Chicago @ New Orleans - Darren Sproles steps out of bounds before score, play not reviewed by booth.
The Saints' Darren Sproles stepped out of bounds prior to scoring a touchdown in a game against the Bears. This play was ruled as a touchdown on-the-field, but was not reviewed by the booth!

Last week, I offered my thoughts on the NFL's rule change regarding reviews of scoring plays. In summary, I thought the rule was stupid. It's unfair, as the rule only requires plays that are called as "touchdowns" on the field to be reviewed. It ignores plays that might have been touchdowns, but which were ruled as not a touchdown on the field. This rule bit the Dolphins in the butt last week, but was not a game-deciding issue.

This week, a new problem with the rule change was exposed: if coaches are expecting a "scoring" play to be reviewed by the booth, they aren't going to throw the challenge flag. But what if the booth doesn't make the decision to review the play in time?

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One of the NFL's new rule changes for this year is that the booth will now automatically review all plays that are called as touchdowns on the field without needing the play to be challenged by a coach.

It sounds good in principle.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 24 - Reggie Bush breaks the plane, but was called out of bounds on the field.
Reggie Bush's touchdown was ruled out-of-bounds on the field, so had to be challenged by Tony Sporano.

Make sure that teams aren't getting points put up on the board when they shouldn't be.

But what about the inverse?

The rule is that only plays that are called as touchdowns on the field are being reviewed. For plays that are incorrectly called as not a touchdown, the coach still has to use a challenge.

So the NFL is making sure that points aren't put up on the board when they shouldn't be, but they're not making sure that points do go up when they should. Why the hell not?

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It's a debate that's been going on for a decade: Is Tom Brady better than Peyton Manning?

Peyton ManningTom Brady

Tom Brady has more championships, so the conventional wisdom would say that yes, Brady is superior.

But I think this week's season opener proves otherwise.

This Sunday marked the first time since 1997 that Peyton Manning was not the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback.

Championships aren't the only measure of quality for an NFL quarterback. Remember, Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl. He's easily the best player in Super Bowl era of NFL history to have never won a Super Bowl, and he's one of - if not the - best quarterbacks in history. And Manning does in fact have a ring! He won it against my Bears in 2006. But if somebody was going to beat the Bears in the Super Bowl, I'm glad it was Manning. The guy deserves it!

So how else can we compare them?

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Monday, September 12, 2011 09:55 AM

When will the Cowboys finally ditch Tony Romo?

in Sports by MegaBearsFan

Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo has built quite a reputation over the years of blowing big plays and ruining his team's chance at winning games.

Last night, against the New York Jets, he did it again.

After a standout performance in the first 3 quarters of the game, he gave up two turnovers in the fourth, including a fumble on the Jets 3-yard-line and a game-losing int to Darrelle Revis.

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In Thursday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears decided to ignore a newly-passed NFL rule change that moved kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had been given permission from the officiating staff prior to the game, since apparently, the rule is vague enough that it does not completely clarify that the ball has to be kicked off from the new location. However, after kicking from the 30 twice in the game, the league told the Bears, "No, you can't do that anymore."

Bears 10, Bills 3 - Bears kickoff from the 30 yard line
Despite a rule change moving the kickoff to the 35 yard line, the Bears kicked off from the 30 yard line in Thursday's preseason game.

The Bears had supposedly elected to kick from the old distance so as to give their special teams unit some live practice at covering kicks.

I think this rule change passed by a margin of 26-6 in the off-season. The argument in support of the change is that by moving the kickoffs up five yards, there will be more touchbacks, fewer returns, and therefore fewer injuries. A majority of injuries in NFL games happen on kick return plays - although the exact percentage escapes me at the moment. Although the real reason for this rule change might just be that the other teams in the league are terrified of players like Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, and DeSean Jackson.

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