Fresh Set of Downs on 2nd or 3rd & 40?

Rule 5 - Kicking Section 4 - Kicks From Scrimmage or Open Field Kicks Article 8 – Recovery Of Own Kick The kicker or an onside player may recover the kick across the line of scrimmage, in which case the ensuing down shall be first down whether or not the original yardage has been gained.
It'd be interesting to see a quick kick into the shallow flats to get a first down without having to get the required yardage.

It might actually be usable as a trick play especially if a team were in a bind, needing a touchdown late in a game and having been backed up from the endzone by a sack or penalties such that its 2nd or 3rd and very long.


[i]Its 3rd and goal from the 35. The previous play resulted in a sack and a dead-ball unnecessary roughness penalty against the offense. The offense needs a TD to tie or win. There are 25 seconds left. They line up shotgun with an empty backfield. A slot receiver motions across the backfield behind the QB. The DBs are playing way back. The QB boots the ball 3 yards past the line of scrimmage in the shallow flats and the waggling slot receiver gets under it having arrived from an onside position at the kick and is promptly tackled:

According to the mentioned rule, we go from 3rd and goal on the 35 to 1st and 10 on the 32 having only gained 3 yards. [/i]

Am I wrong on that scenario?

Correct and great example and true to the rugby roots of the game (before they decided to have downs) mind you as well.

In rugby we call the resulting kick either a "chip kick" or an "up-and-under" (a high punt that is any onside player's ball, as if it were an "onside kick" on a CFL kickoff, sometimes called a Gary Owen).

It surprises me how many fans don't know that an open-field kick that goes past the line of scrimmage disrupts the continuity of downs, but perhaps that is because it appears to me that teams seldom take advantage of such a rule for such a situation.

It seems to me there are far more kicking opportunities available within the CFL rules, for sake of field position and regain of possession, than are used by teams for greater advantage including in such situations or on the basis of deception and trickery.

because Coaches do not want to take such a huge risk during a game. think about this,

if you were the coach and you were only up by 5 pts. Would you want to try a trick play, where the odds of it working aren't very good?

cause first you can't guarantee your punter will be accurate with the kick.. that the players on defense won't react.. and that your receiver who has to be onside or behind the punter/kicker, will get to the ball in time.

it's just too risky!

in minor football where a lot of the coaches don't have a clue when it comes to really good defensive schemes (for the most part) yes, you could pull it off but then the opposition and fans would look at you as dirty/cheap and being unfair.

It's too much of a risk in pro to try something like that. which is why you dont' see it, hardly ever.

Very risky, but in the OP's example, what is there to lose? The team is down by a score of more than 3 and is at 3rd and goal from the 35 with less than 30 seconds left. The chances of a pass being caught for a TD are low, but also teams will play very loose and likely have a man or two or three already on the goal line waiting to knock down any pass. Which means less men in coverage close to the line. It is also very likely that the defense will be in zone, not man-to-man. The idea is a sound one to me. The risk-reward is very high for the kicking team. I'd like to see someone try it.

No doubt, and if opposition fans are bitter because it looks "cheap" or "unfair" but is well within the rules of the game known to all well before the game, they can ...well I'll leave off my expletive tirade. Talk about extreme sour grapes from a bunch of homer douchebags and far worse!

I can't stand fans who complain about the rules after the fact. Complain about bad officiating fine, but if you don't like the rules just say so before the game or don't play! :roll:

Hopefully Mike O'Shea isn't reading this. And if he is, I hope Dave Easley is too, 'cause I'd hate to get burned on this in the semi. :expressionless:

Not as risky as you say if executed as the OP suggests, rugby style. We think of recovering an onside kick as risky because of the length of the average punt or the numbers of times onside kick-offs fail. The onside kick-off most often fails because both side know it is coming and when it is coming, where as if you do it during the play players are not set for that play and have to react and move into position for it. The quick kick is successful approxiamately half the time in rugby. Also the kick itself is short, 5-10 yards at most, allowing a maximum number of players to get onside an get to the ball well before it comes down. Watch rugby, especially rugby league, it works and could be applied to the CFL.

As Paolo has mentioned in another thread, this could be very effective against the wind. And as he has also mentioned, one of the biggest danger is that your own players might cause a no yards penalty.

Once the receiving team sees the punt actually happen, the last rushers tend to turn their backs and head downfield. If the kick is done well, they might not even notice that it's short. And if the coverage team starts to sprint downfield, their paired defender might do the same to make sure they can get their block set, leaving just the punter to recover his own short punt.

Unfortunately, I could see Prefontaine trying this. He never seems to shy away from contact (including with his own teammate in that play at the end of the game Friday).

Depending on the circumstances.. the QB could even kick it to himself toeing the ball just prior to the line of scrimmage and collecting the ball just after for a fresh set of downs.

I have seen this executed successfully a couple times off of field goal attempts.

Instead of kicking for the field goal, the ball was booted towards the goal line pylon and a player, who lined up onside, came flying around the kicker racing down the sideline and recovered the ball before the kick returner in the end zone even flinched.

Exactly. Closing seconds of the game, 3rd and 20, desperation time. Defence is playing back to prevent the first down. Throw a screen to the flat or end around, then just before the line of scrimmage, ball carrier taps it up to himself, making sure it crosses the line of scrimmage.

I could really see Stala pulling this one off. Hmmm...

But the point here is that the kick just has to be recovered across the line of scrimmage to result in a first down. First down yardage isn't required on a kick.

Exactly. Just like a quick kick on the 5th tackle in rugby league when they are close to the goal line. I'm surprised someone has not tried this before. Line up all your recievers and RB's onside and leave 3 or 4 their until the kick. Kick from the shotgun right off the snap and I doubt there is a team in the league that would be ready for it.

It's not necessarily that risky, depending where you are on the field. like, if it's 3rd and 30 and you're on the opponent's 40 with the wind too strong to try a field goal from 47 yards out, instead of punting, you kick it five yards past the line of scrimmage and try to recover it.. and if you fail, maybe the other team recovers the ball on their 35. it's not THAT bad.. it's certainly not ideal but not going to kill a team. it's a risky play no matter what the circumstances, but considering it would almost definitely catch the opponent off guard (and as noted, the big reason for the lousy success rate on onside kicks is that they're usually expected), the fact that there are situations where you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot, and that based on field position it's a more minor risk.. I too am surprised it doesn't get seen once in a while.

Toronto hasn't finished their season yet....

Plus it does take a fairly unique scenario for it to be useful - 3rd and really long, probably in the other team's end, and probably against the wind (although not required for the litte toe kick to self).

I would note it could also be worth trying on 2nd and very long for sake of the advantage of additional deception and the fact even if that were to fail that you might save time for your next possession in even worse field position as is likely anyway with either of the other options.

For example before your next possession if you played successful two-and-out defence, just as you would have to do in the best of the other cases of a successful field goal or a coffin corner with the opponent conceding a safety, you would end up in about the same resultant field position at about your own 35 and still need a major but with likely less time elapsed.

The bottom line is that because you need a major score to have a real shot to win the game, you would be taking a chance to re-start your downs sooner, at the expense of not scoring enough points anyway as is no guarantee all the same, with either of the above more common options. The resulting field position on a new possession in turn ends up being about the same even on failure of this play after you play successful 2-and-out defence, but if you tried it on 2nd down and failed at the very least you most likely you saved yourself some time too.

Heads you win with new downs, tails you probably don't lose anything and might save yourself some time if attempted on 2nd and more than perhaps 29.