NFL  > San Francisco 49ers  > THE NEW KICK OFF RULE IS TERRIBLE
August 20, 2011, 12:41 PM
The one aspect of a game that was an intangible, and could turn around a game very quickly was the kick off return. The NFL has now returned the kicking spot to the 35 yard line. This will eliminate all returns, kickers today have strong enough legs so as to kick it beyond the end zone every time. My suggestion is that if a team kicks it beyond/ through the end zone without it entering into the field of play it would be an automatic placement on the receiving teams 35 yard line, same as when they kick it out of bounds. If the ball bounces in the end zone and then exits the field of play the ball will be placed on the 20 yard line like all touchbacks.
August 20, 2011  12:52 PM ET

While I agree that the new rule makes for a majority of kick-offs boring, I don't like the changes you propose. It's just another thing the refs can screw up. Ultimately, this change may cost some players a job since Special Teams will take on a lesser role, although punt returns should still bring some excitement.

August 20, 2011  01:56 PM ET

Frankly I wish they would go back to kicking it on the 30 yard line. I guess the term "Kick off Specialist" will be a thing of the past. I'm predicting that soon there will be no punt returns only fair catches.

August 20, 2011  08:15 PM ET
QUOTE:

The one aspect of a game that was an intangible, and could turn around a game very quickly was the kick off return. The NFL has now returned the kicking spot to the 35 yard line. This will eliminate all returns, kickers today have strong enough legs so as to kick it beyond the end zone every time. My suggestion is that if a team kicks it beyond/ through the end zone without it entering into the field of play it would be an automatic placement on the receiving teams 35 yard line, same as when they kick it out of bounds. If the ball bounces in the end zone and then exits the field of play the ball will be placed on the 20 yard line like all touchbacks.

I disagree, I like the new rule because it forces the offense to execute instead of getting great field position because they have a great kick returner.

August 21, 2011  12:49 AM ET

I personally disagree they are taking away an exciting dynamic part of the game, I understand the concern over injuries but it is football last time I checked. Might as well eliminate the kick off all together and start off from the twenty yard line.

August 21, 2011  02:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I personally disagree they are taking away an exciting dynamic part of the game, I understand the concern over injuries but it is football last time I checked. Might as well eliminate the kick off all together and start off from the twenty yard line.

Totally agree.

August 21, 2011  02:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I disagree, I like the new rule because it forces the offense to execute instead of getting great field position because they have a great kick returner.

Even with great field position, the offense must execute. And who doesn't love a nice return except the opposing team?

August 21, 2011  03:18 AM ET

I'm just going to miss the Steve Taskers' and Bill Bates' of the world...

As I'm pretty sure, that in today's game...they would now be obsolete.

August 21, 2011  05:23 AM ET

I have to agree. I loved watching great returns, and this rule is limiting, or doing away with something exciting. I don't think it will slow down injuries much, if at all.

Comment #9 has been removed
January 2, 2012  12:48 AM ET

A friend of mine was talking about this all day 1/01/12 saying that it never pays to return kickoffs, for the most part it is true, I'll bet the average kick returner probably only returns it to between the 15 and 20 when he'd be better off on average to just kneel down. Then the Raiders game came on and a San Diego player ran the kickoff back about 105 yards and was never touched.

August 30, 2012  04:00 PM ET

Last week the 49ers played a preseason game at Denver and every kick went through the end zone because of the altitude, except for 2 kicks, 1- Denvers onside kick, 2- A kick by SF that was put back 5 yards to the 30 because of a penalty, the kick bounced and went through the end zone though.

September 2, 2012  12:27 AM ET

After watching a season with this rule in place I stick by my initial post #4 and think it's a terrible rule and the rule takes away from what was an exciting part of the game. I personally think the rules have been changed enough for "safety's sake" it is NFL Professional Football and the players all know the risks when they sign their contracts and are willing to risk it for the love of the game and the dollars they get from playing it. Keep Football as it was meant to be played and stop inching towards flag football!!!

September 2, 2012  03:57 AM ET

 
September 8, 2012  04:31 PM ET

nfl-ncaa...take your sh&t elsewhere. REALLY!!! iDIOT!

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