A closer look at 12-men proposal and SB46

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A closer look at 12-men proposal and SB46

PALM BEACH -- With 17 seconds left in Super Bowl XLVI, the Patriots had the ball on their own 44 and trailed by 4.

And, as the ball was snapped, the Giants had 12 defenders on the field.

Even though Justin Tuck was on his way off the field and was on the sidelines as the play unfolded, the result of the play -- an incompletion, eight precious seconds coming off the clock and a 5-yard penalty -- highlighted a glitch in the 12-men penalty.

At a point in the game where seconds are more precious than yards, letting an extra defender leak onto the field to defend has some upside, especially if the 12th man helps force an incompletion.

The NFL's Competition Committee will likely close this loophole this week at the league's annual meetings at The Breakers hotel.

Rich McKay, chairman of the Competition Committee, was on PFT Live with Mike Florio last week to discuss this particular proposal.

The proposed change will treat 12-defenders as it's treated in college. If the play is about to happen and there's no move being made to the sidelines, the play will be blown dead pre-snap and 5 yards will be marched off.

If a 12th defender is on his way off the field but doesn't reach the sidelines -- as in the case of Tuck -- the play will continue, a flag will be thrown and the offense will have the option to accept or decline the 5 yards.

In other words, if the proposed rule change were in place for the Super Bowl, nothing would have changed.

That's an important distinction to bear in mind this week if people start incorrectly assuming the Patriots would have gotten those eight seconds back if the rule were already in place.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

BOSTON –  For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics were hosting a team eager to get off a losing skid.

But a strong surge near the end of the second quarter gave the Celtics a 65-56 halftime lead over Portland which came into the night having lost four straight.

Boston opened with a 12-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder – his second within the game’s first couple minutes.

But the Blazers were being carried by C.J. McCollum, half of the most explosive backcourt in the NBA. His 12 first-quarter points were crucial to keeping the Blazers within 28-26 at the end of the quarter.

McCollum continued to out-perform everyone else on the floor, even Isaiah Thomas who had a quieter than usual first half.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas continued to make all the plays needed to put the Celtics back on top courtesy of a 12-3 run that put them ahead 57-49 with 1:55 to play in the half.

From there, Boston was able to maintain control of the game.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Saturday’s game.

 

STARS

C.J. McCollum

While there’s still talk about whether Damian Lillard will be an All-Star this year, McCollum has played well enough to where he’s at least worthy of a mention in the All-Star conversation. He certainly carried Portland in the first half with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

As usual, Thomas drew a considerable amount of attention from the opposing defense. And slowly but surely, he found cracks that he could exploit. At the half, he had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds, one of which was an offensive board that he put-back in for a lay-up.

 

STUDS

Jae Crowder

He put the Celtics on a good path from the outset, knocking down a couple 3’s in the first couple of minutes. He finished the half with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting which included a trio of 3-pointers.

Meyers Leonard

He was 3-for-4 in the first half which included a pair of powerful dunks over Boston’s Jordan Mickey. At the half he had eight points and two rebounds.

 

DUDS

Damian Lillard

It was a rough half for the two-time All-Star, tallying just three points on 1-for-5 shooting. A big part of his problem? Foul trouble. He played just 10 minutes in the first half due in large part to having three personal fouls.