Eagles proposing onside kick alternative again

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Teams attempted 67 onside kicks in 2020. They recovered three, according to thefootballdatabase.com. That was fewer than in 2019 when eight of 63 were recovered.

The Eagles proposed an onside kick alternative that didn’t go very far last year. They are proposing it again this year, Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports.

The alternative would allow teams the chance to maintain possession after a score with a fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line.

The Competition Committee has discussed the idea for several years. The proposal gained support but not enough for 24 owners to approve the rule change, so it was tabled last May.

PFT reported that two concerns surfaced about the onside kick alternative last year:

First, if the kicking team recovers an onside kick, it cannot advance it beyond the spot of the recovery. The fourth-and-15 alternative, as a scrimmage play, would not be limited to the line to gain or the spot of the catch or anything other than where the play ends — up to and including a touchdown.

Second, the fourth-and-15 play puts extra pressure on officials to throw a flag for defensive holding, illegal contact or pass interference. Whether officials call those fouls like they would on a normal play or take a “push the flag deeper in the pocket” approach, the situation will result in much more scrutiny being applied to the officials on those plays.

Owners meet virtually March 30-31.

8 responses to “Eagles proposing onside kick alternative again

  1. Just scrap the whole onside kick idea. If your behind by two scores that late in a game it’s your own fault. No one should win or lose a game in a gimmicky fashion.

  2. Here’s the problem. A failed onside kick attempt results with the opposing team wtih the ball around the 45 to 50 yard line. A failed pass attempt on this play ends up with the ball on the 25. Seems overly punitive.

  3. The Eagles have a lot of nerve talking about rules after tanking against Washington.They should be reminded the integrity of the game is the most important rule.

  4. Just gives the officials another opportunity to decide outcome of a game with another bad call. Put the rules back where the were, this is football not ballet!

  5. I hate this proposal.
    It favors teams with good QBs.

    Instead I’d like it based on the special teams ability, not the offense.

    The kickoff is pretty boring, usually a touchback unless someone chooses to run it out and then they usually get less than 25 yards.

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