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Sunday open thread: Should the NFL just get rid of kickoffs?

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Do we really need this play anymore?

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals

The NFL continues to mess with the kickoff.

Over the past few years, the league has done several things to try and fix the most dangerous play in football. They’ve made the kickoff shorter, to increase the amount of touchbacks. They’ve made a touchback worth an extra five yards, to incentivize taking a knee. And now this year, they’ve taken even more steps.

Now kicking teams cannot get a running start prior to the kick. They also have to be evenly spread on each side of the formation. But perhaps most importantly, there is no wedge blocks allowed at all, even if it’s just a two-man wedge.

These modifications are sure to help out at least a little in terms of safety, but will it fix everything? Obviously not.

So the question becomes, if a play requires this much modification to make it safe, is it worth it to have this play at all?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Should the NFL get rid of kickoffs?

My answer: Yes. Absolutely yes.

Kickoffs account for an average of 10.5 plays per game. Well over half of those were touchbacks last year. So we’re talking about around 4 plays per game getting eliminated.

Getting rid of kickoffs seems drastic on a basic level. You’re getting rid of what many believe to be the most exciting play in football. But it’s just not that anymore. There were only seven kickoff return touchdowns last year, and the average kickoff return was barely over 20 yards.

The play really won’t be missed. The only true downside, to me, is that it would eliminate the onside kick, which is too valuable to the game. It keeps the losing team in it and fans watching despite heavy odds against their teams.

So my solution is simple: don’t get rid of the onside kick too. The kicking team can have an option: give the other team the ball at the 25-yard line automatically or try an onside kick. That’s it.

Your turn.

Poll

Should the NFL get rid of kickoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Yes
    (162 votes)
  • 74%
    No
    (462 votes)
624 votes total Vote Now