Onside kicks haven’t been very successful since the NFL changed its kickoff rules in 2018. Thankfully, the league is considering a major change to the rules that could actually make games even more interesting.
According to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, the league received proposals for potential rule changes. One of the most interesting was an alternative to the onside kick. It would allow teams to go for it on 4th-and-15th from their 25-yard line.
In order to keep possession of the ball, the team going for it on fourth down must convert. If they do not convert, then it will be a turnover on downs and the opposing team will get possession at the dead ball spot.
The NFL actually flirted with this rule change for the 2020 Pro Bowl. And prior to the league testing out this rule, the XFL put it into effect.
NFL clubs today received updated playing rules change proposals.
Most interesting: an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team a chance to maintain possession by going for it on 4th-and-15 from their 25-yard line. Sounds like support for the idea is growing.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 21, 2020
Players can no longer get running starts on kickoffs, which has severely impacted recovery rates for onside kicks. It also doesn’t help that kickers need to make sure the ball travels at least 10 yards.
Just imagine how much different games would end if this proposal gets approved. Picture the Chiefs relying on Patrick Mahomes to convert on fourth down to keep his team alive.
Eventually, the league has to make a change to its kickoff rules. Whether or not the league believes this is the potential solution is still up in the air.