Time for another edition of a Ravens questions and answers blog:
Thanks to WNST NFL analyst Chris Pika, here is the rule that applies to the kickoff penalty the Ravens got on Sunday:
Rule 6, Article 5: Whistle Prior to a Free Kick (NOTE: A free kick is defined as a kickoff or kick after a safety is scored)
Article 5: After the Referee’s whistle prior to a free kick: (a) All receiving players (Team B) must be inbounds and behind their line until the ball is kicked. (b) All kicking players (Team A) must be inbounds and behind the ball when kicked except the holder of the placekick (3-23) may be beyond the line, and the kicker may be beyond the line but his kicking foot may not be. At least four Team A players must be on each side of the kicker when the ball is kicked.
(From Chris Pika: This rule was passed in 2006 for player safety reasons to prevent teams from “loading up” on one side to gang up on a potential receiver during an onside kick attempt.)