According to NFL regulations, Russell Wilson's "lateral" is an unlawful forward pass Via RSN. The forward pass from Wilson to Mike Davis on a QB scramble at the 47-yard line that was not called a penalty was one play that obviously went in the Seahawks' favor but shouldn't have. This type of play is known as a "penalty" and can change the entire complexion of the game. It can be returned for a touchdown or kept by the receiving team if they get out of bounds at the one-yard line. In this case, neither team got out of bounds so it's a dead ball situation which forces them into a punt.
Unlike a forward pass, if a backward pass strikes the ground or an official, play continues, and a backward pass that has struck the ground may be recovered and advanced by either side, as with a fumble. Passes thrown backwards can also be intercepted. As long as the ball is not advanced in the pass, a lateral can be underhand or overhand.
The oxymoron "forward lateral" refers to a "lateral" (backward pass) attempt that actually moves ahead. In most circumstances, it is against the law. On occasion, a hook and lateral is employed, in which a forward throw is instantly handed backward to a second receiver to mislead the defense.
During each down, the attacking team may make one forward pass from behind the line. If the ball crosses the line of scrimmage, whether in player possession or loose, a forward pass is not permitted, regardless of whether the ball returns below the line of scrimmage before the pass is thrown. Item No. 1: Illegal Passes - A forward pass can be intercepted by any defender who catches it. If no one does, then it's dead at its own 20-yard line. Item No. 2: Throwing Yourself At Or Tackling A Player Out Of Bounds - Attempting to throw yourself at or tackle a player out of bounds is a flagrant foul that can result in suspension if not called during the game. Such actions are usually not allowed within 10 yards of the opponent's goal line or 5 yards beyond their own.
In addition to these illegal passes, the quarterback is prohibited from throwing the ball if he is hit while he is in motion or immediately after he has released the ball. This rule is designed to prevent fumbles and interceptions due to players being hit in the backswing or follow-through of a throwing motion. If a player is hit while he is in motion, the ball is alive; therefore, a forward pass is legal. But if it is determined after the fact that the player was hit while he was in motion, then there is no legal forward pass. Interceptions and fumble recoveries occur all the time when players are hit in this manner.
Because it crosses the line of scrimmage, a forward lateral is unlawful. A shovel pass occurs when the quarterback is behind the line and sends the ball forward; it is similar to any other forward pass except for the manner in which it is done. If it is dropped, it is considered an incomplete pass. It's a shovel, and it counts as a pass because it's thrown forward.
In addition, while taking a lateral, you must recognize who has control of the ball and either return it or take it to the outside. With a shovel pass, there is no requirement to return the ball. The player receiving the ball can take it anywhere inside the field goal range.
Finally, if you're wondering why you see so many shovel passes in football games but never forward passes, that's because it's illegal for the receiver being passed to go out of bounds or lose possession of the ball. If he does so, then the play is over and your team loses.
Shovel passes were very common in early football games because there was no need for extra yardage. Since then they have become less common because it makes sense not to waste time by throwing the ball away when you are down by several scores. However, they remain in modern football because they provide an easy way for a quarterback to advance the ball quickly down the field. There is also a variant of the shovel pass called the "scoop" pass that is used by defensive players to recover fumbles.
The oxymoron "forward lateral" refers to a "lateral" (backward pass) attempt that actually moves ahead. In most circumstances, it is against the law. On occasion, a hook and lateral is employed, in which a forward throw is instantly handed backward to a second receiver to mislead the defense. History's most famous plays involving forward laterals include Wes Chandler's 70-yard touchdown against Michigan State in 1948 and Jim Plunkett's 81-yard touchdown pass to John David Booty in 1970 against USC.
Forward laterals are used to set up quarterback runs or keepers. It is very difficult to execute a forward lateral without a player being hit by a defender. If a forward lateral isn't picked up by a teammate, then it is usually treated as a fumble. However, if it is done correctly with the right intentions, then it can be effective in changing the course of a game.
The term "hook lateral" is often used interchangeably with forward lateral, but they are not the same thing. A hook lateral is executed when a forward pass is thrown while moving backwards. This trick play was popularized by Chuck Noll during his time as the Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach from 1969 to 1977.
It is possible to reverse direction on a forward pass, which is called a back lateral. This move is useful for throwing away the ball instead of fumbling it, as is the case with a hook lateral.
In any football play, you are only permitted to make one forward pass. A team may make as many backward passes as it wishes. A forward pass must be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage to be lawful. Many players at first assume that you can pass while on your own side of the field, but this is not true; you can only pass while your team is in possession of the ball.
For example, if Team A has the ball and is about to enter Team B's end zone when player Joe throws a forward pass, Team B cannot return the ball because they were not given the ball by Team A. If Joe had waited for Team B to enter the end zone before throwing the forward pass, then Team B could have returned the ball or kept it and run with it themselves.
There is no limit to the number of forward passes that can be made in a game. In fact, most games feature hundreds of forward passes. That's why it is important for quarterbacks to read the defense and find open receivers.