As the owners have proposed a set of rule changes for the upcoming NFL season, I’ve come up with a list of my own things the NFL should change to make the game better. Of course, along with that, I have to include some of the proposed rule changes and ideas that the NFL has been flirting with that I don’t necessarily care for, such as moving the extra point back. So here’s what I’d keep the same and what I’d change in terms of NFL rules and policies if I were Roger Goodell and the NFL competition committee.
I would keep the same:
The playoffs. No playoff expansion.
There’s nothing wrong with how it is now. With 32 teams, the best 12 make the playoffs, and that’s how it should be. Randomly adding two teams doesn’t accomplish much – yeah, it does increase the likelihood of a Wild Card winning it all, but seven teams from each conference is just a little… weird. The NFL would become more like the NBA, where there’s little parity; 16 of 30 teams make the postseason. The fewer the teams in the postseason, the more exciting the end of the regular season is.
Regular season and preseason format.
The NFL should absolutely not expand the regular season to eighteen games and shorten the preseason. I like the 16 game format, and the four-game preseason format is just right. Eighteen games just seems like a little much, and you have to worry about injuries with an extra two weeks in the regular season.
The extra point.
Although PATs barely get blocked, I wouldn’t move them from where they are. Moving them back doesn’t make any sense, and I feel like the NFL simply wants to change things up rather than enhance the game.
Kickoffs are instrumental part of the game. There’s no reason to remove them. Special teams are so exciting, and removing a big part of the game would make the game less interesting to players and fans.
The Pro Bowl.
The game is fun. It was exceptional in January. There was actually some defense played! The game should remain in Hawaii; for players who don’t necessarily care for the game, at least they get a good vacation.
Changes I propose:
Expand instant replay for penalties: defensive players should not be flagged for visually unintentional hits to the head.
If both a receiver and a defender duck to avoid a big collision and end up smashing helmets, there’s nothing the defensive player can do about it. It shouldn’t be flagged. Officials should have the ability to go to replay and see if the hit looked unintentional; if so, the defensive player shouldn’t be flagged.
Centralized play reviews.
Let the NFL review all controversial calls in their New York headquarters. That would be more efficient as it’ll probably save some time, and the NFL would ensure that the correct call is made.
Stop selling beer at 10:00 left in the third quarter.
This would give most fans just enough time to sober up before driving home. In most NFL stadiums, teams stop selling beer right before the start of the fourth quarter. While NFL teams and stadiums themselves decide this, the NFL competition committee or Roger Goodell himself could have a say.
The Draft in April.
An extra two weeks into May is too long. I personally didn’t like it, and it’s a little too close to OTAs in terms of the schedule. If Radio City Music Hall isn’t available in April, the NFL should move the draft to the Jerry Dome (well, AT&T Stadium, as it’s called now).
The challenge system.
I strongly dislike how the challenge system works now. I propose that if a coach wins only one of his first two challenges, he gets another. If he wins both of his initial challenges, he keeps getting another challenge until he doesn’t win. So even if a coach goes three for three, he can keep challenging plays until he loses one.
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