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Thursday open thread: Should NFL reduce 10-second runoff rule to 7 seconds?

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Do you think the NFL should fix the 10-second runoff rule by reducing it to 7 seconds?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL owners meetings are over and a set of new rules have been approved for the 2018 season. Not among those new rules is a change to the league’s 10-second runoff rule that cost the Detroit Lions a win against the Atlanta Falcons last season.

This week, the 10-second runoff rule wasn’t even discussed at the owners meeting. However, NFL competition committee chairman Rich McKay told the Detroit Free Press this week the league has discussed a change of the rule and should continue to do discuss things in the future.

The Lions apparently brought up their displeasure of the rule back during the winter. The solution proposed? Reducing the 10-second runoff to just seven seconds to reflect just how quick NFL offenses are these days.

So today’s Question of the Day is simple:

Should the NFL reduce the 10-second runoff to seven seconds?

My answer: No.

The 10-second runoff is a bad rule. It is completely outdated. It should not have ended the Lions-Falcons game last year.

But reducing the runoff to seven seconds is way too simplistic of a solution. Seven seconds may be about the time it would take for a team to line up if the line of scrimmage is within a 10 or 20 yards. But what if a runoff is due on a huge play 30 or 40 yards down the field? There’s very little chance a team can get a play off in seven seconds if they have to run down half the field.

So what kind of solution would fix this problem, as well as the problem that prematurely ended the Lions game?

Way back in September, our fantastic comment section came up with a few solutions, and here was my favorite, via commenter Sam Mitchell:

My solution is to implement a dynamic runoff. Something like 1 second for every 5 or 10 yards a team has to travel up to a maximum of 10 seconds.

To be exact, I would support a two-second runoff for every five yards (round up) a team has to travel (max: 10 seconds). 17-yard gain? Eight second runoff. 4-yard gain? Two second runoff. 13-yard gain? Six second runoff.

It’s not a perfect system, but it makes a lot more sense than what the league currently has in place.

Your turn.


Would you approve of the NFL reducing the 10-second runoff to seven seconds?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    (90 votes)
  • 51%
    (96 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now