Ideas and Rule Changes That Would Improve the NFL
Every sports fan wishes they could be commissioner for a day to change the game for the better. The NFL is must-see TV for 10-plus hours every fall Sunday. However, there are some ideas and rule changes that would improve the NFL overall.
Kickoffs Through the Upright Net a Point
The general sentiment towards kickers is that they don’t matter. Yet, one could argue that other than the quarterback, the kicker can make or break your team. For example, consider Justin Tucker’s importance for the Baltimore Ravens. Tucker kicks 50-yard game-winning field goals like they are extra points.
Therefore, one way to make the kicking position mean more is allowing one point to be had if they kick it through the uprights on a kickoff. Imagine the excitement that could bring to the game and a competitive edge for teams with elite kickers. A wild and crazy change can sometimes be the most fun, and this would be one.
Dial Back the Taunting Flags
Making the NFL the “No Fun League” has been a grave injustice to the game’s entertainment value. That was evident this past season when the referees were stringent about taunting penalties.
Taunting calls put some scoring drives to a complete halt, changing the course of the game overall. These are professional athletes and grown men. There’s no need to monitor and assess a 15-yard penalty if a player hurts someone’s feelings. Bring the fun back, Roger Goodell!
Eliminate Automatic First Downs
Many penalties, like taunting, wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t include an automatic first down with the infraction. Infractions like defensive holding, illegal contact, and illegal use of hands may only be a finite number of yards, but when it’s 3rd and 18, that automatic first down is backbreaking.
In those instances, using the penalty yardage without the first down attached levels the playing field. Far too many rules favor the offense and leave the defense hanging.
Adding More Conversion Opportunities After Touchdowns
The idea of tinkering with the two-point conversion is happening in other football leagues. Before the pandemic ravaged the XFL, they had conversion rules that brought more excitement to the game. As it stands now, the NFL only has the one-point kick from the 15-yard line and the two-point conversion from the two-yard line.
Adding a three-point conversion from the 20-yard line or a four-point Hail Mary conversion would be must-see TV for a team on the comeback trail. Plus, watching NFL coaches do the mental math and mess it up would be fun.
The NFL overtime rules could be better. For starters, no one wants to see the game end in a tie, especially when some players didn’t even know that was possible. Secondly, it’s nice to see both teams have a chance rather than a coin toss to determine the game’s fate.
College overtime is thrilling because it’s back-and-forth, giving both teams a shot with the ball. Maybe the league can compromise and put the ball at midfield rather than the 20-yard line, but any change would definitely benefit the fans.
Although some ideas and rule changes that would improve the NFL sound wacky, there’s no denying it would be fun to watch a game with this new set of rules. Here’s to hoping the Commish is reading.