Connect with us

NFL

What Are the Changes and the Impact?

Published

on

[ad_1]

The NFL voted to implement a one-year trial run of a rule change that would establish a touchback for all kickoffs fair caught behind the 25-yard line. This NFL kickoff rule change should substantially decrease the number of kickoffs in the NFL that are returned — already a feat that’s dying out.

The new rule still allows returns, and any team behind a few scores late in the game will want to chance it by returning the ball even when the kick goes deep. However, it should mean that the newly evolved strategy of attempting to force returns with balls kicked inside the 5-yard line should no longer be viable.

History of Recent NFL Kickoff Rule Changes

NFL rule changes have significantly altered the kickoff over the years. Prior to a 2010 rule that moved the kickoff line from the 40-yard line to the 35-yard line, over 80% of kickoffs were returned. That number dropped to about 60% and then roughly 50% as kickers entered the league with stronger legs and an incentive to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone.

In 2015, we saw an increase in kickoff returns from 50% to about 55% as the NFL rules committee voted to establish a rule against running starts for kickoff coverage players on kickoffs, which gave returners more room and a bigger reason to take the ball out of the end zone.

The NFL soon decided to give kick returners more of a reason to kneel out the ball, moving the touchback from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line in 2018. Kickoff-return percentage dropped to around 38% after that touchback rule change.

MORE: NFL Spring League Meeting Notebook — Thursday Night Flex, No Washington Commanders Sale

With this new rule, which expands touchbacks to any fair catch caught behind the 25-yard line, the NFL expects kick returns to drop to a 31% rate. As a result of this change, they anticipate a 15% drop in concussion rate, following the declines from previous rule changes. According to the league, the NFL saw a 38% drop in concussion rate after legislating against the running start.

Before the touchback change, kickoffs accounted for 12% of all football concussions, despite only being six percent of plays. They accounted for 18% of all injuries of all types.

NFL Coaches Oppose the NFL Kickoff Rule Change

All 32 special teams coaches have opposed the change, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer. Thirty-four players, drawn from all 32 teams, also opposed the change.

The coaching that has already gone into perfecting the forced return will have gone to waste, and the alternative options to making the kickoff return more than just a perfunctory ritual are bleak. As the competition committee themselves pointed out, kicks that cannot be fair caught, like squib kicks, aren’t used in this situation. College squib kicks reduced after implementing their own version of the touchback rule.

In addition to the special teams coordinators uniting to oppose the change, several head coaches, including Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh — who both have special teams coaching experience — registered their disagreement with the changes.

When asked why they didn’t listen to those coaches, competition committee chairman Rich McKay said, “At the end of the day, health and safety drives decisions like this. I’ve sat on the health and safety committee for a number of years now.”

He added, “We used that committee to give us data and inform us on plays involved higher risk of injury, and then take it to the competition committee and try to come up with a proposal that it can deal with those.”

nfl kickoff rule change
Oct 10, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Falcons defeated the Jets 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 31% return rate seems optimistic from the NFL’s side, and there won’t be much incentive for teams to ever return the ball if they aren’t forced to unless they’re desperate in a late-game scenario. The NFL’s modeling tends to be pretty poor, too.

As they themselves pointed out, they didn’t anticipate the adjustment made by kickoff units to kick inside the 5-yard line on kickoffs. As a result, concussion rates slowly crept back upwards to prior levels.

The change might mean that starting field position on kickoffs might be universal across teams. Variance in starting field position has already dropped dramatically over the years, but this could mean that kickoffs all look the same.

MORE: The Best NFL Games To Watch Each Week of the 2023 Schedule

Taking competition out of the game generally isn’t popular among players and coaches. And it should reduce the number of things that separate teams, as well as the low-frequency, high-impact events that fans love to see.

Some of the most exciting moments in football came on kickoff returns, including two touchdowns in the emotional Buffalo Bills comeback and rally against the New England Patriots a week after Damar Hamlin’s life-threatening injury against Cincinnati.

NFL May Consider the XFL Kickoff

The NFL indicated that they may consider implementing the XFL’s kickoff rule, though they would need to get a good volume of kickoff injury data before feeling confident in implementing it. The XFL moves the kickoff coverage players to a spot five yards ahead of the kicker, with the blockers all lined up five yards away from the coverage players. The kicker lines up at the team’s 30-yard line.

Neither the blockers nor coverage defenders can move until the ball is fielded. The XFL touts the improvements made in player safety as a result of the change, and 97% of XFL kickoffs are returned.

Executive Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs, and Policy Jeff Miller indicated that they’re looking at those types of proposals, saying, “[We’re looking at data] certainly from the XFL, some certainly from the USFL, certainly from the European League of American football. If there’s American football being played somewhere in there trying something different, we want to understand it.”

McKay has watched the XFL kickoff and initially expressed skepticism about the play, but says he’s seen the benefits from the perspective of creating the potential for an exciting play. He said, “I do think it’s something we will discuss. And we have a history as a league of, ‘if we’re not quite sure, we’re not ready to do it.’ We can do it in the preseason for a year. There’s plenty ways we’ve done it in the past experiment.”

For now, we’ll likely see a play that’s much more ceremonial than impactful.

[ad_2]

Source link

NFL

Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending