NFL rejects new rule that I think would have made the game more interesting

in sportstalk •  2 months ago 

A sweeping rule change that myself and many other fans think would have made my favorite sport even more interesting was shot down in a virtual meeting with the people such as owners and commissioners of the NFL.

The rule would have given teams a fun alternative to performing an onside kick in an effort to reclaim possession after a scoring drive.


An onside kick, for those not in the know, is a very low percent of success kick where the team that just scored a touchdown of field goal lines up to try to "catch" their own kickoff thus resulting in another possession. This is an intentionally low and soft kick that must travel 10 yards before the kicking team can make an attempt to recover it, they are not allowed to advance the ball, but recover it and a vast majority of the time, this "trick play" fails. Especially after the rule was change in 2018 where the kicking team players are not allowed to get a running start before the kick, the chance of this very risky play being successful was just above 5%.

src (altered)

The kicking team will normally try to put the ball low and on the ground in that area, where only one defender is there to retrieve it. If they put all their defense on the close side of the field, the receiving team will be very aware of their intentions and stack more players down there. Therefore it is important that they don't do this. So it will be 5 on 1 but the receving team still has a massive advantage.

Seeing as how teams very rarely and only out of desperation will even attempt this play, there was a proposal to introduce another method of potentially retaining possession and it would work like this.

The team that has just scored has an option of advancing the downs to 4th and 15 and start on their own 25 yard line. If they advance the ball 15 yards they retain possession and it is a first down. If they fail to gain 15 yards, the other team will take possession where the ball was downed and this makes it very likely that they will either run out the clock or score again because they are so close to the red zone at this point.

While it has not been revealed how many of the decision makers voted against allowing this new rule, there was enough "nays" to not get it approved. However, for those of us like me that would like to see this rule become part of play it was only "tabled" or "shelved" which means that it hasn't been totally rejected, but simply put on hold for now.

Some coaches claimed that there needed to be more restrictions on the potential addition of the rule such as a minimum score deficit before the play could be utilized. It is probably a non-issue for most fans, but I like to mix things up every now and then and am therefore a bit disappointed that this did not pass.

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Interesting. I think it could have been exciting and can't really see very many teams taking this option although when i looked it up it appears as though it has a near 30% chance of success and they referenced teams like KC whose percent would be even higher. However, failing would result in horrible field positioning and a near guaranteed score by the other team, it's a pretty huge gamble. I only see this being used in clutch moments which is what i think you are indicating is the only time it would be able to be used anyway.

I'd like to see them try it out as well but here in the thing: NFL, when it is open, is NOT struggling for viewers or profits and as the old saying goes "if it isn't broken, don't fix it."

yeah i can see a lot of logic in your final words there. NFL definitely doesn't struggle for an audience so maybe it doesn't need to be altered.