NFL teams are 0-104 when needing an onside kick in last two years

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Since the NFL changed its kickoff rules two years ago and made recovering an onside kick more difficult, no team has won a game when it needed to recover an onside kick.

According to Michael Lopez, director of data and analytics for the NFL, teams are 0-104 in the last two years in games when they attempted an expected onside kick.

That’s largely because teams only attempt expected onside kicks when they’re losing late in the game, and teams are usually going to lose when they’re in desperation mode and need an onside kick. (This deals only with expected onside kicks when teams are trailing late, not surprise onside kicks that can happen at any point in the game.)

But this points to why the onside kick alternative has been gaining steam: Comebacks are exciting, and onside kicks are some of the most important plays in comeback victories. Since the NFL changed the kickoff rules, no team has successfully employed an onside kick to fuel a comeback victory.

11 responses to “NFL teams are 0-104 when needing an onside kick in last two years

  1. wonder what the stats are for teams leading and showboating with a lead using an onside kick. AFC playoffs had such a fiasco.

  2. I thought it was exciting when the Falcons recovered 2 onsides kicks in a row and almost came back to beat the Saints

  3. My Saints tried to make that 1-103 last season with them failing to recover multiple onside kicks….. in the same game.

  4. Instead of making up weird backyard arena football league type rules, why not allow onside kicks to go back to the way they were?

    I can see it now… in 5 years the team losing automatically gets the ball to start the 2nd half. The team with the worse record gets the ball to start the game. The team with an injured starting QB is spotted 7 points……. and so on and so forth.

    untimes 4th and 15 is so stupid it’ll pass with flying colors.

  5. The biggest problem with onside kicks is the technique and thinking.
    I think kicking the ball ten yards and hoping isn’t as smart as varying the kick by popping it over the initial line or aiming a low line drive.
    These soft kicks into the line are hoping for a miracle.

  6. The kicker on the on sides kick is going to have to be creative & develop one that pops up high enough in the air to allow a free for all. That’s been getting closer each year, but still not enough to make a difference.

    The rule on how many players can be on a side of the ball needs to be changed/adjusted. No wedges; but overloading by 2 shouldn’t be to physically destructive.

  7. And what were the stats before they changed the original onside kick? It needs to come back!

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