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The NFL Announced Two Rule Changes and the Internet is Losing It

The League Is Looking To Protect Players and Make Kickoff Returns More Probable

Limiting or Helping the Game?

The latest NFL news reveals major changes are coming to the game next season. Spoiler alert: we’re all still going to watch.

Two of the biggest changes so far: are the banning of drop tackles and the new kickoff format. Candidly, I would explain the new kickoff, but I am more confused now than I was after watching the explainer video. As a bonus, there was some NFL schedule news as the league will have a doubleheader on Christmas despite it being on a Wednesday.

The NFL Announced Two Rule Changes Ahead of 2024 Season
Field judge Aaron Santi /(Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto)

 

People Are Freaking Out but How Often Do You Talk About Hip Tackles?

Let’s start with the drop tackle which is easier to, well, tackle. The TLDR version is the NFL found that the play leads to way more injuries than any other tackle.

All this had led to defensive players taking to social media to voice their displeasure.


A quick reminder as we look ahead to future NFL games. The league has made rule changes in the recent past with a particular emphasis on changing how defensive players play the game.

Players have claimed this is the end of the game, made flag football jokes, and prompted plenty of NFL rumors about the demise of the sport. Sound familiar?

Yes, the game has gone on. The league banned horse collar tackles, and no one is sitting around talking about missing seeing these plays.


Fans and players alike are more adaptable than we claim.

 

The NFL Wants More Kickoff Returns and Also to Confuse Us All

Okay, now for the new NFL kickoff rule. The TLDR version of this is the NFL has made changes to the kickoff rules in recent years which has led to less returns.


Kickoffs have now become the point during games where you head to the fridge for a refill or start doom-scrolling on your phone. So, the NFL wants to get back to making this an exciting play but also wants to prevent injuries.

So, the league is smelling what The Rock is cooking and borrowing a page from the XFL’s kickoffs. One of the major changes is there is a “landing zone” for kickoffs that will impact where the return team starts their offensive series if there is no return.

Also, teams now have the option to have an uneven formation for onside kicks. The catch is teams have to declare they are making an onside kick to use this formation.

In essence, the format will move the majority of the kicking and return teams downfield to minimize high-speed collision,” ESPN’s Kevin Siefert detailed. “… Up to two returners can line up in a “landing zone” between the goal line and the 20-yard line.

“No one other than the kicker and returner(s) can move until the ball hits the ground or hits a player inside the landing zone. Touchbacks will be marked at the 30-yard line, and no fair catches will be allowed.”

In summary, the NFL games will look slightly different then you’ll forget about it as the 2025 Super Bowl approaches.

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