Chip Kelly exploits rulebook to shut down Saints drive

Chip Kelly hasn't brought the magic touch to the 49ers, but he's at least offered up some food for thought for the NFL Competition Committee this offseason.

With eight seconds to play in the first half against the Saints on Sunday, the Niners exploited a loophole in the rulebook that might have cost New Orleans four points. With the Saints at the 49ers' 13-yard line, coach Sean Payton called a pass play that would send four receivers on routes toward the end zone.

Moments after New Orleans snapped the ball, cornerbacks Keith Reaser, Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward all grabbed onto the closest receiver. Safety Eric Reid ditched the subtlety altogether and tackled tight end Coby Fleener.

Left with no other options, Drew Brees threw incomplete to running back Travaris Cadet. Three Saints players were called for defensive holding, a measly five-yard penalty that San Francisco was welcome to trade for four seconds of clock. His window effectively removed -- only four seconds remained after the penalty -- Payton had no choice but to send out kicker Will Lutz for a chip shot field goal.

"We practice all sorts of scenarios at the end of the first half and the end of the game," Kelly said afterward, according to "So we got flagged for a penalty there, which is a 5-yard penalty and then they kicked a field goal. They were (already) in field-goal range."

The 49ers went on to lose 41-23, but The Genius had his small personal victory.

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