When the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 of NFL action by one point, football fans around the nation wondered if there would be an ex post facto rule to counter the Ed Hochuli incident.
So far this offseason, the National Football League has implemented a football team of changes to their rulebook:
1. Loose balls via fumbles or incomplete passes are now eligible to be reviewed. This will forever be known as “The Hochuli Rule” although it wouldn’t have altered the fact that Hochuli blew the whistle right after Cutler fumbled the ball.
2. Loose balls that flirt with the sideline can be reviewed
3. If a team commits a penalty on an onsides kick, the ball is automatically awarded to the opposing team.
4. The draft order will now be dependent upon playoff results as opposed to regular-season records.
5. There will be a new waiver period during the first two weeks of training camp. The postseason waiver period will begin after the final game of the NFL (either Pro Bowl or Super Bowl)
6. If a live ball goes out of bounds, the clock will stop, but will resume when the referee blows his whistle to commence the next play.
7. During kickoffs, a returning team may not form a wall to protect the ball carrier.
8. On onside kicks, the kicking team may have a maximum of five players bunching together.
9. If a player blocks with a body part to an opponent’s head or neck, it will result in a 15-yard penalty.
10. Initiating contact with the head of a defenseless receiver will yield a 15-yard penalty.
11. A defensive player on the ground may not sack the quarterback by diving towards the quarterback’s lower legs.