Life of Reilly

Donovan McNabb is getting $6.3M this year to play in the NFL, and yet was clueless that a regular-season game can end in a tie after one overtime. Then he added, "I'd hate to see what happens in the Super Bowl. You'd have to settle with a tie."

(Sound of America slapping its forehead.)

Oy. It'd be like a pro golfer going, "You mean I have to get it all the way into the stupid hole?" So I devised a little unscientific quiz to see if it's just Duhnovan who's brain-dead about his line of work, or if other players are rules-challenged too. Cover your eyes. It's not pretty.

Q: What does happen in the playoffs if the game is tied after the first overtime?

  • Sam Madison, CB, Giants: "Are they gonna do a coin toss? The rule needs to be changed."

  • Shaun O'Hara, C, Giants: "Yeah, we don't want the Super Bowl decided by a coin flip."

Correct answer: Play continues until one team scores.

Q: How many points do you get for returning a blocked PAT all the way?

  • Calvin Pace, LB, Jets: "Two? Isn't that the rule in college?"

  • Kerry Rhodes, S, Jets: "Wait, you're trying to trick me. It's either two or none. I say none."

  • Nick Mangold, C, Jets: "Seven? I have no idea."

  • Dustin Keller, TE, Jets: "I think it's two."

  • Madison: "Two."

Correct answer: Zero.

Q: If a punt is in the air while the game clock expires and the receiver signals and makes a fair catch, is the game over?

  • Danny Clark, LB, Giants: "Yes."

  • Madison: "Yes."

  • Damon Huard, QB, Chiefs: "If the punter touched it, then the game is over."

  • Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: "Yes."

  • Pace: "Yes. It's an untimed play, isn't it?"

Correct answer: No, the receiving team can try a fair-catch kick.

Q: What is a fair-catch kick?

  • Brendon Ayanbadejo, LB, Ravens: "The ball is put on the tee, or maybe there's a holder holding it, but there's nobody covering."

  • Jarret Johnson, LB, Ravens: "You kick from the 50, off the tee. You can cover it. We've gone over it in meetings, but you don't practice it because it's the kicker kicking off a tee."

Correct answer: A fair-catch kick is a field goal attempt following a fair catch. It can be a placekick or dropkick, but no tee may be used. It cannot be defensed.

Q: What is the penalty for running into the kicker on a quick kick?

  • Clark: "Personal foul."

  • Jonathan Goff, LB, Giants: "Same as on a normal punt."

  • O'Hara: "Personal foul."

  • Ayanbadejo: "Roughing the kicker? Automatic first down? No, wait! If he's showing that he's running the ball, then you can hit him just like anybody else."

  • Johnson: "Fifteen yards and a first down."

  • Chester Pitts, G, Texans: "It's a 15-yard penalty. If you annihilate him, I guarantee someone will throw a flag."

  • Eric Barton, LB, Jets: "No idea."

  • Pace: "There isn't a penalty. I just took a wild guess on that one."

Correct answer: No penalty.

Q: What's the maximum number of challenges a coach can make in a game if he's always right?

  • Clark: "As many as he wants."

  • Goff: "Two per half."

  • O'Hara: "Four."

  • Barton: "If he's right, why stop him?"

  • Pace: "Six."

  • Mangold: "I don't know. There goes my coaching gig."

  • Rhodes: "Three. You're not going to get me."

Correct answer: Three.

Q: When can the first-string QB reenter the game if the third-string quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter?

  • Huard: "After the fourth quarter, the first-string quarterback can come in."

  • Johnson: "You have to declare who your first- and second-string quarterbacks are?"

  • Pitts: "They're interchangeable. If someone wanted to wake up and start the third quarterback and then put in the first quarterback on the next series, they could."

Correct answer: Never. If the third quarterback is inserted before the fourth quarter, a team's first two quarterbacks cannot be used in the game at any position.

Q: Can the kicking team recover its own blocked punt and advance?

  • Johnson: "No, it's dead."

  • Barton: "I don't think you can advance a blocked punt."

  • Mangold: "Don't know, great question."

Correct answer: Yes, if the kick is caught or received behind the line of scrimmage.

Q: Are most of these players very much hoping their coaches don't read this?

Correct answer: Yes.

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