For the second time this season, a player safety rule became a point of controversy on a game-deciding field goal.
The rule was added during the March annual meeting to protect players, especially the long snapper, on field-goal attempts where players can be caught in defenseless positions.
The rule previously came into play on a high-profile play two months ago.
On Oct. 20, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said the officials in the New England Patriots-New York Jets game correctly called a portion of the line-overload rule when they penalized the Patriots' Chris Jones for unsportsmanlike conduct. During the play, Jones pushed a teammate forward while trying to block an overtime kick. Jets kicker Nick Folk made his next attempt, lifting New York to the victory.
-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor