Why bother even having kickoffs if every kick is just going to sail out the endzone with no possibility of a return, or trying to pin the opposition deep? It was bad week 1, and bad again here in week 2.

Just start out from the 25 and be done with kickoffs/returns entirely, instead of this farce. “Stopgap” excuse be damned.

  • @edgemaster72@lemmy.world
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    910 months ago

    So, as I understand it, part of the reason for reducing the number of returned kicks is how many people are running at and into each other at full speed (referenced in the article mentioning concussions). Disincentivizing returns by making them near impossible to start from anywhere beyond the 5 (and often inside the end zone if the kick didn’t sail past it entirely) is the current approach. Any attempt to solve this problem will be met with some resistance because some people just wanna see big muscly dudes slamming into each other (no shaming here) and don’t care about the supposed dangers of returns.

    So in regards to this particular view of the issue, I suppose the only middle ground between the good/bad old days (depending on your perspective), and the current ruleset, would be some set of rules that limits how fast players will be going when kicking and receiving teams clash. Now obviously you’re not gonna have refs out there with radar guns like they’re running a speed trap on the highway, nor are you likely to tie everyone but the kicker and a returner to a tackling dummy to slow them down. You’d have to somehow reduce the amount of time and distance available for each side to build up speed before they collide.

    I don’t know what would be the best way to approach that, and with the mentioned rules change being a stopgap to something else longterm I doubt the NFL intends that longterm rule change to increase the number of kick returns. Ultimately I think any solution like I mentioned above will probably be just as dissatisfying as the current ruleset, pretty much the equivalent of how the pro bowl became flag football. They’d probably need to do something drastic and creative to maintain the dynamic potential of a big return without the safety concerns that have caused them to become so uncommon, but I wouldn’t really say drastic and creative change is in the NFL’s playbook. So I guess ultimately my conclusion is don’t hold your breath on this getting better.

    • @joekar1990@lemmy.world
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      1210 months ago

      Honestly the NFL should should adopt the xfl kickoff rule:

      NFL rule: Kicking team lines up at their own 35-yard line, with eight members of the return team within 15 yards. No double-team blocks allowed. Touchbacks are spotted at the 25-yard line.

      XFL rule: The kicker lines up at his 30-yard line, with the other 10 members of the kickoff team lining up at the opponent’s 35 – 5 yards away from the returning team. Only the kicker and one returner can move until the ball is fielded. Touchbacks are spotted at the 35-yard line.

      • @edgemaster72@lemmy.world
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        310 months ago

        I haven’t watched any of the new iterations of the XFL but I originally thought of posting something similar to the XFL rule you describe before I decided to make my post more generic to avoid sounding foolish. Good to know that while my imagined rule’s details were a bit off from something that works in reality, I was at least maybe in the ballpark.

        • @joekar1990@lemmy.world
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          110 months ago

          Nah it’s always good to see what other people may come up with. I’ve seen things like recommendations to remove the kickoff all together and start on the 20 and if you want the ball back you need to complete like a 4th & 20 scenario and if you fail the team gets it back on their 40.

          Things are always evolving so you’ll always get those staunch supporters of never wanting to change anything, but eventually theyll get used to the change.

  • kilodelta
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    810 months ago

    It would be weird to eliminate a large part of the football game that requires a foot and a ball.

    • wjrii
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      210 months ago

      Hypothetically, you could really get rid of all of it. Kickoffs could be 4th and 25 to allow for something like onside kicks. Combine that with a rule that incompletions on 4th down are turnovers at the spot where the ball hits the ground to replace punts and normal kickoffs. Finally, do offseason testing to see what size and configuration of “uprights” (some sort of single Quidditch hoop?) results in quarterbacks roughly matching kickers’ percentages on PATs and FGs.

      It would strike us all as being goony AF, but when you get down to it, the kicking specialists are kind of relics anyway, and at this point they mostly serve to add randomness and drama by leveraging “black box” skillsets that none of their teammates possess. It’s like, “you as an offense only managed to reach the ‘X’ yardline so you have only earned a ‘Y%’ chance at ‘Z’ yards of field position or 3 points.” Kicking and punting are already like a weird minigame, and they could be replaced by one focused on throwing without fundamentally altering the nature of the sport.

      • conciselyverbose
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        410 months ago

        Special teams are a core part of the nature of the sport.

        Field position is football.

        • wjrii
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          110 months ago

          Field position is football.

          No doubt. I’m just saying the specific biomechanical skillset to manipulate it is very different from the rest of the game and is how it is mostly as a legacy thing. It would be a bit more extreme, but not a world apart from the camp in the soccer world that would like to do away with throw-ins.

          • conciselyverbose
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            110 months ago

            So is passing.

            They shouldn’t be allowed to legally call it football if they remove the kicking game

            • wjrii
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              110 months ago

              Okay, LOL, fair enough. It’s a fun thought experiment, but while I wouldn’t be as upset as most I’m honestly not particularly invested in my own ideas here.

              Could be interesting for an alt- or minor league that wanted a gimmick and to put their quarterbacks even more front and center.

  • etlaser
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    710 months ago

    SB nation talked about this and proposed a solution. Basically, the team that scores gets the ball back with a 4th and 15. They’ll punt in most circumstances, which is less dangerous and more entertaining than a kickoff, but in a do or die situation they still have a chance.

    The whole video is worth watching but the actual proposal is at 14:11

    https://youtu.be/t_SsIKgwvz4?si=rQyUsVGhxvTk5D0X

  • @dynamojoe@lemmy.world
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    510 months ago

    Let’s have some chaos. Move the kicking spot back five yards, penalize a touchback the same as out of bounds unless it bounces first in the field of play, and to make it interesting, a field goal on a kickoff should be worth two points.

  • @_number8_@lemmy.world
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    410 months ago

    i vigorously mute commercials and i think i’ve seen maybe 3 kickoffs all year - they’re so quick and minimized in the coverage

  • Omega
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    410 months ago

    I want 4th and 25 from wherever it’s statistically most likely to put the other team at their own 25 after a punt.

    • @tpWinthropeIII@lemmy.world
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      210 months ago

      Something has to be done to bring back the onside kick. It’s not dangerous from the standpoint of concussions.

      4th and 25 or 15 is not as interesting and favors passing teams.