Alidar Jarok wrote:
To me the worse non-call was why the refs never called a single penalty for holding on that punt-safety. Jim H had no problem with the play itself, saying "you're coached to do that", and it makes sense. But a penalty while still getting a safety, stops the clock sooner, enough time that the Niners might - and I emphasize "might" - have given them time for a run back and one kick to tie it up.
It wouldn't have stopped the clock earlier. It would be a play called after the ball stops. The 49ers would have the choice of replaying fourth down (after half the distance to the goal) or declining the penalty and taking the safety. So it wouldn't have made a difference.
You're right on this of course, but that does seem like a situation in which the rules are creating perverse incentives. Would the punishment for *any* penalty committed by the offense in such a situation (personal fouls and the like included) be a safety....which the offense wants anyway?
If so, then it seems like the sort of thing where they might want to do a rule change. Though I'm not actually sure what the optimal rule would be in this case, and it is a rare situation.