Broncos propose fourth-and-15 play in lieu of onside kick

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The Broncos have proposed an alternative to the onside kick, using the Alliance of American Football’s rule as a template.

Denver’s playing proposal would allow a team trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring. The NFL did not provide specifics, but Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports that it would entail a team converting a fourth-and-15 play from its own 35-yard line.

The Broncos’ proposal allows a team only one chance at converting it per game, according to Seifert.

It would give teams a better chance at keeping the ball than with an onside kick, though the odds likely would remain under 50 percent.

The AAF’s version of the rule allows a team trailing by 17 or more points at any point in the game or a team trailing by any amount with fewer than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter the option to try to convert a fourth-and-12 play from its own 28. If the team gains 12 or more yards on that one play, it keeps possession. If it doesn’t, the other team takes possession.

Denver’s proposal was one of nine the league’s Competition Committee is considering. The Competition Committee then decides which, if any, to endorse.

32 responses to “Broncos propose fourth-and-15 play in lieu of onside kick

  1. I like this idea. Chances are heck a lot better than the onside kick currently. What’s the sense of having an onside kick if the chances are less than 10% to recover?

  2. Of course they did. These losers and their fans are always playing from behind so they need any advantage they can get

  3. The onside kicks converted last year were almost nonexistent after the kickoff rule change.
    The new rules have made it near impossible, and it makes the end game less intriguing. I don’t understand only being able to try it once a game though. If a team is more than 16 points down later in the 4th quarter they would need two successful attempts to have a comeback.

  4. And what happens if there is defensive holding prior to the throw on an incomplete pass? First down? Or a bang-bang play that has a non call similar to the Saints/Rams? Or a bad call?

    I like the onside kick. Leave it be.

  5. I can dig it, it’s almost impossible an onside kick now because defenders aren’t allowed head start any more. Give teams mounting a comeback a chance.

  6. This Bronco fan is embarrassed by this suggestion.

    It should be much more difficult than that to steal a last minute victory.

    Besides it lends more emphasis to the passing game which is already too prominent in the game.

  7. jackedupboonie says:
    March 8, 2019 at 8:56 pm
    If this rule is considered, then stop allowing automatic first downs on pass plays not covering the distance necessary for the 1st.

    I say even if they don’t consider it they should change that auto first anyways. That is a horrible rule and in today’s world all you have to do is throw it up and if the wind blows the wrong way you get 45 yards.

  8. It needs more fleshing out but I like the idea. Onside kicks NEVER work now. Fans know this and know that if their hopes come down to that…the game is over. And if a team converted and won the game its not stealing a victory. The other team should have stopped them or scored more points.

  9. I hate this idea.
    It deemphasizes special teams, and it further favors teams with a very strong passing game.
    This is not a neutral rule at all, it favors a few (usually the stronger teams) and harms the weaker teams.

  10. So they are trying to fix a problem they created by trying to fix a problem. They ruined onside kicks with their new rules so they propose more new rules to fix the problems created by their last batch of new rules. Bottom line: players agree to play football and understand the risks.

  11. what a bunch of crap. reward poor play and poor coaching but make the gambling (make the league more money) exciting by leveling the difference between good and bad teams.

  12. What are the relative success rates for converting 4th and 15 vs. recovering an onside kick?

    Seems like the 15 yards is more difficult to attain without penalty. OTOH, the number of defensive holding and PI calls may skew the odds the other way. And something tells me that EVERY offense will send 3 receivers to the same side to run the ‘illegal pick’ formation plays.

    Are we SURE we want to put more late game situations in the hands of the back judges???

  13. Stupid idea. Just putting the ball back in trailing team’s hands is wrong, never mind the odds

  14. Ok, make it an either or option for the kickoff, fine. However allow the type of defenses/hitting/ruthlessness that made L.T., Reggie White, & Ronnie Lott famous. & bring back QB’s with balls like Marino & Favre, ect. I remember Marino about to throw down with Pitt LB Greg Lloyd back in the day. That’s football.

  15. Kickers will be gone all together soon. At some point the backup QB will have to throw the ball through a swinging tire from 30 yards for field goal. I’m fine with it.

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