There are a lot of NFL rules that are silly, but the one that cost the Cincinnati Bengals a potential win on Sunday is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
In overtime on Sunday, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow fumbled the ball as Cincinnati was trying to get in range for the game-winning field goal.
The fumble was recovered by Samaje Perine and advanced to around the 39-yard line — which would’ve been in Evan McPherson’s range.
Apparently, though, fumbles in the final two minutes can’t be advanced except by the player that fumbled the ball.
Arthur Maulet strips Burrow, but Samaje Perine saves the day! #HereWeGo #RuleTheJungle pic.twitter.com/w0AcDaMxn9
— Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) September 11, 2022
So even though Burrow fumbled the ball behind the line of scrimmage, the ball was ruled dead where Perine touched it.
So instead of a field goal attempt, the Bengals had to punt it back to the Steelers.
Pittsburgh then went down the field and hit a game-winning field goal as time expired (the game would’ve been over either way).
What a terrible rule. Laterals are legal, but apparently fumbling the ball behind the line of scrimmage is viewed completely differently.
The NFL needs to review that rule. And I bet they do. But unfortunately for Cincinnati, it won’t change the outcome of Sunday’s game.