Onside kick alternative among NFL rule change proposals
After rule changes significantly reduced the success rate of NFL teams succeeding at recovering onside kicks last season, a proposed rule change would allow teams one opportunity per game to regain possession a different way.
The proposal, from the Denver Broncos, was one of nine announced by the league
on Friday. Seven of the other eight proposals involved widening the use of
replay, and the other deals with overtime possessions.
The Broncos' idea is to give a team a chance to remain on offense after a
score in the fourth quarter. The team would run a play from its own 35-yard
line and would have to pick up 15 yards to keep the ball. If it fails, the
defense takes over.
According to the Washington Post, citing statistics from Elias, teams that
attempted an onside kick last season recovered only four, while the receiving
team recovered 49. That success rate of 7.5 percent was down markedly from
21.7 percent (13 of 60) a year earlier.
The proposal comes as a new football league, the Alliance of American
Football, has a similar component, allowing teams the opportunity to convert a
fourth-and-12 from its 28. The AAF requires that the team be trailing by 17
points or more in a game, or by any amount inside the final five minutes of
Rule changes require the approval of 24 owners, who typically rely on the
NFL's Competition Committee to explore the ideas first.
The overtime-related proposal, from the Kansas City Chiefs, would be to
mandate that each team gets a possession. Currently, if the team receiving
team scores a touchdown on its first possession of overtime, the opponent
never gets possession.
--Field Level Media