In his nine-year NFL career, Philip Rivers had never been called for a false start penalty. In the first half of Monday night's game, the San Diego Chargers quarterback was whistled for two.
Rivers was flagged twice by referee Jeff Triplette for exaggerated movements before the snap, including head bobs and a thrusting of hands.
The specific rules applied by Triplette are found in Rule 7, Section 4, Article 2 of the 2012 NFL rulebook:
â?¢ "Any quick movement by a single offensive player which simulates the start of the snap is a false start."
â?¢ "A player who is in position to receive the snap in shotgun formation is permitted to shift his feet prior to the snap, but any quick and abrupt movement is a False Start. [No, we don't know why the rulebook alternates capitalization of "False Start" either.]
â?¢ [Example] "Quarterback A1 bobs his head in an exaggerated manner prior to the snap and draws the defense into the neutral zone. Ruling: Penalize five yards for false start. Blow the whistle immediately."
These are the so-called "Manning Rules." They've long been on the books but were highlighted as a point of emphasis before this season. The rules committee didn't want quarterbacks to gain another advantage on defenders by keeping them at bay with movements. It may be the only case in recent history where an NFL rules committee made a concession to defense. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was flagged for a violation in Week 1.
Did Rivers deserve the flags? By the letter of the law, sure; he was guilty of abrupt movements before a snap. In practical terms, he wasn't doing anything different than other quarterbacks. Rivers was a victim of his own hard count (the real cause of Denver's eagerness) and the ineptitude of Triplette, an annual NFL punching bag.
Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Philip Rivers kept getting called for false starts for bobbing his head, thrusting his hands (VIDEO)