Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Aug 2013

Personal Foul: down over?

I have a rules question.

If the defense commits a personal foul, is the yardage tacked onto the gain/loss on the play, or does the offense choose between accepting the gain/loss versus taking the 15 yards?


Posted by: SimSportPlyr on 27 Aug 2013

1 reply , Last at 14 Sep 2014, 10:18am by jsf80238

Re: Personal Foul: down over?
by jsf80238 :: Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:18am

A little late on the reply ... and I assume you are referring to a penalty that occurs _during_ the play (like facemask or horse-collar-tackle).
I suppose there are two possibilities:
1) Play gains yards.
Result: the offensive team gets the gain plus 15 yards and a first down.
2) Play loses yards.
It depends on whether it was a run or pass, and whether the fumble was in front or or behind the line of scrimmage (see RULE 14, SECTION 3)

Here's the 2013 rulebook: static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/2013 - Rule Book.pdf.

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