The play was admitted deliberate. The actions were technically legal. But after it happened, the NFL made sure there would never be another "Holy Roller."
The infamous play (at least to Chargers fans) took place with 10 seconds left during a 1978 Raiders-Chargers game in which Oakland trailed, 20-14. Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler dropped back to pass at the Chargers' 14 and was about to be sacked when he unleashed a "fumble" forward, hoping it'd be recovered by one of his teammates. Two Oakland players skillfully kicked and batted the ball forward on the ground, until it was recovered in the end zone by tight end Dave Casper as time expired. The PAT gave Oakland a surreal 21-20 victory in front of a stunned crowd in San Diego.
The officials convened after the play and determined that there was nothing illegal and allowed it to stand. But Stabler after the game admitted that he had flipped the ball forward on the ground intentionally. Though the Chargers protested vehemently to no avail, the NFL swiftly amended the rules to stipulate that any fumble occurring in the final two minutes of each half or on fourth down can only be advanced by the offensive player who fumbled the ball. The rule has been sometimes invoked as the "Ken Stabler Rule," in honor of its instigator.