The NFL should totally adopt the proposed alternative onside kick rule

The NFL should totally adopt the proposed alternative onside kick rule

Onside kicks used to be one of the more exciting — and dangerous — plays in football.

But thanks to the new kickoff rules implemented for the 2018 season, the onside kick became one of the more impossible plays to successfully convert. Remember when the Atlanta Falcons recovered three of them (one whistled back for offsides) last season? Entering that Thanksgiving Day, only three of 37 onside attempts were converted.

The Philadelphia Eagles were the team who proposed a rule change to the Competition Committee that has become a buzzy option that was taken from the defunct Alliance of American Football: a long fourth down conversion to keep possession of the football instead of a kick attempt.

By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring (4th and 15 from the kicking team’s 25-yard line).

This is a great idea. If onside kicks don’t work anymore, we need an alternative that’s just as thrilling. And this is it! As NFL.com noted, a fourth-and-15 attempt has “occurred 60 times over the last 10 seasons, and 16 of such plays have been successfully converted (26.7 percent), including two of seven attempts in 2019, per NFL Research.”

The Denver Broncos proposed something similar last year that was eventually shot down, but maybe after seeing the lack of onside kick success in 2019, it’ll gain momentum. Plus, I love that the franchise that once converted a fourth-and-26 in the playoffs is proposing this:

Remember how jump-out-of-your-seat exciting that was? Now imagine that, with today’s cutting-edge offenses, trying to convert something similar.

Do it, NFL.

 

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