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The NFL is always exploring ways to make the game more competitive and interesting, and the new onside kick rule is the latest gem.
On Thursday, the league revealed an absolute bonkers proposal to change the onside kick, and it makes a surprising amount of sense.
The onside kick remains one of the more unlikely strategies in football. To come from behind in the closing minutes in the NFL, it often becomes necessary. However, per the NFL’s new rule proposal, there could be another option for teams willing to test their luck down multiple scores.
Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, there’s growing interest among teams for an alternative to the onside kick standard.
Allowing teams to go for it on 4th-and-15 is more likely than recovering the ball when giving the opposing team a 10-yard head start on a kickoff. A one-off, untimed down allowing teams to take a different type of gamble would not only create more buzz, but boost television ratings as well for games that would typically be considered surefire wins long before the final whistle.
Rule proposals are considered every offseason in the NFL, and they’ve been implemented with varying degrees of success. Reviewing pass interference in the wake of the Saints-Rams NFC Championship screw-up was an abject failure, for instance, as officials were unwilling to overturn their colleagues in the heat of the moment.
Rule changes that disregard alterations to the officiating have a better success rate, and eliminating the archaic onside kick — which only puts athletes in more danger thanks to the violent collisions it produces — should be a home run, even if some fans don’t see it that way.
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