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New Touchback Rule on Kickoffs Will Cause the Opposite of the Desired Outcome

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The new rule will cause teams to make high kickoffs into the field of play instead of kicking the ball through the end zone

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It bothers me when the NFL tries to micromanage the game. That's what happens when you have a lawyer/politician as the figurehead instead of a former player. The suits in New York have no idea how the game works and their attempts to micromanage the game is similar to how the Washington DC politicians continue to try to micromanage our lives. Politics aside, since this is a football website, the new touchback rule was likely a result of teams just blasting the ball through the end zone. Like in college, the spot of a touchback on a kickoff is now at the 25 instead of the 20.

As Rich pointed out earlier, moving the touchback line from the 20 to the 25 increases the expected points added from 0.28 to 0.61. That's likely an attempt to try to create more offense and more money to the league, which I find despicable since they aren't improving the game with these fixes. Teams will find a way to get around this rule, which would be for higher kickoffs that pin the returner inside their own 10. In my opinion, the new kind of kickoffs that will be prevalent across the league will be more dangerous for returners than just allowing teams to blast it through the end zone and start the drive at the 20.

The NFL doesn't think of the consequences when they micromanage the game. It's pretty clear the only thing they value is money and not anything related towards making the game easier and safer for coaches or players alike. This preseason, I expect teams to start practicing a different approach to kickoffs. The Patriots have dabbled with the idea in the past, so I expect them to be one of the first teams to change the overall approach.