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Kickoffs to be "modified"

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19 minutes ago, LETSGOBROWNIES said:

Not trying to be a jerk, but I’m not sure what these stats are proving other than teams shouldn’t expect to score on a punt or kickoff return.

My initial comment was made somewhat tongue in cheek. People are pointing out what we’d be missing (element of surprise), scores, whatever, which statistically have an impact on a small number of games.

They were also pointing out the "excitement" of touchdowns on kickoffs, which are incredibly rare events. TDs are more common on punts (though still quite rare), and tend to be more interesting plays.

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19 minutes ago, Chrissooner49er said:

Lawsuits should not be allowed for something you KNEW could happen. You knew what was possible when you started playing. We're all adults, after all. If $$$$$ and the fun of the game is what they want, you take the risks as well.

The lawsuits are still ongoing from the NFL lying to players about CTE even 15 to 10 years ago. The NFL has to make these changes now to show they actually care about player safety and the nflpa has to demand them to do the same.

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The head coaches kick off and return the kicks using Madden. We still have our kickoffs and no one gets hurt :D

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8 minutes ago, Woz said:

Well, if you want something to be equivalent of the risk the onside kick has today, the line of scrimmage probably needs to be the 35.

4th and 10 conversion rate (first down or touchdown, excluding QB kneel downs): 60 out of 1394 = 4.3%

If you prefer Schiano's original proposal (4th and 15), it becomes: 11 out of 448 = 2.5%

The only problem with those statistics are the offenses attempting 4th and 10s are probably terrible because they are A. Risking a 4th down play to come back from being down, and B. Just went 3 offensive plays without gaining a single net yard.

Teams attempting this new play will still be down (usually) but they will also have just scored a touchdown.

I could see teams abusing a 4th and 10 in the first half to go up extra against bad defenses and I could see teams like the Patriots getting far more than 5% success.

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2 minutes ago, PapaShogun said:

No more Music City Miracles.

Buffalo would tell you there never was.

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18 minutes ago, Woz said:

They were also pointing out the "excitement" of touchdowns on kickoffs, which are incredibly rare events. TDs are more common on punts (though still quite rare), and tend to be more interesting plays.

They are exciting, and rare, just like surprise onside kickoffs, I get that.

I was arguing that neither of them are necessary and the game is better without them if it increases player safety.

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23 minutes ago, cddolphin said:

 

This actually happened at a way lower rate last year, they made a conscious effort to address it, and it was a very signficant reduction, I remember posting about it on this forum.

If it happened even once that’s still too much.

It’s an awful way to squeeze every dime out of advertisers to the detriment of the viewer.

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Kickoffs to start the first and second halves. Kickoffs like normal in the fourth quarter (and OT).  

Maybe give teams a kind of "automatic punt" option.

Wouldn't be perfect, but it would help, and I could live with it.

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55 minutes ago, PapaShogun said:

No more Music City Miracles.

I feel like those rare few kickoffs with exciting outcomes blind us to the fact that the overwhelming majority of kickoffs are really boring plays except for the aesthetic value of "watching large people collide at high speeds", which is precisely the thing we're trying to get rid of.  People say it's "the most exciting play in football" but it's really anything but- compare the 2nd half kickoff to say 3rd and goal at the 2, or a 2-point conversion to win or lose.

So even if they are not going to get rid of it, the owners are going to make kickoffs progressively less interesting until there's no real call to keep it, provided a suitable "onside kick" replacement can be found.

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23 minutes ago, LETSGOBROWNIES said:

They are exciting, and rare, just like surprise onside kickoffs, I get that.

I was arguing that neither of them are necessary and the game is better without them if it increases player safety.

It sounds like we are in violent agreement then. :D

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Just now, Woz said:

It sounds like we are in violent agreement then. :D

Lol yes, we are.

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Just now, PossibleCabbage said:

I feel like those rare few kickoffs with exciting outcomes blind us to the fact that the overwhelming majority of kickoffs are really boring plays except for the aesthetic value of "watching large people collide at high speeds", which is precisely the thing we're trying to get rid of.  People say it's "the most exciting play in football" but it's really anything but- compare the 2nd half kickoff to say 3rd and goal at the 2, or a 2-point conversion to win or lose.

So even if they are not going to get rid of it, the owners are going to make kickoffs progressively less interesting until there's no real call to keep it, provided a suitable "onside kick" replacement can be found.

(unfortunately, Pro Football Reference's Play Finder doesn't allow searching of touchbacks and returns, so this will only focus on last year ... if someone else wants to show that last year was an aberration, have at it)

To back up your point: last season there were 2553 kickoffs across the NFL. Of those, 1036 were returned (~41% of the time), 1444 were touchbacks (~57%), 16 were kicked out of bounds (~0.63%), and 57 were onside kicks (2.2%). (*)

Nearly 3 out of every 5 kickoffs last year there was no point to the play (and in a small percentage of them, the kicking team would have preferred just spotting the ball on the 25 instead of getting the penalty and giving their opponents the ball on the 40).

But it's even worse than that: in those meaningless kickoffs (obviously the non-onside kicks, which were the vast majority of plays), the upfield blockers have no idea what is happening with the ball. They don't know if the ball is going to be returned or downed. As such, they have to engage the coverage team, guys who have worked up a full head of steam to try and break through (the coverage team has more information about what's happening, but not that much more). Those are needless collisions.

 

 

(*) Oddity here: I drew all of the data from NFL.com's team stats page. The sum of the returns, touchbacks, OOB kicks, and onside kicks is 2553. The NFL.com team stat page lists there only being 2550 kicks. Not sure what that's about. Also, the percentages don't add up to 100% due to rounding.

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