Quarterback kneel

In American football, a quarterback kneel, also called taking a knee, genuflect offense, or victory formation occurs when the quarterback immediately kneels to the ground, ending the play on contact, after receiving the snap. It is primarily used to run the clock down, either at the end of the first half or the game itself, in order to preserve a lead or a win. Although it generally results in a loss of a yard and uses up a down, it minimizes the risk of a fumble, which would give the other team a chance at recovering the ball.

Especially when the outcome of the game has been well decided, defenses will often give little resistance to the play as a matter of sportsmanship as well as to reduce the risk of injuries, penalties and possible supplemental discipline (the latter considerations being increasingly important as referees and leagues more strictly enforce penalties against perceived unnecessary roughness on quarterbacks and against headshots in general) on what is a relatively simple play. The quarterback is generally not touched and the act of intentionally taking the knee results in the play being over in all variations of the sport.

The formation offers maximum protection against a fumble; should the center-quarterback exchange result in a fumble, a running back is lined up on either side of the quarterback, both to recover any fumble and protect the vulnerable kneeling player from being injured by defensive players who get through the line. Also, a player is lined up directly behind the quarterback, often much farther than a typical tailback would line up. This player's responsibility is to tackle any defensive player who may recover a fumble and attempt to advance it. Because of this essentially "defensive" responsibility, the tailback in this formation may actually be a free safety or other defensive player who is adept at making tackles in the open field.

Even though the play itself takes very little time, the rules of American football dictate that it does not stop the game clock (as with any play where the ball carrier is tackled in bounds). With the 40-second play clock in the NFL and NCAA, along with the two-minute warning in the NFL, a team can run off over two minutes with three straight kneel-downs if the defensive team has no more timeouts. The winning team can storm the field if up to 40 seconds remains in the game (35 in Alliance of American Football), to let coaches shake hands with each other. (In the AAF, as many as three straight "victory formations" from 105 seconds left in regulation can be done.)

The play is often known as a "victory formation", as it is most often run by a winning team late in the game in order to preserve a victory. In the case of a close game, the winning team would be trying to avoid a turnover which might be the result of a more complex play. In the case of a more lopsided contest where the winning team's overall point differential has no prospect of affecting their playoff qualification prospects, the play can be run as a matter of sportsmanship (since the winning team foregoes the opportunity to run up the score) and to avoid further injuries and/or penalties. In terms of statistics, a kneel by the quarterback is typically recorded as a rushing attempt for −1 or −2 yards.

Other sports also use the term "victory formation" for a play designed only to run down the clock with little chance of injury, such as a Jammer in roller derby skating behind or only lightly challenging the pack while the final seconds of the bout tick down.

DetroitLionsvsGreenBayPackers-2007-FavreKneel
The Green Bay Packers (right) in the kneel formation in a game against the Detroit Lions in 2007

Strategy

The quarterback kneel is mainly used when the team in the lead has possession of the ball with less than two minutes on the game clock. With the 40-second play clock in the NFL and NCAA, two minutes (120 seconds) is in theory the maximum amount of time that can be run off on three consecutive quarterback kneels; this assumes it is first down and the defense has no timeouts remaining. A team cannot run more than three consecutive quarterback kneels as doing so on fourth down turns the ball over to the opponent and guarantees them at least one opportunity to score. The decision to run the quarterback kneel depends on the amount of time remaining in the game, the down, and the number of timeouts the defense has remaining. For example, if there is one minute remaining on the game clock on first down, and the defense has one timeout left, the offense may use two successive quarterback kneels to completely run out the clock, and if the defense uses its timeout the offense can simply run a third kneel to run out the clock. However, if there is one minute remaining on the game clock on third down, then regardless of how many timeouts the defense has, quarterback kneels will not completely run out the clock and the offense must try to make a first down. AAF allows this to happen if up to 105 seconds remain; there's a 35-second play clock.

The quarterback kneel is also often used at the end of the first half by a team which feels they have little chance of scoring before halftime due to poor field position. It is also sometimes run at the end of the second half of a tie game by a team content with sending the game into overtime. Less commonly, the play is sometimes run at the end of the game by a losing team which is hopelessly behind and wishes to avoid injury, but is unwilling to cut the game short by forfeiting.

A team that is in field-goal range and either tied on the score or trailing by 1 or 2 points can also use one or more kneeldowns in order to run time off the clock before attempting a field goal. A quarterback in this situation may also run several yards to his left or right before kneeling down in order to get a more favorable spot for the field goal attempt, in order to try and get the ball closer to the goal line and/or to get the ball to a particular set of hash marks if the team's kicker prefers to kick from a specific side of the field. Ideally, the clock would run out during the field goal attempt, thereby preventing the opposing team from getting an opportunity to score again.

In several instances (including twice by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL season), a quarterback kneel has been purposefully initiated on a point after touchdown try at the end of the game after a game-winning or defensive touchdown was scored at the end of regulation; NFL rules used to require the try to be executed between the offense and defense, even if the offense intends to decline the unnecessary points to avoid further insulting or annoying their opponent. This occurred prominently in the 2018 "Minneapolis Miracle", where eight New Orleans Saints players on offense and defense had to return to the field from the locker room to 'oppose' the try against the victorious Minnesota Vikings after referee imploration to complete the try. Quarterback Case Keenum merely knelt the ball down before tossing it in the air and celebrating the Viking victory, with the Saints giving no effort to strip the ball (as a defensive runback for a two-point conversion would not have assured a tie or victory).[1] The rule was changed for 2018 onward, to omit the try if it would have no impact on the outcome of the game.

In rare instances, a team will use the quarterback kneel to avoid running up the score in a lopsided contest, even though there may be significant time remaining on the clock. This occurred in the 2011 edition of the Magnolia Bowl between the LSU Tigers and Ole Miss Rebels. With five minutes remaining and LSU leading 52–3, Tigers' head coach Les Miles ordered third-string quarterback Zach Mettenberger to kneel on first and goal from the Ole Miss one-yard line, and to kneel on the next three plays. Miles felt another touchdown would further embarrass Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who announced his resignation, effective at the end of the season, 12 days before the Rebels hosted first-ranked LSU. The Tigers had already secured the largest margin of victory in series history.

In Canadian football, which use slightly different rules, kneeling with time left is not necessarily a viable strategy. Unlike in American football, in Canadian football every quarter must end with a play even in situations where the game clock expires after the end of the previous play. However, a quarterback kneel is by far the most common play for winning teams to run with "zeros on the clock" at the end of a game, barring exceptional (but not unheard-of) situations where the head-to-head point differential in the opposing teams' season series (a key factor in tiebreakers) remains in doubt.

History

Prior to the mid-1970s, teams leading in the final moments of games generally ran quarterback sneaks (which brought the risk of injuries on low-yardage plays) or dive plays to the fullbacks or other running backs to run time off the clock, as some coaches considered kneeling cowardly or even unsportsmanlike. However, the Miracle at the Meadowlands, on November 19, 1978, in which defensive back Herman Edwards of the visiting Philadelphia Eagles recovered a botched handoff between quarterback Joe Pisarcik and running back Larry Csonka of the New York Giants, provided a nationally-televised spur for change.

With 31 seconds remaining, the Giants led 17–12 and the Eagles were out of timeouts.[2][3] As Pisarcik attempted to hand it to Larry Csonka, it was awkwardly fumbled; Edwards scooped it up and ran it 26 yards for the Eagles' improbable 19–17 victory.[4][5] The play generated tremendous controversy, ridicule, and criticism toward the Giants nationwide and specifically offensive coordinator Bob Gibson for failing to use the supposedly foolproof quarterback-kneeldown play.

In the week following the game, both the Eagles and Giants developed specific formations designed to protect the quarterback behind three players as he fell on the ball. Previously, quarterbacks executing a similar "kill the clock" play simply ran a quarterback sneak from a tightly packed conventional offensive formation. The Eagles made the playoffs and the Giants finished at 6–10.

The "victory formation" spread rapidly throughout football at nearly all levels, as coaches sought to adopt a procedure for downing the ball in the final seconds which would reduce the risk of turnovers to the absolute minimum possible. Within a season or so, it had become nearly universal. In 1987 the NFL rule allowing quarterbacks to simply kneel and not have to fall down and risk a hit from the defense took effect.

Defense

Although in most instances a losing team will concede defeat when the other team is in the victory formation and taking the quarterback kneel, there are instances where the trailing team will try to make a defensive play in an attempt to regain possession of the ball, particularly when the losing team is behind by a touchdown or less and there is enough time to make more than one play.

Post-Pisarcik QB kneel formation
Formation adopted for the quarterback kneel play after the Miracle at the Meadowlands

This had happened on the play preceding The Miracle at the Meadowlands. Due to the low percentage of turnovers caused, defenses generally do not attempt to disrupt the kneeldown as the Eagles did in 1978; a "gentlemen's agreement" emerged in which defenders did not rush the offensive team with high intensity, as long as the offense made no attempt to advance the ball.

One prominent exception occurred to another Giants quarterback in 2012. In Week 2, an interception of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass with six seconds left had apparently secured a 25-point fourth-quarter comeback and 41–34 Giant victory. However, in the ensuing "victory formation" play, instead of the usual nominal contact between the lineman, the Buccaneers stacked the line of scrimmage and forcefully pushed the Giants' line back in an attempt to cause Giants' QB Eli Manning to fumble. Manning was knocked back by his own center as he took the snap and fell down. Giants coach Tom Coughlin angrily confronted his Tampa Bay counterpart, Greg Schiano, at midfield once the game was over.[6] Undaunted, Schiano employed a similar strategy the next week at the end of the Buccaneers' game against the Dallas Cowboys. In the next season, with the Philadelphia Eagles leading the Buccaneers, Chip Kelly had quarterback Nick Foles attempt a shotgun formation kneeldown to avert Schiano's aggressive technique, which succeeded.

Aside from trying to attempt a defensive play, teams that are losing but behind by a touchdown or less in the final two minutes will sometimes use their time-outs if the team does a quarterback kneel. As teams are allowed three time-outs per half—the clock stops on a time out and restarts on the snap—they will try to preserve them for situations such as this, thereby forcing the winning team to run a play and gain a first down or, in the very least, take time off the clock.

If there is still enough time left on the clock and the winning team attempts another quarterback kneel, the defensive team's strategy may repeat itself until it either runs out of time-outs, time runs out, or (most desirably) the team forces a punt or turnover, though in 2016, the Baltimore Ravens, leading in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals after three plays, ran off the remaining twelve seconds of clock off in a punt formation with Sam Koch purposefully holding the ball in the end zone while multiple holding calls were made against the Ravens offense. The play ended with Koch touching his toe to the back end zone line after time expired and taking an intentional safety (offensive fouls at the end of the game do not result in a replay of a down, unlike their defensive equivalents). The intentional holding aspect of the play was made illegal after the 2016 NFL season.

Rules

The 2011 NFL Rules state in Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1(c): "An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended … when a quarterback immediately drops to his knee (or simulates dropping to his knee) behind the line of scrimmage".[7]

The 2011 and 2012 NCAA Rules state in Rule 4, Section 1, Article 3(o): "A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead … When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground."[8] The same rule is used by the British American Football Association.[9]

The 2011 CFL Rules state in Rule 1, Section 4: "The ball is dead … When the quarterback, in possession of the ball, intentionally kneels on the ground during the last three minutes of a half".[10] The Statistical Scoring Rules, Section 5(e) states: "When a quarterback voluntarily drops to one knee and concedes yards in an effort to run out the clock, the yards lost will be charged under Team Losses. NOTE – No quarterback sack will be given in this situation."[11]

References

  1. ^ Blackburn, Pete (14 January 2018). "Case Keenum leads Skol chant after throwing game-winning TD in playoffs". CBS Sports. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Chen, Albert (November 27, 1978). "A roundup of the week Nov 13-19: pro football". Sports Illustrated. p. 116.
  3. ^ Chen, Albert (July 2, 2001). "The fumble". Sports Illustrated. p. 116.
  4. ^ "Final play nightmare". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. November 20, 1978. p. 29.
  5. ^ "Alas, New York, New York". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. November 20, 1978. p. B=6.
  6. ^ Garafalo, Mike, "Coughlin to Schiano: 'You don't do that in this league'", USA Today, September 17, 2012. Accessed September 17, 2012. [1]
  7. ^ National Football League (2011), Official Playing Rules and Casebook of the National Football League (PDF), p. 35, retrieved 12 May 2012
  8. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (May 2011), 2011 and 2012 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations (PDF), p. FR-56, retrieved 12 May 2012
  9. ^ British American Football Association (2012), Football Rules and Interpretations, 2012-13 edition (PDF), retrieved 12 May 2012
  10. ^ Canadian Football League (2011), The Official Playing Rules for the Canadian Football League (PDF), p. 14, archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2012, retrieved 12 May 2012
  11. ^ Canadian Football League (2011), The Official Playing Rules for the Canadian Football League (PDF), pp. 82, 88, archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2012, retrieved 12 May 2012
2004 Emerald Bowl

The 2004 Emerald Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between the New Mexico Lobos and the Navy Midshipmen on December 30, 2004 at SBC Park in San Francisco, United States. The game, which Navy won with a final score of 34–19, was highlighted by a 26-play drive from the Midshipmen that took up almost 15 minutes of game time and set the record for the longest drive in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college football game. The contest was the third time the Emerald Bowl was played and the final game of the 2004 NCAA football season for both teams.

The conference independent Navy Midshipmen, who finished the regular season with a 9–2 record, accepted an invitation to play in the game on November 22, 2004. Eight days later, the 7–4 New Mexico Lobos agreed to fill the open spot reserved for a Mountain West Conference team. Leading up to the game, sports writers predicted that a major highlight of the contest would be the rushing offenses of Midshipmen head coach Paul Johnson and Lobos head coach Rocky Long; both teams ranked in the top rushing offenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Lobos also ranked as one of the nation's top rushing defenses.

The game began at 1:35 p.m. PST in rainy conditions that had affected the San Francisco Bay Area for days before the contest. The Lobos scored a touchdown on the game's first drive to take an early lead, but the Midshipmen scored three touchdowns to bring the score to 21–7 early in the second quarter. After the Lobos narrowed that lead to 12 points by the end of the third quarter, the Midshipmen began a long drive which took up much of the fourth quarter. The drive ended with a field goal, which gave Navy a 15-point lead with a little over two minutes remaining in the game. On the next drive from the Lobos, the Midshipmen forced a turnover on downs and ran out the clock with their last possession to win the game.

Midshipmen players Aaron Polanco and Vaughn Kelley were named the game's offensive and defensive Most Valuable Players, respectively. The win caused the Midshipmen to finish the season with a 10–2 record, their best record since the 1905 season. After the game, the Associated Press College Poll and the USA Today Coaches' Poll ranked the team as the 24th best in the nation. The loss caused the Lobos' record to fall to 7–5.

2005 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2005 Indianapolis Colts season was the franchise’s 53rd season in the National Football League and 22nd in Indianapolis. The 2005 Colts improved on their 12–4 record from 2004 and finished the season 14–2, but ended in a devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers who eventually went on to win the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis started the season with a 13-game winning streak and were heavily favored to go to the Super Bowl. The Colts’ nemesis, the New England Patriots, lost to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The following night the Colts were favored over the Steelers because they had easily beaten them in their previous meeting. However, the Colts were disappointed by the sixth-seeded Steelers’ upset win.

The 2005 Colts set an NFL record by winning twelve games in which they never trailed at any point in the contest.The 2005 Colts were the first team opening with 13 wins to lose a playoff game, although this would be repeated by themselves again in the 2009 season, the 2011 Green Bay Packers who started 13–0 and went 15–1, and by the 2015 Carolina Panthers.

2005–06 NFL playoffs

The National Football League playoffs for the 2005 season began on January 7, 2006. The postseason tournament concluded with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, 21–10, on February 5, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

After scrutiny in the Wild Card and Divisional rounds, the league reversed a three-year precedent, and returned to "all star" officiating crews for the Conference Championship games. Since the 2003–04 NFL playoffs, postseason officiating had been done by entire crews from the regular season.

2009 Baylor Bears football team

The 2009 Baylor Bears football team represented Baylor University in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Art Briles. The Bears played their home games at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas. Baylor finished the season with a record of 4–8 and 1–7 in Big 12 play.

2015 Denver Broncos season

The 2015 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League and the 56th overall. It was also the fourth season with Peyton Manning as the team's starting quarterback, as well as the final season of Manning's 18-year NFL career.

After losing in the Divisional round of the playoffs during three of the previous four seasons, the Broncos underwent numerous coaching changes, including a mutual parting with head coach John Fox, and the hiring of Gary Kubiak as the new head coach. Under Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, the Broncos planned to install a run-oriented West coast offense with zone blocking to blend in with Manning's shotgun passing style, but struggled with numerous changes and injuries to the offensive line.

Manning missed six games due to a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot and had his worst statistical season since his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler filled in for Manning during the second half of the regular season, before Manning re-claimed the starting quarterback position prior to the team's postseason run. Under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Broncos' defense ranked No. 1 in total yards, passing yards, average yards per rush and sacks, and like the previous three seasons, the team continued to set numerous individual, league and franchise records. The team's defense is widely considered to be among the greatest of all time, particularly due to the fact that it had to carry a lackluster offense the entire season. The team's defensive backfield, arguably the most dominant part of the defense, gave itself the nickname "No Fly Zone."The Broncos clinched their fifth-consecutive AFC West division title, fourth consecutive first-round bye and the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed for the third time in four seasons. As was the case during the regular season, the Broncos' defense dominated their playoff opponents. During the Broncos three playoff games, they recorded 14 sacks, forced seven turnovers, surrendered only one touchdown pass and gave up just 44 combined points (an average of just 14.7 points a game). The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 23–16 in the Divisional round and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game. The Broncos then defeated the Carolina Panthers 24–10 in Super Bowl 50 — the franchise's third Super Bowl championship, and the first since winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

2016 Texas Longhorns football team

The 2016 Texas Longhorns football team, known variously as "Texas", "UT", the "Longhorns", or the "Horns", was a collegiate American football team representing the University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Big 12 Conference in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season; the 2016 team was the 124th to represent the university in college football. The Longhorns were led by third-year head coach Charlie Strong with Sterlin Gilbert as the team's offensive coordinator and Vance Bedford as the team's defensive coordinator. The team played its home games at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, where the team is based.

Following a 5–7 season the previous year, the 2016 preseason involved several coaching changes for the Texas Longhorns football team. A search for a new offensive coordinator carried over from the end of the 2015 season, and culminated with the hires of offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert alongside offensive line coach Matt Mattox in December 2015. Departures and dismissals of specialists at the running back, defensive back, and wide receiver coaching positions led to hires at those vacancies in February 2016. Despite the shakeup, the Longhorns signed a consensus top-15 ranked recruiting class on National Signing Day, with additional transfers in the successive months improving the recruiting class to a consensus top-10 nationally.

After a second-straight 5–7 season that included the Longhorns' first loss to Kansas since 1938, the University of Texas fired Charlie Strong at a morning meeting on November 26, 2016.

Don Kindt

Donald John "Don" Kindt, Sr. (July 2, 1925 – May 5, 2000) was an American defensive back and halfback who played nine seasons from 1947 to 1955 for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League. Kindt played college football for the University of Wisconsin Badgers primarily as a halfback from 1943–1946, missing the 1944 and half of the 1945 season because of World War II. He was the starting halfback for the Badgers for most of his college career.

Kindt decided to forgo his senior season at Wisconsin in order to be eligible for the 1947 NFL Draft. He was selected with the last pick of the first round (eleventh overall) by the Bears despite having an history with injuries, and recovering from an off-season knee surgery he suffered while playing a basketball game at Wisconsin. After playing dual positions in his first few seasons with the Bears, Kindt was used primarily on defense for his last six seasons in the league. Considered to be a defensive standout during his playing career, Kindt was selected to participate in one Pro Bowl, and led the team in interceptions several times.

His son Don Kindt, Jr. also played in the National Football League, as a tight end for the Bears during the 1987 season.

Glossary of American football

The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.

Joe Pisarcik

Joseph Anthony Pisarcik (born July 2, 1952) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for eight seasons, from 1977 through 1984 after playing high school football at West Side Central Catholic H. S. (later Bishop O'Reilly, now closed), and college football at New Mexico State University. His first professional team was the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, where he played from 1974 to 1976.

He began his NFL career with the New York Giants and is best remembered for his role in the November 19, 1978, game where the Giants, ahead 17–12 with only seconds to play and their opponent out of time-outs, lost after his handoff (a play called by offensive coordinator Bob Gibson over Pisarcik's objections) to Larry Csonka was fumbled and returned for a touchdown by Herman Edwards of the Philadelphia Eagles. The play has since been referred to as "The Fumble" by Giants fans and "The Miracle at the Meadowlands" by Eagles fans, and it was instrumental in making the Quarterback kneel (also known as "taking a knee") a routine play for running down the clock at the end of a game.

Pisarcik signed with the Eagles in 1980 after the Giants had released him, primarily serving as the backup to QB Ron Jaworski. He stayed with the Eagles until retiring after the 1984 season.

A resident of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Pisarcik has five children: Kristin, Lindsey, Jake, Joseph and Katie. Jake is an offensive lineman for the University of Oregon.

Pisarcik served as the CEO of the NFL Alumni Association in Newark but retired in April 2017 following accusations of sexual harassment "

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Daniel Cousins (born August 19, 1988) is an American football quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State, where he was the Spartans' starter from 2009 to 2011, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Originally drafted as a backup to fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, he would occasionally appear in games, along with a few starts, during his first three seasons with the team. In the 2015 preseason, Cousins replaced an injured Griffin and remained the team's starter from then until the 2017 season.

During his time with the Redskins, he set numerous franchise records and appeared in the 2017 Pro Bowl. After two years of being unable to agree with the Redskins on a long-term deal, signing two franchise tags in the process, he signed a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract as a free agent with the Vikings in 2018. At the time, this deal made him the highest paid player on a per-year basis in NFL history.

Kneeling

Kneeling is a basic human position where one or both knees touch the ground. It can be used:

as a resting position

as an expression of reverence and submission

as a mark of respect

during sexual intercourse

in conjunction with crawling in young children.

during childbirthWhile kneeling, the angle between the legs can vary from zero to widely splayed out, flexibility permitting. It is common to kneel with one leg and squat with the other leg.Variations are possible as to which part of the toes touch the ground for a kneeling leg:

the tip

the under part

the upper part.While kneeling, the thighs and upper body can be at various angles in particular:

Sitting kneel: where the thighs are near horizontal and the buttocks sit back on the heels with the upper body typically vertical – for example as in Seiza and Vajrasana (yoga)

Vertical kneel: where both the thighs and upper body are vertical – also known as "standing on one's knees".

Larry Csonka

Larry Richard Csonka (; born December 25, 1946) is a former professional American football fullback and was inducted to both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the Miami Dolphins he was a member of their perfect season in 1972 and won Super Bowl championships in 1972 and 1973.

Miracle at the Meadowlands

The Miracle at the Meadowlands was a fumble recovery by cornerback Herman Edwards that he returned for a touchdown at the end of a November 19, 1978, National Football League (NFL) game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium. It is considered miraculous because the Giants were ahead and could easily have run out the final seconds; they had the ball and the Eagles had no timeouts left. Everyone watching expected quarterback Joe Pisarcik to take one more snap and kneel with the ball, thus running out the clock and preserving a 17–12 Giants upset. Instead, he botched an attempt to hand off the football to fullback Larry Csonka. Edwards picked up the dropped ball and ran 26 yards for the winning score.

The term is primarily used by Eagles fans and sportscasters. Giants fans refer to the play simply as "The Fumble", though that name is generally used outside of New York for a play in the 1987 AFC Championship Game between the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.

For the Eagles, the victory snatched from the jaws of certain defeat served as a morale boost, leading that season to a playoff berth and, two seasons later, the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance. To Giants fans, it was the nadir of a long era of mediocrity, but the aftermath would lead to major changes that proved beneficial for the franchise in the long run.

One-minute warning

The one-minute warning or the one-minute timing rule (now known as the "half-minute warning") is a rule in the Arena Football League and other indoor American football leagues that dictates the flow of the game in the final minute of a half, and throughout any overtime period through 2018; since 2019, it occurs in last half-minute of regulation or overtime.At the half-minute mark of regulation or overtime, the referee announces: "Half-minute Timing Rule in effect". During the final half-minute of play, the game clock changes from a continuously running clock (except for scores and time-outs) to a clock that mirrors NCAA rules (stopping on first downs, out of bounds, incompletions, and so on.) Since 2018 teams can do "sandbagging" via the quarterback kneel, a tactic common in the NCAA and NFL to run out the clock with minimum risk. It also rewards defensive play, as a tackle for loss automatically stops the clock. Any player injured during this time and that team uses a timeout.

In the former X-League, after the one-minute warning or in overtime, the "X-Bonus" rule came into play. All scoring during the final minute of play was worth double what it is normally worth, and a special black football was used.

Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl LI was an American football game played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 5, 2017, to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2016 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots, after trailing by as many as 25 points (28–3) during the third quarter, defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Atlanta Falcons, 34–28 in overtime. The Patriots' 25-point comeback is the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, and Super Bowl LI was the first to be decided in overtime.The Patriots' victory was their fifth, moving them into a three-way tie with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers for second place on the all-time Super Bowl wins list, trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers who have six victories. New England, after finishing the regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, advanced to their record-setting ninth Super Bowl appearance, their second in three years, and their seventh under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The Falcons entered the game after completing an 11–5 regular season record, and were trying to win their first Super Bowl title, having lost their only previous appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII.

After a scoreless first quarter, Atlanta scored 21 points before New England made a field goal with two seconds left in the second quarter, to make it a 21–3 halftime lead. The Falcons then increased their lead to 28–3 midway through the third quarter, with quarterback Matt Ryan completing his second touchdown pass. The Patriots then scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game, 28–28, with 57 seconds left in regulation. New England won the overtime coin toss, received the kickoff and drove 75 yards to win with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back James White. When the game ended, more than 30 team and individual Super Bowl records had been either broken or matched. White's 14 receptions and his 20 points scored (off of 3 touchdowns and a two-point conversion) were among these broken records. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who also broke single-game Super Bowl records with 43 completed passes, 62 pass attempts, and 466 passing yards, was named Super Bowl MVP for a record fourth time.

Fox's broadcast of the game averaged around 111.3 million viewers, slightly down from the 111.9 million viewers of the previous year's Super Bowl, while the total number of viewers for all or part of the game hit a record number of 172 million. Average TV viewership for the halftime show, headlined by Lady Gaga, was higher at 117.5 million. On the following day a number of media outlets immediately hailed the game as the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

Time-out (sport)

In sports, a time-out or timeout is a halt in the play. This allows the coaches of either team to communicate with the team, e.g., to determine strategy or inspire morale, as well as to stop the game clock. Time-outs are usually called by coaches or players, although for some sports, TV timeouts are called to allow media to air commercial breaks. Teams usually call timeouts at strategically important points in the match, or to avoid the team being called for a delay of game-type violation, such as the five-second rule in basketball.

U.S. national anthem protests (2016–present)

Since August 2016, some American athletes have protested against police brutality and racism by kneeling during the U.S. national anthem. Since 2017, many players also began protesting against President Donald Trump's criticisms of those involved in the protest as well as against Trump's policies since taking office. Some observers have described the protests as politically motivated or patriotic, while others have criticized the attention to social issues during sporting events, and others have called the protests unpatriotic or disrespectful.The protests began in the National Football League (NFL) after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat and later knelt during the anthem, before his team's preseason games of 2016. Throughout the following seasons, members of various NFL and other sports teams have engaged in similar silent protests. On September 24, 2017, the NFL protests became more widespread when over 200 players sat or knelt in response to President Donald Trump's calling for owners to "fire" the protesting players.

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