I don't know if you are aware, but the NFL is waging a War on Kickers. And even though I don't like it, I like even less the half-assed nature of the war.
I propose eliminating Place Kickers and Punters from the rosters. In their place I suggest a simple rule change. A person who is going to kick the ball must have been on the field during the last play from scrimmage. Obviously this would include any kickoffs that happened since the last play from scrimmage. In the case of a Kick-off return for a TD, the team could pick to kick the PAT any player from the kickoff that was run back or any player from the scoring play that triggered the Kickoff. On First and Second half kickoffs, the kicking team can pick any player on their team.
The stupid new Overtime Rules, which I will not rest until they are destroyed, were a direct attack on Place Kickers and their ever increasing accuracy and distance. The stats do not reflect that a coin-flip was giving enough of an advantage to warrant a rules change. Properly measured less than1/3 of overtime games were ending on the first drive by the team that won the coin toss. Read that piece I linked to, and see the 30% sited includes games that ended via touchdown! So games that end via FG on the first touch of the ball are even less than that! Meaning it's not at all a problem worth changing rules to fix! /rant
The moving of the Kick-offs from the 30 yard-line to the 35 was less about player safety and more just accepting the inevitable touchbacks. They could have done what they always did and move the kickoffs back 5 yards to balance off the improved kickers. But the NFL hates it's place kickers so instead of giving them a new standard to shoot for, they punish them and make them less relevant.
If the NFL hates kickers, then just get rid of them. It fixes the problem, gives you two extra roster spots. Gives more players a chance to make the team with a special teams skill. It makes the coaches think harder about substitutions, and will take a cut into all these insane specialty packages teams use. You'll want to make sure you have a guy on the field at all times that can make an extra point!
However for me the real upside to this plan, above and beyond the restoration of Sudden Death Overtime, is on Fantasy Football! Think of the back-up WR or S that suddenly gives you the potential for points by kicking Field Goals and Extra Points? That adds some strategy and removes some luck for the game.
Let's Kill the Kickers and bring some fun back to Football!
Thanks for reading,
Boston’s Other Sports Stars
2 days ago