‘It’s good?’ Possible bonus for kickoff between uprights

Getty Images

Two referees stand beneath the goal post before a field-goal or extra-point attempt, waiting there to determine if a kick sails beyond the crossbar and between the uprights for a successful conversion.

Imagine that for kickoffs, too

Such is one rules-change proposal that will be considered next week at the NFL owner meetings. This one, proposed by Washington owner Dan Snyder, stands to reward a team whose kickoff is ruled “good” with field position, as its opponent would start the ensuing drive at the 20-yard line as opposed to the expected 25.

This is not the first time something like this has been discussed. Last November, the Ravens banged the drum for a one-point scoreboard incentive on such straight-shot kicks. (Note: We need to find a name for these. Kickoff conversions?)

Snyder’s rule proposal is a tamer version, albeit one that still incentivizes touchbacks and thereby furthers the NFL’s player-safety cause.

Potential drawbacks to the rule, other than its ease for video gamers, appear few. One potential concern that could be raised, however, is whether or not the monitoring of a “good” kickoff will compromise the crew’s ability to position itself properly for a returned kickoff.

Currently, one referee stands near the goal post for kickoffs. If kickoffs are to be judged like field goals and extra points, a second official would have to join him or her. If a converted kickoff is a one-person ruling, this concern is rendered moot.

Secondly, there is the matter of doing too much. Last year, the league made the extra point more interesting — and, some might argue, too interesting — when turning a gimme try into a 33-yard attempt. “Kickoff conversions” would be the latest example of making a wrinkle of something that once was routine.

Too many wrinkles can be off-putting.

53 responses to “‘It’s good?’ Possible bonus for kickoff between uprights

  1. derekgorgonstar says:
    Roger Goddell might just be the stupidest man on Earth….

    I’m no fan of Roger Goodell, but comments like that one are tiresome.
    Had you read the story you’d know the rule was proposed by Dan Snyder, a team owner, not the commissioner. It’s the owners who will vote to accept or reject it, not the commissioner.

  2. I don’t think owners will approve this because it will only seem to favor teams with above average kickers, and then of the teams with above average kickers a few will feel that one of their division or playoff rivals kickers is even better so it will be a disadvantage for them at a key time, so less than 50% will approve, so it will get voted down.

  3. In practically every outdoor game the team that wins the opening coin toss would defer so they can have the wind at their back in the 4th quarter. Especially if they have a kicker that can boot one thru the uprights from the opposite 35.

    I like it. It brings another exciting element to the game.

  4. Well Dan that didn’t take long. You finally said something intelligent with your Color Rush comment, then 15 seconds later I see this. What a joke. The NFL is the poster child of “if it ain’t broke, just fix it anyway”.

  5. Overall, touchbacks were up and kickoffs were down last year.
    But late in the season I saw more teams trying to kick high and a little short of the end zone in an attempt to force opponents to return the kick, hopefully trapping them inside the 25.
    This sounds like somebody’s way of giving teams an incentive to kick hard and deep and eliminate more kickoffs.

  6. I think each team should have a coach ( elected fan ) that is sitting on the couch in his own home drinking beer and eating wings during every game that has a headset and is patched into the head coach so he can tell him what he sees while drunk and with a full stomach !

  7. I like it. It gives teams with a kicker with a big, accurate leg a slight reward without being too gimicky like awarding a point would be.

  8. NO. STOP.

    And I’m a Ravens fan… our kicker would make more of these than anybody.

  9. How about the team that goes a week without having a player arrested gets to start with the ball on the 26 yard line.

  10. Noooooooooo. Not the “Rouge”. They have 1 point kicks in CFL, though different fron this, its the stupidest part about the CFL game.

  11. That way you could completely alter the record book and make historical stats even more irrelevant.

  12. thisoneguy1 says:
    Mar 23, 2017 8:09 PM
    Overall, touchbacks were up and kickoffs were down last year.
    But late in the season I saw more teams trying to kick high and a little short of the end zone in an attempt to force opponents to return the kick, hopefully trapping them inside the 25.
    This sounds like somebody’s way of giving teams an incentive to kick hard and deep and eliminate more kickoffs.


    Belichick started last season his guy dropping them all inside the 5 so they would have to return it. This was working out wildly, they were pinning teams and even got a couple turnovers from it. That caused a lot of commentary. Some thought it was to defy Goodell (probably not what he was thinking at all, during games the game is all that matters to him), others suggested it was cheating, others thought he had found a way to exploit the new rules. But as the season wore on he backed off that and started mixing it up. But other coaches started doing it more as you noted.

    I agree it sounds more like a way to limit the returns. Im not sure its such a bad idea if thats their goal. Me personally I like the returns, but thats me. And I dont take the hits from them.

  13. The NFL sure has its finger on the pulse of what makes games exciting. Last year, they gave us the spectacle of more missed kicks. Now this proposal to make it harder for teams to score after receiving the ball.

    NFL fever – catch it!

  14. It sounds like a completely reasonable idea. If a kicker can put the ball through the uprights on a kickoff it should be good for something beyond just the novelty of it. Having this result in the opposing team offense start 5 yards further back than they would on an ordinary touchback sounds like a very reasonable thing. I would not agree with awarding any points for doing it, but the 5 yard bonus sounds great.

  15. Echoing what others have said, can we please stop tinkering with the game with these made up rules?

    More protection for WRs, review here, don’t review there, move the ball to the 25, except in one special circumstance.

    It’s getting more complicated for no reason.

  16. I prefer the +1 over the 5 yards. Also, place chips in the footballs and put antennae in the goal posts. While we’re at it, lay a carpet of circuit under the turf so as to better spot the ball. Let’s eliminate as much potential for human error as possible. And let’s bring fun back into the game. Celebrate! Let’s make the NFL great again!

  17. not bad idea, really. And the ball will be low enough that only one crew will be needed to ensure that the ball went between the posts.

  18. make it more entertaining by permitting the receiving team to position their best jumper in front of the goalpost to try to knock it down… and if successful its a live ball, and then if the receiving team recovers it they get it at the 40, but if the kicking team recovers, well, maybe the 15

  19. I don’t think the people acting like this is the end of the world bothered to read the article. I was expecting to have that reaction as well but if the ONLY change is that the other teams starts at the 20 instead of the 25, that’s not a big deal.

    Now the Ravens idiotic idea to have it give another point is preposterous.

    Neither need to be done but I’m fine with Snyder’s idea. That’s the first and last time I will ever say that.

  20. Enough of this nonsense. Why not make the knock-out shot legal again? I’d pay a couple thousand to watch a real game again. A lot of the Cinderellas playing today wouldn’t survive a single game, and some wouldn’t survive a single hit. I wouldn’t miss them, either.

  21. Sorry but this is just dumb.

    Hey, how about if a ball carrier is tackled by just one defender, then 3 yards is deducted from the spot. But if it takes more tacklers, then 2 yards is added to the spot per extra tackler?

    Just dumb!!! What is happening to my NFL?

  22. Nice!!! No one would even be questioning it if it were an original rule!!! Adds a little caveat and a little more value for the kicker!! Fun!

  23. I can’t see this working. Having two officials at the back of the end zone would make a complete mockery of officiating an onside kick. The only way of negating that would be to make the officiating crew aware that an onside kick is a possibility, but that would then alert the opposition and rule out the “surprise” element that occasionally works brilliant (see: Super Bowl XLIV).

    It is one thing to try and make the game safer, but to introduce gimmicks which stretch already overburdened officiating crews to the absolute limit and take the interest away from a play that has the potential to be incredibly exciting is a no-go in my book.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.