The NFL is considering eliminating kickoffs altogether, and they plan to keep pass interference reviewable. The Breakout Live team debates these two rule changes, and what other changes should be made for 2020.
Dumb & Dumber. One of the greatest films of all-time? Yes. But also the only way to describe eliminating kickoffs and keeping reviewable PI. I get the safety aspects tied to kickoffs, but to be honest, it just wouldn’t feel like football without it. Eliminating kickoffs would not only detract from the essence of the game itself, but it would also nix some of the sport’s most electric plays which can completely turn the tide of any game. Don’t do it, NFL.
Speaking of electric, how awesome have these P.I. reviews been?!…said no one ever. I’m a stats nerd through and through, but even I won’t waste my time looking up how many successful PI challenges there were this past year. What – 5…10% success rate…maybe? Perhaps it was to appease (and by ‘appease’ I mean, ‘give the middle finger to’) Saints fans who lost their marbles over the 2018 NFC Title Game.
But the only thing this rule achieved was adding even more stoppages to a game that already has more than any other sport. I love the NFL and I really don’t have any rules to suggest which would make the game better, other than limiting PI challenges to playoff games only. I get why it matters, but it doesn’t belong anywhere but the postseason.
Senior News & Fantasy Editor
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually okay with eliminating kickoffs. All that play has become is watching a return man take a knee or the ball sails out of the end zone for a touchback. It’s become obsolete. The goal was to reduce concussions, so they may as well go all the way to extinction on kickoffs.
As for keeping pass interference reviewable? I can hear Jim Mora… Are you kiddin’ me? There has never been a rule in the history of football that was more ridiculous than reviewable PI. It sounded so good after the Saints were cheated out of a trip to the Super Bowl. That rule did a poorer job of living up to its hype than the Cleveland Browns. Honestly, that rule literally squelched my thirst for football. The game literally became a caricature of itself and became unwatchable. The NFL has become manipulatable as much as any Harlem Globetrotters/Washington Generals tilt.
What I would like to see is PI abolished completely. It’s too much of a slippery slope to ever get it consistently called correctly. Let guys have as much legal contact (no holding, tackling, etc.) as they can. Fighting for the football at any point on the field should be the job of the defender and receiver. Let them push each other all over the field. Best man wins.
Along with that, ANY call that is wrong should be able to be reviewed. The booth should take a more active role in ensuring ALL calls are correct. How insane is it to hear someone say, that call was wrong, but it’s not reviewable? I can’t believe that’s the football world we’re living in. Change it.
The idea to eliminate kickoffs has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the game, but everything to do with player safety. It is a fact that kickoffs are the most dangerous play in football, so maybe it’s time to get rid of it. I personally like the idea of punting from scrimmage after a score, and I like the proposal to complete a 15-yard pass instead of the onside kick. The pass interference challenge was almost never successful in 2019, and how ironic that the Saints season ended without even a review of the potential Vikings’ offensive PI. But at the end of the day, PI in the NFL is a game-changing call, and I think it’s a good idea to keep it reviewable.
What other rule changes would I like to see? It’s once and for all time to stop generously rewarding teams with 3 points for merely gaining a little territory and kicking a football straight. There is no excuse in the modern game for awarding nearly half a touchdown for a field goal. All kicks through the upright – extra points or field goals – should be awarded one point. The purpose of the game is to score touchdowns, and such a rule change would lead to a lot more 4th down tries and less punting and kicking. Who’s going to be opposed to that?!