward progress and continuing to run the clock if progress was stopped, regardless of if the player went out of bounds and they also declared that a runner could give themselves up voluntarily to stop the play or to call a timeout.

I think they also allowed the kick returner to make a touchback without having taking a knee and not making an effort to run out the ball or to hand the ball to an official.

While the Cruz play was controversial, I think the most notable use of the rule involved Plax when he was a Steeler. He got up after a long catch without being touched and spun the ball on the ground. He was considered to have given himself up.
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