Photo Credit: ESPN.com (AP Photo/Kevin Terrell)
The Ty Law Rule
Back Story: Ty Law was one of the most physical cornerbacks in the NFL. He was just a beast. In the 2003 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, Law had three interceptions, and helped fuel the New England Patriots to a 24-14 victory. We know the rest of the story, as the Patriots went to Super Bowl XXXVIII to beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29. Law finished with more interceptions than wide receiver Marvin Harrison had receptions.
The Rule: We know this today as ‘illegal contact’. After 2003, the league tightened up on Law’s style. His type of contact was not allowed with receivers after the five yard window from the line of scrimmage. The league had used the ‘Mel Blount’ rule from 1978 to become stricter on defenses.