NFL closes clock loophole that Patriots, Titans took advantage of in 2019

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

The NFL announced Thursday a few rule changes for the 2020 season, and included was the decision not to adopt the controversial onside kick alternative that would've allowed trailing teams to convert a 4th-and-15 to retain possession after scoring.

One rule change that was approved closed a loophole which allowed teams to waste time on the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball penalties as the clock is running.

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New England Patriots fans might be familiar with this rule. The Patriots did this to the New York Jets in the fourth quarter of their Week 7 win at MetLife Stadium last season. New England took multiple dead-ball fouls and wasted more than a minute of game time.

These actions produced this hilarious clip of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline:

However, it wasn't so funny to the Patriots when they had the same thing done to them by the Tennessee Titans during their AFC Wild Card playoff matchup at Gillette Stadium. The Titans wasted valuable time in the fourth quarter (they took the clock from 6:35 to 4:50) of their 20-13 victory.

Here's what Belichick told reporters about this clock rule after that Week 7 game versus the Jets.

"No (it wasn't gamesmanship), it was just the way the rules are set up," Belichick explained. "We were able to run quite a bit of time off the clock without really having to do anything. That's probably a loophole that will be closed and probably should be closed but right now it's open."

He was right. The rule has been changed, and the league will be better as a result.

NFL closes clock loophole that Patriots, Titans took advantage of in 2019 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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