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Need to Know: Five rule changes the NFL should make

Mar 3, 2014, 4:50 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 3, eight days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Packers CEO (and former Redskins safety) Mark Murphy revealed a list of rule changes that the competition committee will consider at the upcoming owners meetings. Here are five rule changes the NFL should make; the first three come from Murphy’s list, the other two have been kicked around for a while but aren’t necessarily under consideration.

Eliminate the point-after touchdown—With a 99.6 percent success rate, what’s the point (see what I did there)? Make the TD worth seven with an option to gain another point by passing or running over the goal line or lose a point if you try and fail to do so.

Expand the playoffs—Actually, I’m for seven teams in each conference making the playoffs if and only if they take some of the revenue and eliminate two preseason games. High stakes at the bottom of the playoff hunt and at the top as teams will fight for the one and only bye in each conference.

Centralize replay review—There is no point in the delay of having the ref go and stand under a hood for an eternity right in front of a large crowd that is screaming for him to either uphold or overturn the call. Have a crew in New York and let them make the call quickly and without crowd pressure.

Make everything reviewable under challenge—If a coach wants to use one of his challenges to say that pass interference wasn’t committed on a play or that his player did not go helmet to helmet on that defenseless player, or anything else, let him do it. If there’s indisputable video evidence, change the call. If not, don’t. This would correct obvious errors like the 49ers fumble recovery in the NFC title game. But to avoid four-hour games this should apply only on coaches’ challenges. When replay appeals go to the central location in New York, only current situations can be challenged.

Eliminate the spike to stop the clock—The spike is almost always a bad idea anyway. Teams use it way too often when running out of time is not an issue. But in any case the ability to trade a down for a quick stoppage of the clock should not so automatic. Make the offense run a play and throw a pass that is intended for a receiver.

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Timeline

—It’s been 64 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 188 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Free agency starts 8; Offseason workouts start 35; NFL Draft 66

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  1. scirishhoss - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    I like all of those idea’s except the spike change, I feel it’s a big part of team’s 2 minute drills. It’s not so automatic, teams need to be alert with the situation at hand be quick to get down the field to set up and get the spike off. Without the spike alot of the games results would be much different. Think of how many spikes are used right before a game winning or tying field goal is attempted.
    They definitely need to change the challenge rules and replays, I’m fine with either keeping XP’s or going your route, and I’m fine with either the current playoffs or your suggested change.

  2. kenlinkins - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Rich, The one rule I would love to see is to make the field Wider by about 3 yards on each side. Over the years, the players have become much bigger and faster, which IMO has made the field smaller. By moving the sidelines out 2 to 3 yards on each side we would see less injuries (i.e. less head hunting by DB) as DB would have more field to cover. The “Deep Out” pass would be more fun to watch and FS would have to run better to cover side line to side line. Your thoughts on moving the Side lines out.

  3. Jeff Wright - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Don’t eliminate the PAT, just move it back 10 or even 20 yards. Not only would it make the PAT less automatic, but it would increase the temptation of going for 2 instead.

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