16 Mar 2011
Where to begin... The goal of these rule changes would be to reduce injuries, since kickoffs are responsible for more injuries than any other type of play. However, this would basically remove the kickoff return man as an offensive weapon. They moved the kickoff line from the 30 to the 35 nearly twenty years ago, and do you realize how much stronger kickers are now than they were then? Bill Cundiff last year had 89 percent of his kickoffs go at least 65 yards. With the new system, those would all either be returned from the end zone, or touchbacks. This move would also mean that kickoffs in general would become more like punts, with kickers practicing more pop-up style kicks in hopes of pinning the other team behind the 25 without allowing a long return. It would be a huge transformation of the way the NFL plays special teams.
65 comments, Last at 20 Mar 2011, 6:18pm by Jerry
After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?