A new rule change in the NFL this season addresses — whether it’s directly or indirectly is unknown — a play that occurred in the Bears-Eagles game last year.
The new rule states:
It will now be a live ball when a direct snap from center to a player who is in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap goes untouched. It was previously called a false start, but now either team may recover and advance the untouched snap.
If you remember back to last season, the fourth quarter had just begun and the Bears’ offense was at midfield with the score tied 9-9. Olin Kreutz lost control of the ball on the snap and it shot past Brian Griese without him touching it. The NFL’s greatest referee, Ed Hochuli, wisely knew the rulebook and blew the play dead, calling it a false start. The Bears went on to take the lead, 12-9, on a 45-yard field goal by Robbie Gould that ricocheted off the left upright and fell through.
Had this new rule been in effect, the result of the play would have been a fumble and the Eagles would have taken possession inside the 10-yard line. They could have taken the lead with a touchdown, or a field goal at the very least.
Here’s a video of the play to jog your memory: