Safety (American and Canadian football score)


Safety (American and Canadian football score)

A safety or safety touch is a type of score in American football and Canadian football and is worth two points (with one very rare exception). In American football, it is the only means by which a team not in possession of the football can score points. Analogous to an own goal in other team sports, a safety may occur in a variety of ways, most commonly when an opponent in possession of the football is tackled in his own end zone. The term "safety" is a relic of the earliest days of college football during which a team which possessed the ball near its own goal line could down it in its own endzone in order to have the ball replaced at its own 25-yard line. NFL statistics on safeties date back to 1932; from 1932 through the 2009 season (excluding 1943, for which statistics are not available), 823 safeties have been scored in the NFL.[1]

Contents

Safety scores

Among the ways the defensive (non-possessing) team may score a safety are:

  • an opponent in possession of the ball is tackled in his own end zone;
  • an opponent in possession of the ball steps out of play (i.e., across the side line or end line) from his own end zone;
  • an opponent snaps, laterals, or fumbles the ball out of play in his own end zone;
  • an opponent fumbles the ball in the field of play and the loose ball touches the pylon of his own end zone;
  • an opponent touches the ball on a kickoff and it rolls out of the back or sides of the end zone;
  • an opponent downs (kneels or falls on) the ball in his own end zone (an intentional safety);
  • the opposing team has a punt or kick blocked, and the ball then goes out of play in their own end zone;
  • the opposing team commits certain penalties, such as intentional grounding or holding, in their own end zone.[2]

Not all of these scenarios result automatically in a safety. If a player on the defense gains possession of the ball in his own end zone through a fumble recovery or interception and is tackled there, it is a touchback, not a safety. If he makes an interception outside of the end zone, his momentum carries him into the end zone and he is tackled there, his team gets the ball at the spot of the interception. However, if a player gains possession of the ball and retreats on his own initiative into his end zone where he is tackled, it is a safety for the opposing team. Similar rules apply on punts and kickoffs. If the receiver of a punt or kick receives the ball and does not enter the field of play, and is tackled (or intentionally downs the ball) in his own end zone, the result is instead a touchback.

Also, before the NFL changed its rules in the early 1970s to move the goalposts to the back of the end zone, an ‘automatic’ safety was scored against the offense if the ball in play (i.e., a pass, punt, or otherwise) touched the goalposts (see The Baugh/Marshall Rule below).

An official signals a safety by holding his hands above his head, palms touching.

A safety is by far the least common type of score in American football, because of the relative rarity of the circumstances that could produce a safety. No National Football League team has ever recorded more than four in one season. Safeties usually occur when the offense starts a play close to its own end zone. In such cases, offenses tend to run very conservative, low-risk plays to avoid a safety.

Intentional safeties are rare, but do happen, particularly in Canadian football. For a discussion of this strategy, see the "Elective safeties" section below.

Resuming play after a safety

The various rules books prescribe different methods for resuming play after a safety. In the NFL, the team that gave up the points kicks to the other team from its own 20-yard line. This is termed a free kick: the kicking team has the option of employing a punt, kick or a drop kick. Unlike the kickoff, a kicking tee may not be used (NFL only, college kickers have the option of using a tee on the safety kick). A punt is the most commonly chosen option, whereas a drop kick is virtually unheard-of in modern football. As with regular kickoffs, the kicking team has the opportunity to make and recover an onside kick, even if the safety kick is punted.

"Free kicks" do not exist in Canadian football. In the CFL, the scored-against team kicks off from its 25-yard line. In amateur Canadian football, the team scoring a safety touch has three options: scrimmage from its 35-yard line, kick off from its 35-yard line, or have the scored-against team kick off from its 35-yard line.

Elective safeties

Occasionally, the team with the ball may concede a safety intentionally, as a game strategy.

The elective safety is not uncommon in Canadian (three-down) football when a team faces a third-down situation deep in their own territory. A punt from the end zone would give the receiving team much better field position than a kickoff from the 25-yard line would.

The elective safety is not seen often in American (four-down) football, since the ensuing free kick would come from the 20-yard line. However, it is occasionally employed by teams who are willing to trade two points on the scoreboard for a perceived greater advantage in field position or clock time, or by teams who are unwilling to risk a mishap that could be converted by the opposing team into a much more significant touchdown.

Another reason to take an elective safety can be to deny the opposing team the option of a fair catch kick. Because a fair catch can only be called if the ball has not touched the ground, a punt is usually the only situation in which this can happen. Therefore, a team leading by three points at the end of a game could elect to take a safety so that they could squib kick the ball, preventing the fair-catch and free kick that follows it.

A notable example of a team conceding an intentional safety for field position occurred in a Monday Night Football game on Monday, November 3, 2003. Trailing the Denver Broncos by one point with about three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and facing fourth-and-long from their own 1-yard line, the New England Patriots elected to have long snapper Lonie Paxton intentionally snap the ball against the goalpost, rather than attempt a dangerous punt. With the Patriots now trailing by three, their ensuing free kick traveled all the way to the Broncos' 15. The Patriots defense forced a punt, and their offense subsequently drove down the field for the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left.[3]

Another notable example of a team conceding an intentional safety occurred in the December 31, 1994, playoff game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. The Packers were leading, 16-10, and had the ball deep in their own territory, while facing fourth down with only a few seconds remaining. Knowing that a punt return could beat them, while a field goal could not, the Packers opted to have punter Craig Hentrich scramble in the end zone prior to stepping out of the back corner of the end zone for an intentional safety. Hentrich was able to run out the remaining game time on the play. However, even if he had failed to do so, the Packers would still have been able to punt from their own 20 to restart play, a more advantageous situation than punting from deep in the Packers end zone. Further, even after giving up the safety, the Packers remained in a position where a touchdown could beat them, but a field goal could not. Perhaps the most noteworthy impact of the intentional safety was felt in Las Vegas, as the betting line on the game was Packers by 4 points. Therefore, by taking the intentional safety, the Packers turned what would have been a win for those who bet on them into a push.

An example of a team trading an elective safety for a clock time advantage arose in college football's Backyard Brawl on December 1, 2007. Leading the West Virginia Mountaineers 13-7 with nine seconds remaining, the Pittsburgh Panthers faced a fourth down at their own 15. The Pittsburgh punter received the snap at the goal line and, instead of punting, scrambled in his end zone until the remaining time expired. He then stepped over the end line to concede two points, making the final score 13-9. West Virginia was thus denied the opportunity to gain possession of the ball to possibly score a winning touchdown.[4]

Another example of a team trading an elective safety for field position, this time in college, happened in 2004, when Iowa defeated Penn State 6-4, because of Iowa's two field goals and Penn State's two safeties; it is the only time in the modern era where that score has happened. The second safety occurred when Iowa faced a fourth down just inches ahead of its own end zone and rather than risk a blocked punt, which Penn State had already done a few times that day and which would probably have led to a touchdown, they decided to take a safety and "free kick" to Penn State from the 20. This allowed Iowa to hold off Penn State's offense for the remainder of the game.

Another example of a team trading an elective safety in college happened September 24th, 2011, when Oklahoma State University defeated Texas A&M 30-29. Texas A&M trailed by 3 points, 30-27, when OSU reached a 4th and long dilemma with 8 seconds remaining on the clock. If OSU had punted the ball, it would have given A&M 3 different opportunities: Return the punt for a TD, call a timeout and have one last play, or take a fair-catch free kick for an opportunity to tie the game. OSU opted to hike the ball to wide receiver, Justin Blackmon, who ran the ball 40 yards backwards, out of the end zone, for a safety. Time expired and OSU won the game 30-29.

An elective safety may also arise from a loose ball in or near one's own end zone, usually the result of a fumble or a blocked punt. A player may choose to kick or bat the ball out of his end zone intentionally, conceding two points but denying the opponents the opportunity to recover the ball for a touchdown. Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman employed this strategy in an NFL game against the host Cleveland Browns on December 16, 2007, played in a fierce blizzard, after a bad snap from center sailed over his head.[5] However, Cleveland won the game, 8-0; the only other scores were two field goals.

The New Orleans Saints conceded an elective safety in the last seconds of the second NFL Wembley Stadium game on 26 October 2008 in order to kill time as they held a seven-point lead and won the game 37-32.[6]

Virginia Tech conceded an elective safety in the 2008 ACC Championship Game against Boston College. With 2:58 left in the game and Virginia Tech ahead 30-10, VT player Brent Bowden ran out of bounds in his team's own end zone, scoring a two-point safety for Boston College. This was considered a "safe" move against a strong BC defense, capable of blocking the punt, scoring a touchdown, and setting them up for a second touchdown following a probable onside kick. Instead, VT punted from its 20 yard line and prevented BC from scoring for the remainder of the game—which ended with a final score of 30-12.[7]

Safeties on PAT/conversion tries

While safeties are generally worth two points, they are worth one point when they occur during a point-after attempt.

College football rules allow either team to score a one-point safety after a touchdown. Say that Team B blocks Team A's extra-point attempt, and a player on Team B picks up the ball on the 1-yard line. Looking for an opening, the player with the ball runs backwards voluntarily into his end zone, where he is tackled. Team A receives one point for the conversion safety, and the score is now 7–0. Team A then kicks off from its own 30-yard line, as after any touchdown. A conversion safety has occurred at least once in the NCAA, in a game between Texas and Texas A&M in 2004. Following the Longhorns TD from a blocked punt, the ensuing PAT was blocked and recovered by a Texas A&M player on the one yard line. The player tried to make a return, but was tackled in his own endzone for a one point safety.

Although exceedingly unlikely, college football's rules also allow the defensive team to score a one-point conversion safety on a PAT or conversion try. One possible scenario: Team B blocks Team A's extra-point attempt, and a player on Team B picks up the loose ball and runs towards the opposite end zone. Before reaching the goal line, he fumbles the ball and it is recovered by a player from Team A, who then voluntarily runs into his own (Team A's) end zone and is tackled. Team B would score one point for the conversion safety and the score would then be 6–1. No team has ever scored a defensive conversion safety in an American college football game. However, the rule is notable as being one of just two ways a team may finish a game with a score of exactly one point in American football. The second way is a forfeit in American college or high school football. For example, when Team A forfeits, the final score is 1–0 for Team B.[8]

The NFL also has a one-point "conversion safety" rule, but such a safety can only be scored by the offense. According to former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit:

Under NFL rules, an unsuccessful extra-point is dead if kicked, but while attempting a two-point try, it is possible for a safety to be ruled if the defensive team forces the ball back into their own end zone and they recover. One point would be awarded [to the offense], instead of the two points that are normally awarded for safeties. Although the offense would still kick off, since they just scored a touchdown.[9]

This scenario would cover a situation where, for example, an offensive player fumbles the ball short of the goal line on a 2-point try, a defensive player knocks the loose ball into the end zone, and a co-defender falls on it to prevent the offensive player who fumbled from retrieving it for a two-point conversion (by rule, if any other offensive player recovers the fumble in the end zone, the ball would go back to the spot where it was initially fumbled and the two point conversion would be nullified and ruled a failed attempt). The offense would receive one point for the conversion safety, and then they would kick off as they normally would after a touchdown.

Notable safeties

1929 Rose Bowl

On January 1, 1929, the California Golden Bears faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Midway through the second quarter, Roy Riegels, who played center, picked up a fumble by Tech's Jack "Stumpy" Thomason. Just 30 yards away from the Yellow Jackets' end zone Riegels scooped up the fumble, but somehow was turned around and ran 69 yards in the wrong direction. [10] Teammate and quarterback Benny Lom chased Riegels and screamed at him to stop. Lom finally caught up with Riegels at California's 3-yard line and tried to turn him around, but he was hit by a wave of Tech players and thrown back to the 1-yard line. The Bears chose to punt rather than risk a play so close to their own end zone, but Tech's Vance Maree blocked Lom's punt for a safety, giving Georgia Tech a 2-0 lead. Georgia Tech would ultimately win the game—and their second national championship—by a final score of 8-7. The play is often cited as the worst blunder in the history of college football. [11]

The Baugh/Marshall Rule

In the first quarter of the 1945 NFL Championship Game, the Washington Redskins had the ball at their own 5-yard line. Dropping back into his own end zone, quarterback Sammy Baugh threw, but the ball hit the goal post (which at the time were on the goal line instead of at the back of the end zone) and bounced back to the ground in the end zone. Under the rules at the time, this was ruled as a safety and thus gave the Cleveland Rams a 2-0 lead. The Rams went on to win 15-14, as the safety proved to be the margin of victory. Redskins owner George Preston Marshall was so incensed at the outcome that he became a major force in passing the following major rule change after the season: A forward pass that strikes the goal posts is automatically ruled incomplete. This change later became known as the "Baugh/Marshall Rule".[12] The rule later became superfluous when the goalposts were moved to the back of the end zone, eliminating the possibility of a forward pass striking them.

The wrong way run

On October 25, 1964, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall recovered a San Francisco 49ers fumble but ran 66 yards the wrong way into his own end zone.[13] He subsequently tossed the ball out of the end zone, thinking he had scored a touchdown. Instead, the 49ers were credited with two points (a safety). The Vikings still won, 27-22, with the game-winning play coming on a fumble recovery caused by Marshall.

Intentional safety gone awry

On November 21, 1998, Notre Dame hosted LSU in a college game. With Notre Dame leading 39-34 in the final seconds, Irish head coach Bob Davie ordered quarterback Jarious Jackson to kneel down in his own end zone after time had expired. However, just as Jackson knelt down to take the intentional safety, a pair of LSU defenders hit him and sprained his right MCL.[14] Ranked #10 with a 9-1 record, Notre Dame needed just one more win at unranked USC to clinch a BCS bowl game, but the Irish failed to score a point with two back-up quarterbacks at the helm in an eventual 10-0 loss. Notre Dame settled for a bid to the Gator Bowl, which the Irish lost 35-28 to #17 Georgia Tech.[15]

Dan Orlovsky blunder

On October 12, 2008, Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky inadvertently ran out of the back of his own end zone in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.[16] When the officials blew their whistles, Orlovsky did not know why the play was being stopped. According to Tom Pedula in USA Today, Orlovsky said, "When they started blowing the whistle, I was like, 'Did we false start or were they offsides or something?' Then I looked and I was like, 'You are an idiot.'"[17] The two points proved to be the difference in a 12–10 Vikings victory. The media labeled the play as emblematic of the Lions' struggles during their eventual 0–16 season.[18]

Instant replay oddity

On October 5, 2009, the Green Bay Packers faced the host Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. The Packers trailed the Vikings 28–14 mid-way through the 4th quarter. With the ball at the Green Bay one-yard line, the Packers attempted a pass from their own end zone. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen grabbed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers from behind for a sack, with Rodgers appearing to fumble the ball at the one-yard line and Allen recovering. Referee Gene Steratore ruled Vikings possession inside the one-yard line. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy challenged the play and asserted that Rodgers' knee was down in his own end zone before the fumble, asking Steratore to award the Vikings a safety and increase their lead to 30–14.

Strategically, the move made sense: the Vikings would have a 16-point lead (still a two-possession game—two touchdowns and two two-point conversions), and the Packers would be allowed to free kick from their own 20-yard line. Had McCarthy not challenged, the Vikings would still have led 28–14, but would have almost assuredly increased their lead to a three-possession game with a field goal or touchdown.

Steratore reversed his own ruling[19] and awarded a safety to the Vikings. The Packers added a touchdown (missing a two-point conversion) and a field goal, but lost by the score of 30–23.

Super Bowl safeties

To this date, a safety has been scored in the Super Bowl six times, with the Pittsburgh Steelers being involved in three such instances, scoring a safety in two instances and giving up a safety in another.

Super Bowl IX

In what had been a defensive struggle for most of the first half between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings, the only score in the first half came on a second quarter safety by the Steelers. Steelers defensive end Dwight White had downed Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the end zone after Tarkenton landed on a Dave Osborn fumble in the end zone which had been kicked toward the goal line by the Steelers' other defensive end, L.C. Greenwood. Aside from being the first Super Bowl safety, it was also notable in that White nearly missed the game due to a bout with pneumonia. The Steelers went on to win 16-6.

Super Bowl X

The Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Dallas Cowboys 10-7 early in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl X when Dallas punter Mitch Hoopes was forced to punt from inside his own goal line. As Hoopes stepped up to make the kick, Steelers running back Reggie Harrison broke through the line and blocked the punt. The ball went through the end zone for a safety, cutting the Dallas lead to 10–9. Then Pittsburgh's Mike Collier returned the ensuing free kick 25 yards to the Cowboys 45-yard line. Roy Gerela later kicked a 36-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh its first lead of the game, 12–10, and the Steelers went on to repeat as Super Bowl champions with a 21-17 victory.

Super Bowl XX

In the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XX, the Chicago Bears scored a safety against the New England Patriots when defensive lineman Henry Waechter sacked quarterback Steve Grogan into the end zone. Grogan had been the backup quarterback, and he had replaced Tony Eason in the fourth quarter. Patriots coach Raymond Berry had placed Grogan in the game to give him a chance to play on the NFL's biggest stage, and he did throw a touchdown pass in the game. The Bears dominated the game, especially the second half, on both offense and defense, and won easily 46-10.

Super Bowl XXI

In the second quarter of Super Bowl XXI, the New York Giants scored a safety against the Denver Broncos when defensive end George Martin sacked John Elway into the end zone, cutting the Broncos' 10-7 lead to 10-9. The Giants, who had been ahead earlier, would later retake the lead and go on to win the game 39-20.

Super Bowl XXV

In the second quarter of Super Bowl XXV between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, Bills defensive end Bruce Smith sacked Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone for a safety, giving the Bills a 12-3 lead. Buffalo ultimately lost the game 20-19 after their kicker, Scott Norwood, infamously missed the game-winning field goal as time expired.

Super Bowl XLIII

In the fourth quarter between the Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, Steelers center Justin Hartwig committed a holding penalty in the Steelers own end zone, wiping out a 20-yard Ben Roethlisberger pass to Santonio Holmes on 3rd-and-10. The automatic safety would cut the Steelers lead to 20-16 (and subsequently put them behind 23-20 after Larry Fitzgerald caught a 63-yard touchdown pass by Kurt Warner on the Cardinals' ensuing drive after the free kick), but Pittsburgh went on to win 27-23. It remains the only time that a safety in the Super Bowl was the result of a penalty.

Games in which a team scored only a safety

According to Pro-Football Reference, only 36 games in NFL history (including the AFPA, AAFC and AFL, leagues that were later merged into the NFL) and only six since the NFL/AFL merger of 1970 have ended with one team scoring only a safety (or multiple safeties).[20]

Date Winner Winning Score Loser Losing Score
01923-11-29November 29, 1923 Akron Pros 2 Buffalo All-Americans 0
01926-11-21November 21, 1926 Kansas City Cowboys 2 Buffalo Rangers 0
01928-11-29November 29, 1928 Frankford Yellow Jackets 2 Green Bay Packers 0
01932-10-16October 16, 1932 Green Bay Packers 2 Chicago Bears 0
01938-09-18September 18, 1938 Chicago Bears 2 Green Bay Packers 0
01921-10-30October 30, 1921 Dayton Triangles 3 Cleveland Indians 2
01926-10-24October 24, 1926 Chicago Cardinals 3 Milwaukee Badgers 2
01931-11-01November 1, 1931 Green Bay Packers 6 Chicago Bears 2
01970-12-12December 12, 1970[21] Dallas Cowboys 6 Cleveland Browns 2
01926-10-31October 31, 1926 Kansas City Cowboys 7 Hartford Blues 2
01926-11-28November 28, 1926 Kansas City Cowboys 7 Chicago Cardinals 2
01993-12-12December 12, 1993[22] New England Patriots 7 Cincinnati Bengals 2
01929-10-06October 6, 1929 Green Bay Packers 9 Chicago Cardinals 2
01926-11-21November 21, 1926 Duluth Eskimos 10 Canton Bulldogs 2
01923-11-25November 25, 1923 Racine Legion 10 Chicago Cardinals 4^
01923-09-30September 30, 1923 Milwaukee Badgers 13 Oorang Indians 2
01926-10-10October 10, 1926 Milwaukee Badgers 13 Racine Tornadoes 2
01983-12-05December 5, 1983[23] Detroit Lions 13 Minnesota Vikings 2
01926-09-26September 26, 1926 Columbus Tigers 14 Canton Bulldogs 2
01929-10-13October 13, 1929 Green Bay Packers 14 Frankford Yellow Jackets 2
01935-11-28November 28, 1935 Detroit Lions 14 Chicago Bears 2
01937-09-19September 19, 1937 Chicago Bears 14 Green Bay Packers 2
01962-11-11November 11, 1962[24] Baltimore Colts 14 Los Angeles Rams 2
01937-10-10October 10, 1937 Chicago Bears 20 Cleveland Rams 2
01926-11-11November 11, 1926 Providence Steam Roller 21 Canton Bulldogs 2
01933-09-20September 20, 1933 New York Giants 23 Pittsburgh Pirates 2+
01963-09-14September 14, 1963[25] Detroit Lions 23 Los Angeles Rams 2
01972-12-17December 17, 1972[26] Pittsburgh Steelers 24 San Diego Chargers 2
01980-12-14December 14, 1980[27] New England Patriots 24 Buffalo Bills 2
01957-12-22December 22, 1957[28] Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Chicago Cardinals 2
01936-10-11October 11, 1936 Green Bay Packers 31 Boston Redskins 2
01965-09-19September 19, 1965[29] Dallas Cowboys 31 New York Giants 2
01968-09-22September 22, 1968[30] Kansas City Chiefs 34 Denver Broncos 2
01949-11-06November 6, 1949[31] Cleveland Browns 35 Chicago Hornets 2
01972-10-01October 1, 1972[32] San Francisco 49ers 37 New Orleans Saints 2
01953-12-05December 5, 1953[33] Los Angeles Rams 45 Baltimore Colts 2

^ This is the only game in NFL history that finished with either the winning or the losing team scoring a total of 4 points.[20]
+ This was the first ever game of the Pittsburgh Steelers, thusly scoring the franchise's first points on a safety.

Records

The NFL team record for safeties in a game is three, by the Los Angeles Rams against the New York Giants on September 30, 1984.[34] The individual record is two, by the Rams' Fred Dryer against the Green Bay Packers on October 21, 1973.[34] Ted Hendricks and Doug English share the NFL career record for safeties with four.[34]

League-wide, the record for most safeties scored by all teams in a season is 26 in 1988. The fewest safeties scored across the league is 2, occurring in 1934. The season with the greatest frequency of safeties was 1932, with 8 safeties in 48 games (one safety every six games). The season with the lowest frequency of safeties was 1966, with 3 safeties in 105 games (one safety every 35 games).[1]

Only two regular-season NFL games have ever ended in overtime with a safety: in 1989 when the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Los Angeles Rams 23–21 when Mike Merriweather blocked a punt into the end zone, and in 2004 when the Chicago Bears defeated the Tennessee Titans 19–17 when Billy Volek fumbled in his own end zone and a teammate recovered it but was unable to get out of the end zone. A 1989 pre-season game also ended in an overtime safety.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association does not keep individual statistics for safeties. Three Division I-A teams have scored three safeties in a game: Arizona State in 1996 (in a 19-0 victory over then-No. 1 and two-time defending national champion Nebraska, ending the Cornhuskers' 26-game winning streak); North Texas in 2003; and Bowling Green in 2005. In Division I-AA, the University of Massachusetts in 2007 scored only six points in a game, from three safeties against Rhode Island. UMass had also scored three safeties in a game against Albany in 2005, a Division I-AA record. In 2004, when Iowa defeated Penn State 6–4, because of Iowa's two field goals and Penn State's two safeties, it was the only instance of such a score in the modern era, and it was the first time since Florida lost to Miami 31-4 in 1987 that a team finished a game with exactly four points. The only other occasion on which a game ended with that score was when Rutgers defeated Princeton in 1869 by six "runs" to four in what is recognized as the first intercollegiate football game.

See also

References

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  21. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197012120cle.htm |title=Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns - December 12th, 1970 |publisher=Pro-Football-Reference.com |date=1970-12-12 |accessdate=2011-11-21
  22. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots - December 12th, 1993". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1993-12-12. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199312120nwe.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  23. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions - December 5th, 1983". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1983-12-05. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198312050det.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  24. ^ "Baltimore Colts at Los Angeles Rams - November 11th, 1962". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1962-11-11. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196211110ram.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  25. ^ "Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams - September 14th, 1963". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1963-09-14. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196309140ram.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  26. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers - December 17th, 1972". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1972-12-17. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197212170sdg.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  27. ^ "Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots - December 14th, 1980". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1980-12-14. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198012140nwe.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  28. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Cardinals - December 22nd, 1957". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1957-12-22. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/195712220crd.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  29. ^ "New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys - September 19th, 1965". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1965-09-19. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196509190dal.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  30. ^ "Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - September 22nd, 1968". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1968-09-22. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196809220kan.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  31. ^ "Chicago Hornets at Cleveland Browns - November 6th, 1949". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1949-11-06. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/194911060cle.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  32. ^ "San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints - October 1st, 1972". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1972-10-01. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197210010nor.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  33. ^ "Baltimore Colts at Los Angeles Rams - December 5th, 1953". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1953-12-05. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/195312050ram.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  34. ^ a b c "NFL Records". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20080504164206/http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/team/safeties. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 

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