Tyler Lockett’s 197 kickoff return yards were the most since last year’s rule change

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The NFL changed the touchback rule last year in an effort to cut down on kickoff returns, and it has resulted in far fewer long kickoff returns. More returners are keeping the ball in the end zone now that the touchback goes to the 25-yard line, and more kickers are kicking the ball high, which gives the coverage team more time to get downfield and makes it harder for a returner to break free.

So the game Seahawks kickoff returner Tyler Lockett had last night was particularly impressive.

Lockett returned five kickoffs for 197 yards last night, which is the most productive game a kickoff returner has had since the league changed the rule last year.

Lockett started the game with a 57-yard return of the Falcons’ first kickoff, then had a 37-yard return, a 39-yard return, another 39-yard return and finally a 25-yard return of the second-half kickoff. The Falcons had two more kickoffs after that, but both went deep into the end zone and Lockett didn’t return them.

Last night’s game also saw Atlanta’s Andre Roberts return a kickoff 50 yards and later fumble a return. There was a lot of excitement on kickoffs last night, something we haven’t seen much of in the NFL over the last two years.

14 responses to “Tyler Lockett’s 197 kickoff return yards were the most since last year’s rule change

  1. The kickoff rule change, IMO, is the biggest reason for the ratings drop off. Seriously, you take out the most exciting play of the game, and you wonder why the ratings have dropped.

    When the game starts off with a potential Devin Hester Touchdown, people are excited to watch the beginning of the games.

    When the game starts off with an Anthem Controversy talk, Commercial, coin flip, Commercial, Kick out of the end zone, Commercial…. well people dont turn on for the beginning of the games. Which means they are less likely to turn on the games at all.

  2. kenmasters34 says:

    November 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

    The kickoff rule change, IMO, is the biggest reason for the ratings drop off. Seriously, you take out the most exciting play of the game, and you wonder why the ratings have dropped.

    When the game starts off with a potential Devin Hester Touchdown, people are excited to watch the beginning of the games.

    When the game starts off with an Anthem Controversy talk, Commercial, coin flip, Commercial, Kick out of the end zone, Commercial…. well people dont turn on for the beginning of the games. Which means they are less likely to turn on the games at all.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    I wanted to disagree with you, but you make a lot of sense. Especially at the end, about turning games on… it’s a momentum thing, getting people to do something (watching a really exciting play) and then translate that into more watching.

    I haven’t found myself watching less of “my team” but I definitely am watching way way less of other games. And non-exciting kickoffs is probably a portion of the reason

  3. It does take excitement out of the game but i HIGHLY doubt people arent watching because there are no kickoffs.

  4. Kickoffs were responsible for the most injuries of any play. Short of not allowing them at all, they’ve tried rules that limit the opportunity as much as possible. So no more wedge formations and they make it more enticing to stay in the end zone and get a free 25 yards.

  5. “Kickoffs were responsible for the most injuries of any play. Short of not allowing them at all, they’ve tried rules that limit the opportunity as much as possible. So no more wedge formations and they make it more enticing to stay in the end zone and get a free 25 yards.”
    ——————————————————————

    that’s actually a specious statement I believe- I’ve looked and cannot find stats anywhere that back that up. The primary reason for limiting the kickoff returns I believe is to give the APPEARANCE the NFL is doing something about head trauma

  6. kenmasters – kick returns are NOT the most exciting part of the game. Give me a break. Half of the punt returns and kick returns just get called back on penalties anyways, they’re almost pointless these days. Even when there is a big return you can’t get excited because odds are it’s not gonna stand anyways. Same with all these OPI-DPI penalties where two guys just trying to make a play for the ball get flagged for hand fighting or little nudges.

    The rule book needs to be trimmed down and simplified. These referee crews putting their finger prints all over every game is what drives me crazy more than anything. Like how they say “this crew emphasizes these calls and that crew tends to allow more of this while being stricter on that” and having big plays called back game after game because of ticky tack pointless penalties. Too many refs want to put their stamp on a game, and too many rules are unnecessarily intricate and open to different interpretations. We need to simplify and let these guys play a bit more. Honestly, if there wasn’t a single flag thrown in a game most people probably wouldn’t even notice 75% of the non-calls. Lots of the time we can watch a zoomed in replay 5 times and STILL not see what the supposed penalty was for.

    The rule book is a joke, the refs get way too much influence. Simplify the game. Fewer flags, clearer rules.

  7. All for naught as the game was lost due to horrendous coaching and a kicker who has no business being in the NFL. Even with all the injuries, the Seahawks have plenty of talent to be one of the best teams in the league, but their coaching is handicapping them. Sad to say, but Pete’s run his course in Seattle. And even with the horrid coaching, we could still be 8-2 if we had an NFL caliber kicker. But then again, it’s the senile coach holding onto him, so it still comes back to coaching.

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