The NFL's Worst Rule Nearly Torpedoed the Saints


Tommylee Lewis nearly highlighted one of the NFL’s worst rules.

During the final two minutes of the New Orleans Saints’ 12-9 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, the Saints receiver fumbled the ball while diving for the end zone, and the ball went out of bounds through the end zone for a touchback.

With 1 minute, 44 seconds left, Cam Newton and the Panthers had the ball on the 20-yard line. Naturally, they quickly turned the ball over on downs, a predictable outcome for them considering their rough season.

Had they managed a clutch drive, they could have taken the lead with a touchdown or tied the game with a field goal. The touchback could have helped the Panthers re-enter the playoff hunt with Lewis’ controversial play.

But let’s not let Lewis totally off the hook. The Saints didn’t need the touchdown. If he’d gotten the first down, which he might have reached without a dive, New Orleans could have kneeled the ball to end the game.

Lewis committed a stupid mistake and nearly let a stupid rule get in the way of the Saints’ win.