NFL: Two simple rules question

  1. What happens if a player makes an interception in own end zone and an offense player tackles him to the ground?

  2. If a punter kicks the ball out of bounds, is the spot where the ball passed the line or is the spot placed futher up the field as a penalty? (This may be two questions: Whether the ball bounces out of bounds and whether it just flies out without touching the field.)

  3. If the ball carrier goes down with a couple of yards to the end zone – say his knee touches the ground – can he a) get up to his feet and walk in for a touch down, b) crawl his way to the end zone for a touch down, and if b) is Yes, then c) even if a defense player touches him?

Thank you. And congrats to the Ravens.

Edit: I know that was three questions, but I can’t edit the title, so there you go.

Touchback - intercepting player’s team gets the ball first and 10 on the 20-yard line.


If he went down as the result of contact from the other team, or was touched by them when down, the play is over. If not he can get up and run, or crawl, to further advance the ball.

Since the OP is answered.

Very basic. How much time are the players given to get back to the line of scrimmage after a play is over? It seems like there’s a lot of dawdling around sometimes.

Thanks for the answers to my questions, looking forward to the answer to AuntiePam’s question too.

30 seconds. It’s called the play clock.

The offensive team must snap the ball 40 seconds from the end of the last play, or 25 seconds after the ball is placed and ready for play if there’s a stoppage of play (eg. a timeout or instant replay review).

Pretty sure it’s 40 seconds.

And to clarify, that’s to snap the ball, not to get to the line of scrimmage. There’s no really limit to that, other than the offense has to be set at the line before the ball is snapped.

And since this seems like a good topic for these types of questions:

How do players on the field know when to come out for a substitution? Lot’s of times I see them leave before the other player starts to come on the field.

Mostly that’s situational players. There will be different sets of specialist players for 3 and 8 than there are for third and 1 (for example), and generally players know which set they belong to.

So if they wanted to, either side could dawdle indefinitely? Hypothetically.

The clock starts as soon as the last down ends. So the offense only has 40 seconds. The defense could wander around, but it would be pretty bad form them to not be ready.

The play clock can be set at 25 seconds in certain situations, such as following a timeout or a video review. I personally think the play clock should be shortened to better the pace of he game.

I agree, because there is not much football in a football game.

The play clock used to be 30 seconds but the argument to go to 40 was 30 was just too short for offenses and it made for bad playcalling, negatively affecting the game overall due to less offensive performance.

I believe the title of Division Champion goes to whichever team has the best record at the close of the regular season. However, if another team from the same division (wildcard) knocks that “Division Champion” out of the playoffs in a head-to-head post-season match, especially in the “Divisional Playoff” or “Championship Game” should that team be allowed to strip the “Division Champion” title away?

I’ll chime in with basic question of mine spurred by one of the above.

How much time, or what happens if the defense is not set and ready very shortly after the offence is ready?

So say the offence is set, ready to snap the ball, and the defence aren’t set yet. Can the offence just run their play? Or do they have to wait for the defence to be ready?

The offense can snap the ball after they are set, they don’t have to worry about the defense. If the offense sees the defense being lazy in that regard, they will ofter snap the ball on a quick count to take advantage.

The offense can’t snap the ball until the referee declares it ready to play. Under newish rules, the defense is allowed to substitute with the ball being held by the refs if the offense has made a substitution.

Another time question – regarding commercial breaks, do the teams know when there’s going to be a break? Which has precedence, the game or the ads?

What happens if a player intercepts a ball around the two yard line and sees he’s not going to be able to run very far up the field. Can he take a few steps back and kneel down in the opposing endzone for a touchback so the next play starts at the twenty?