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NFL Adopts Small, But Important Rule Change

Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter (Getty Images)

The game of football is always evolving.  As the players become bigger, stronger and faster it becomes easier and more routine to accomplish certain plays and that’s why the rules are tweaked every so often.  NFL owners meeting in San Francisco have approved a rule change regarding points after a touchdown.

Beginning this fall the ball will be placed at the 15-yard line for teams that decide to kick after a touchdown, essentially making it a 33-yard kick for an extra one point.  The ball will remain at the two-yard line for teams that decide to run or pass for two points after a touchdown.

But an interesting twist on any two-point play; any ball recovered by the defense by a fumble or interception can be returned for two points.  That small change could have a huge impact on a game and it’ll be interesting to see how many games it has an impact on.

There’s another aspect of the NFL game that needs attention.  I call it the most boring play in the NFL – the kickoff.  Earlier rule changes have killed what is supposed to be the most exciting moment in the game into a tedious, boring waste of time.  With the ball placed at the 35 yard line, most kick-offs these days end up in or out of the back of the end zone meaning most teams start their drive at the 20 yard line.

When’s the last time you saw an exciting kickoff return for a touchdown?  They’re pretty rare these days and mainly because the league has squashed it out of safety concerns.  If the NFL has determined that the kickoff is too dangerous for the well-being of the players, then get rid of it.  Find another way to place the ball in the hands of the opposition.  For me the NFL kickoff as it’s done now is a big yawn.


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