Proposed rule says QBs can't fall to ground, still pass

Retired quarterback Peyton Manning's legacy could extend in at least one unusual direction. The Kansas City Chiefs have proposed an NFL rule change designed to outlaw one of the best plays Manning made in his final season.

The Chiefs want the NFL to change its illegal forward pass rules to include instances when a quarterback throws a pass after his body has touched the ground (other than with his feet or hands) while the ball was in his possession.

The proposal references Manning's fourth-quarter play in the Denver Broncos' 23-16 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round of the 2015 playoffs.

With his Broncos trailing 13-12 at the time, Manning went to the ground to avoid contact with blitzing cornerback Will Allen. When he realized that Allen never touched him, Manning stood up and threw a 34-yard pass to receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

If the Chiefs' rule proposal had been on the books at the time, Manning would have been penalized for an illegal forward pass. In the proposal, the Chiefs reasoned that defenders "let up" when they see a quarterback on the ground. As the rule stands, according to the Chiefs, quarterbacks have an incentive to "play dead" to give their team an advantage.

The NFL's competition committee did not endorse the proposal, which gives it little chance of being approved by the league's full ownership. It will be discussed at the owners meetings next week in Boca Raton, Florida.