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Bruce Miller hold non-call: Putting as much of a bow on it as we can

We take a look at one referee's take on the Bruce Miller hold non-call during Jacoby Jones' Super Bowl kick return.

Apparently this is not actually holding
Apparently this is not actually holding
Super Bowl XLVII

One topic from the Super Bowl that a lot of people have not gotten over is the hold on Bruce Miller during Jacoby Jones' kickoff return. As the picture shows, two Ravens had a whole lot of Miller's jersey in hand. Whether Jones would have gotten around Miller or not is besides the point. A hold is a ten-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.

Amidst all this, there has been confusion about the rule regarding this. Mike Pereira and Peter King both indicated it was a legal play because Miller was not taken to the ground by the blockers. I scoured through the NFL Rule Book (PDF) trying to find the specific rule. It looked like it was related to Rule 12, Article 3, which states that offensive holding will not be called "if the action is part of a double-team block in close line play". The lone exception to that is when the opponent is blocked to the ground by one or both players.

That does not seem to make sense as this does not appear to be "close line play". King and Pereira did not respond to tweets, but former NFL official Jim Daopoulos addressed the topic a few days ago. While his response will not make 49ers fans happier, it does point to the rule being extended by the refs to kick returns. That would not appear to be an "official" change to the rules, but that is what we are stuck with for now as some kind of loophole.