The Alliance of American Football does not have kickoffs, but it does have a replacement for onside kicks, a new play that made an appearance in today’s game in Atlanta — and added some fun to the end of a blowout.
Birmingham was beating Atlanta 28-6 when an Atlanta touchdown narrowed the score to 28-12 late in the fourth quarter. At that point, Atlanta tried what the AAF calls the “onside conversion,” a fourth-and-12 play from Atlanta’s 28-yard line.
The play was great: Atlanta quarterback Matt Simms threw deep downfield to Seantavius Jones, who tipped the ball into the air before catching it for a 48-yard gain. All of a sudden Atlanta had the ball at the Birmingham 24-yard line, needing two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to tie the game.
Unfortunately, on the next play Simms threw a game-clinching interception, so the excitement brought by the onside conversion didn’t last long. But the AAF is trying something new by getting rid of the kickoff and giving teams the onside conversion opportunity, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the NFL follow suit within the next few years.