13025Rule Changes - Good News and Bad News
- Apr 2 10:06 PM***** As is usually the case, I like most of the changes that the NFL has
made for the upcoming season. There's only one exception.
What I like:
- Elimination of the 5-yard face mask penalty. This was miscalled more often
than properly called, IMO. The 15-yarder is there to prevent injury; and is
assessed when the player's head is turned by a solid grasp on the mask. Good
rule. The mere touching of the mask, with an open hand, as the defender
tries to make a tackle should not, and no longer will be a penalty.
- Instant replay will be allowed on FGs. Why not? They very often decide
games. Get it right!
- Direct snap from the center will be a fumble, rather than a false start.
Definitely the right call here. If the ball leaves the hands of the center,
it's in play!
- Coaches can defer a decision on the coin toss. This can be a relatively
significant factor in games played during severe weather conditions. Teams
may want to ensure that they have the wind for the 4th quarter; or make a
decision for the 2nd half based upon developing weather conditions.
- Rejected change in playoff seeding. This idea of having wild-card teams
eligible to host playoff games would have meant, from the other side of the
view, that a Division winner would NOT get an automatic home game in the
playoffs. I don't think that's a good idea at all.
- Force outs eliminated. IMO, this gives DBs and LBs an opportunity to make
a great play, and prevent a key first down or TD. I hate the ticky-tack
calls that are often made for "illegal contact", and wish they'd done
something about that, as well. But at least this change removes another very
subjective judgment call from the hands of officials, and puts gives the
defender a chance to play with all out aggression on the sideline, without
worrying about what angle he takes. Now, it's just "feet in, or feet out",
as it should be. I like this one a lot; and even more so because I suspect
that Polian and Dungy probable hate it. (I'd love to know how the voting
went on this one!)
An imperfect fan of the imperfect Patriots!
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