The first Thursday night game of the season is just a few minutes removed from kickoff, but there have already been fireworks in San Diego.
With the ball around 40 yard line and the Raiders facing fourth and one, the team lined up in a punt formation. Instead of a punt, Shane Lechler threw a deep ball towards the end zone. Jacoby Ford was acting as the wide receiver, and as he attempted to make the catch, Quentin Jammer jammed Ford and knocked him to the ground.
At first, it appeared to be an obvious pass interference penalty. That was not the case, though, and we have the explanation from the NFL Rule Book...
Note 5: Whenever a team presents an apparent punting formation, defensive pass interference is not to be called for action on the end man on the line of scrimmage, or an eligible receiver behind the line of scrimmage who is aligned or in motion more than one yard outside the end man on the line. Defensive holding, such as tackling a receiver, still can be called and result in a 5-yard penalty and automatic first down from the previous spot, if accepted. Offensive pass interference rules still apply.
Hey, you learn something new every single week with the NFL!
Jay Feely also tweeted some insight into why the rule is in effect:
fake punt rule has to be in place or you could throw a ball on any punt & inevitably get a pass interference call BC gunners r being jammed
This is going to be a good game, folks.