102 Comments

Weighing in on NFL’s Prospective Rule Changes

| January 21st, 2014

goodell

ADDITIONAL PLAYOFF TEAM

When I first heard the NFL was going to add another playoff team, I was against it. The exclusivity of the NFL postseason is what sets it apart from the likes of basketball and hockey – two sports that have relegated their regular seasons to sub-meaningless status.

Then I thought some more about it. And thought a bit more. And you know what? I like it. Here’s why:

  • Unlike basketball or hockey or ever baseball, there is no series involved. By adding a single team to each conference it would simply add two games to the already-existing wild card weekend. A six-game playoff weekend? Marriages be damned!
  • There is now EVEN MORE value placed on winning the top seed in each conference as the top seed in each conference will be the only team receiving a bye.

  • The 3-6 and 4-5 games stay intact.
  • From a piece by Kevin Seifert at ESPN: “Fears of allowing undeserving teams a chance to play for the championship seem exaggerated. Over the past 11 years, the presumptive No. 7 seeds would have had at least a 9-7 record in 16 of 22 instances. Six would have been 8-8 and none worse than that. ” A below .500 team would never have qualified and I think that’s important.
  • If the the 7th seed is a substandard team, they are going on the road to the 2 seed on wild card week and will be dispatched posthaste.

One note on all this: the NFL has to stop right with one additional team. If they let in an 8th team and put half the league’s teams in the playoffs, they will have officially watered down the product.

EXTRA POINTS

Does anybody actually care about this? Do extra points bother anyone? They take about nine seconds. Why does this have to be fixed? What’s wrong with it?

Tagged: , ,

  • Trac

    Let me be the first to second your sentiments Jeff. He he.

  • BillW

    Another playoff team seems inevitble. I just wish they’d seed based on record and not give an 8-7-1 division winner a home game (which the self-professed best fans in the league wouldn’t even sell out – needed corporations to do it.)

    Extra points are a waste of time in that they lead to back to back commercial breaks. One after the extra point and then one after the kickoff. I know the commericals will happen somewhere esle, but maybe split up somewhat.

    But the idea of taking a point away that’s already been earned? Kudos to the “Candy Land” reference on the previous thread! Make the touchdown worth 6 or 7 with an option for the 2 points – or (this will never happen) make it worth 7 with the two point try mandatory. (Won’t happen becuase a rival league did it.)

    I hope they expand the definition of reviewable plays to include anything resulting in a fifteen yard penalty (except personal fouls.) Same number of challenges etc so it doesn’t slow the game.

    Though I’d be all for two challenges and you get one back when you’re right. Why let the refs be wrong all game long and you can only correct them at most 6 times a game (three each side?)

    Further – replay review centralized for consistency. Geez – even BASEBALL knows that’s the right thing to do!

    • NewBearInTown

      Belichek suggests, and I agree, to make everything reviewable period. There’s already a challenge limit, there’s already a rule that says call overturn only with indisputable evidence. What’s the danger in letting a coach challenge anything he wants to?

      • Irish Sweetness

        Exactly. If an official calls a bullshit P.I. on a defender and the offense gains 60 yards on the play, then that only opens up the books for game-fixing. Being able to challenge it make the official accountable. Why can’t EVERYTHING be challenged ?

  • thejimmyforde

    How’s this for extra points, spot ball at the 20 for 1 pt, 30 for 2, and 40 for 3. Keeps the “Foot” in football & makes big comebacks seem even more possible. Also I love the idea that if you throw a pick or fumble on the 2 pt conversion It can be returned all the way back for 2 points. adds risk!

    • CanadaBear

      Sounds gimmicky but fun. The coaches would go insane if they put in these rules. They already agonize over every little decision.

      • thejimmyforde

        That would be the best part… how many times would coaches like Andy Reid blow a time out because he couldn’t do the math in time to figure out whether he needed to go for 1, 2, or 3… Imagine the sheer Caldwellian Comedy!

        • CanadaBear

          Reid’s a perfect example. You know he’d fuck that up 10 times out of 10.

          • SC Dave

            So write an app for his tablet

          • CanadaBear

            Ain’t gonna happen!

    • NewBearInTown

      Too many teams can make a 50 yard field goal at least 70% of the time. Plus, the NFL would rather see more 2 point conversions (plays involving the endzone) than more kicks.

      Most importantly, 9 points has traditionally been a 2 score lead at every level of football. I don’t think that should change. It would be akin to awarding 4 points for a half court shot in basketball.

      • thejimmyforde

        I don’t disagree about the 9 points. I still like the idea of being able to return a pick or fumble on a 2 point back for 2 points though. every play should offer the opportunity for points for both teams!

        • NewBearInTown

          That I agree with.

      • Irish Sweetness

        4 pts for a 60+ yard FG? it would encourage a few more …

    • Irish Sweetness

      Maybe for arena football …. but with the XP thing it’s like Goodell is just reaching now …. there’s enough diversity already with the 2 point conversion. Teams are better at XPs now, but they are still there to be kicked, and an opportunity exists for the Tecmo LT to block it, snaps to be frakked up etc. The XP is the X factor in a game …

  • CanadaBear

    Can’t see the extra point going away. No reason to fix something that isn’t broken. Back when there wasn’t such a thing as a 2-point try I’d agree with it but now it makes no sense. Totally OK with the extra team. Division winners should always get a home game. If your team is in a stacked division and ends up as a 9 or 10 win team how is it fair they have to go on the road to play a team with a better record playing in a terrible division?

    After reading the last half of the comments on the previous thread, I see we have officially switched into off season mode. Conspiracy theories, social engineering, religion, we’re off to a great start!!!!!!!!!!

  • Johnathan Wood

    I think the current 6 team format is just about perfect. It’s hard to get in. It means something to get in.

    Why mess with what works?

    • Johnathan Wood

      the only thing I would change about the playoffs is seeding teams solely by record. 4 division winners + top 2 WC get in, then you seed from there ignoring division. In the event of same record, tiebreaker is winning your division

      • EnderWiggin

        I don’t know man. My favorite rule of Pro Football – Win your division, get a home playoff game. Simple, yet very important.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          Yup. Winning the division has ALWAYS been the #1 goal of every NFL team, and that should NEVER be abolished or made irrelevant.

      • SC Dave

        I think its a terrible idea to not have all division winners in

        • Johnathan Wood

          all division winners would be in. We just wouldn’t see the 8-7-1 Packers hosting the 12-4 49ers.
          Or the 7-9 Seahawks hosting the 11-5 Saints.

    • CanadaBear

      Johnathan you know the answer to that! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • Johnathan Wood

        I know, but as a fan I question things from a football perspective. From a football perspective, the playoffs are perfect just the way they are.

        • CanadaBear

          I don’t disagree but change is inevitable.

    • NewBearInTown

      I think that in any given year there is a 7th team in at least one conference that I would have liked to see in the playoffs. This year it would have been the Cardinals, who were very hot at the end of the season (including a road win in Seattle). Most years there is a 7th seed in one conference or the other that I don’t care about… I think this year it would have been the Steelers or the Ravens, neither of whom deserved to be in the playoffs. I suspect we’ll see that most years – one team that we’re happy comes in, one team that shouldn’t be in.

      Goodell wants to add a Monday night and a Friday night game to the playoffs. I’m not a big fan of short weeks in football because it can have a drastic effect on the product. But if both teams are guaranteed at least six days rest, I think its doable. That would allow Monday, but not Friday.

      One interesting possiblity. Two seed plays wildcard weekend, but gets to pick the time slot. Do you play Friday and get to rest your starters before Division week? Or do you take the extra week now to win the first game and then have a short week before tougher competition comes to town? I doubt that happens though – there are too many other factors that go into scheduling.

  • bearsfantillend

    At one point in time kickers used to be a side note, a position player, and extra points/field goals were not as automatic as they seem today. There was a time not very long ago that a 50 yard field goal seemed like a longshot at best and was not a decision Coaches made easily. Now with the specialization/accuracy/strength of Kickers kicks beyond 50+ are better than 50% success

    1960s: 13.1%
    1970s: 21.6%
    1980s: 35.6%
    1990s: 47.8%
    2000s: 53.0%

    As of late, coaches are more than willing to kick 50 yard field goals, because the success rate is only getting better. Trestman, assumed a 47 yard field goal would be almost automatic for a win. In the past year how many attempts have we seen of 60+ yard field goals. It appears to have become too easy. The NFL has already adjusted the Overtime rules to account for the increased FG accuracy. So why not add more difficulty to extra points and FGs. IMO, the best way to handle this is to move the Goal post closer together. Why not make them a several feet closer together? This would dramatically increase the difficulty of field goals.

    • George Hernandez

      It would, but I think it would lead to a slight decrease in scoring as well. That is something the league office would probably be against.

    • CanadaBear

      It’s no different than QB accuracy. QB’s were routinely around 50% years ago. The game changed and now everyone dinks and dunks and the accuracy is up over 60%. They changed the spot on missed FG’s to make the decision harder on coaches. For me, that’s enough. If they really want to make kicking tougher, get the teams out of domes.

      • bearsfantillend

        I agree that kicking in domes is easier since the weather doesn’t play a role, but there are only 8 domes played in the NFL and 4 of those are retractable, so a vast majority of all FGs are kicked in the elements. Of the 14 FGs made of 60+ yards in NFL history only 4 were in domes. Domes don’t play as big of a role as people might think.

        • CanadaBear

          Distance isn’t the only thing that changes indoors. How many times have we seen opposing kickers come into Soldier Field and struggle on a windy day?. A lot! 8 domes is 25%. If the elements are an issue the dome stays closed.

          • bearsfantillend

            I agree kickers across the league have become more accurate, in the 1990’s kickers were hitting at rates in the 70%’s. Now kickers are hitting in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s. Its not just because of domes, only 3 teams have moved to domes in that time Rams, Cardinals, and Cowboys. The argument can be made that the weather in Arizona and LA(where Rams played) really would not negatively impact kicking on a consistent basis before they were in a dome. And the old Cowboy stadium was the closest thing to a dome without actually being a dome. So I don’t see the increase in accuracy being attributed that much to domes. The kickers are just getting better and stronger, why not make it harder and a little more interesting.

          • CanadaBear

            I find kicking on windy/rainy/snowy days very interesting. Will have to agree to disagree on changing.

    • Sactowns#1

      You could also argue that the change in the ball have soemthing to do with that too. http://thebiglead.com/2013/12/05/brian-mitchell-says-the-nfl-is-doctoring-the-k-balls-and-he-might-not-be-crazy/

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Damned good find. Great read.

    • Still a Doug Plank Fan

      Oh, the hue and cry that would ensue over shrinking the width of the goal posts!

      The wind, they’ll cry!
      The footing on some fields, they’ll hue! (what does hue mean? Have I ever hued?)

      Besides, if they start changing the dimensions to allow for the super-kicker, yer gonna be lookin’ at a whole new program in High School and College for kickers. That would have one helluva ripple effect.

      I wouldn’t care if the only tweak they made was to make the extra point either a run or pass play mandatory and remove the kicker altogether from that part of it, but otherwise (and I know Rodger cares intensely about what I think), I’d leave the goal posts alone.

      On a side note? Remind me to REALLY check my facts before I post anything in reply to you. You and a few others make me do my research before I open my keyboard, BFTE.

      • Sactowns#1

        I dont think I’ve heard you Hue but I have been known to Huell. “Thats amazing!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=539jdK3eN1o

        • Still a Doug Plank Fan

          That was some hilarious shit right there…that oughta be required in every syllabus of every aspiring sports broadcast journalist at the NFL Network starting today.

          Priceless!

          • Sactowns#1

            Do people in other parts of the country even know who Huell Howser is?

    • AlbertInTucson

      FYI, just to recall a few…

      The namesake of the LOU GROZA Award for college football’s top pacekicker, ALSO played tackle for the Browns.

      RB Paul Hornung and Guard Jerry Kramer both spent time as the Packer’s regular kicker in the early 1960s.

      Two guys placekicked for the 1963 Bears:. Roger LeClerc, who was also a defensive tackle, and Bob Jencks, a back-up tight end.

      • BillW

        You left out George Blanda – QB and kicker for the Bears, Raiders (and I think Oilers)

        • AlbertInTucson

          Yup. Glaring oversight on my part as George began life as a Bear.

          He threw 36 TDs in a 14 game season for the Oilers.

  • AlbertInTucson

    How about raise the cross bar 5 or 6 feet? That would lengthen the longer kicks, no more 50- 60 yarders sneaking over the cross bar, AND eliminate “goal post dunks” as a celebration!

    • CanadaBear

      I’ve seen highlights where they had to re-level the crossbar after a hard dunk. If I was watching the game live I’d be so pissed sitting around waiting for them to finish. Oh well, I’ve watched plenty of hockey where they have to replace the glass.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Saw that game. If I were officiating that game, I’d have let the flag fly for delay of game or, better yet, unsportsmanlike conduct and If I were the league I’d have immediately put out a memo saying “THAT crap is now OVER!. Next guy who tries it watches the rest of the game from the locker room AND gets to write the league a big check. Have a nice day.”

    • BillW

      That’s a great idea.

      I think the league would like teams to have more incentive to try of a first on 4th down – which was the incentive I think for moving the spot of the missed FG. Don’t give more points for long FGs – make the risk greater.

      Eliminate the extra point makes sense but taking a point away for a failed two point conversion won’t pass in my opinion. I think it would be the first “negative point” rule since Daniel-san fought the punk in Karate Kid 3.

      • EnderWiggin

        I think a blocked extra point, that goes out of the endzone untouched, is worth a 1 point safety. Does that count as a negative play?
        I could be mistaken, but I think that one is in the rulebook.

        • IBNO

          Nope. In the NFL, only the team that scored the TD can score points on the PAT attempt.

          I’d love to see the college rule–where the defense can score on a blocked kick or turnover on the 2-point attempt. That would give some meaning to the “gimme” of the PAT.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I think that’s worthy of consideration.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I think more coaches have been going for it on 4th down recently.

    • My Bad Guys, My Bad…

      why would you raise the crossbar and eliminate awesome 50+ yard kicks from talented kickers like Gould?
      Goodell is fucking up the game for the sake of gambling and commercialism. Get rid of extra points? What the fuck? If you’re so hard up for even more competition just move the god damn kick back 12 to 15 yards or make them pick a hash.
      What the fuck is going on here?

      • SC Dave

        +a giant fucking pile. The game has done just finwe without Roger Goodell for over 100 years. STOP MESSING WITH IT,

        • Trac

          The Law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • AlbertInTucson

          Spare us the profane indignation over rule changes.

          There have been a LOT of changes in the NFL over the last 93 years from eqiupment to game play and they didn’t all occur in the 20’s, 30’s and 40s.

          Moving the goal posts in the NFL from the goal line to the endline, narrowing the hash marks were wider and even “down-by-contact” are all fairly modern concepts.

          I’m not endorsing any or all of the oproposals but feel free to chill, folks.

          Some of you are reacting as if they were suggesting repainting the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel or puting arms on the Venus De Milo.

          • gpldan

            I one saw a band called Venus De Milo Minderbinder.

            Google it.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Milo Minderbinder was the war profiteer mess officer in CATCH 22, played on film by John Voight. At one point, Yossarian (Alan Arkin) finds nothing but M&M ENTERPRISES certificates in a first aid kit while attempting to aid a wounded crewmate,

          • gpldan

            Al is a gentleman and a scholar.

      • Still a Doug Plank Fan

        Well, I know there’s a card in Monopoly that makes you go back 3 spaces. I’m telling you, some of this shit, they are doing just because they can. It has no relation to reality.

      • AlbertInTucson

        It was just an alternate suggestion. Also a realistic one, in my opinion. The vitriol in your response is totally over the top.

        • My Bad Guys, My Bad…

          lol, I read my post and have to apologize. It looked like I was directing anger towards you. That post was directed completely to old Rodger. Sorry if it looked like I was bashing you. I was bashing Goodell.

      • Irish Sweetness

        If he really wants to make it interesting let’s just make kickers have to drink 3/4 of a bottle of Old No. 6 Sour mash before the game and be done with it. Kevin Butler would be in the HoF now as the only kicker to have made ANY points.

  • Shady

    They’re changing the rules to avoid the accusations from former, current and future players that the league did not do enough to protect their players. That’s the ONLY reason and it ain’t that complicated. The effort to make the game safer is a big fucking joke and everyone knows it.

    • SC Dave

      Just how many career ending injuries have we seen on extra points?

      • Sactowns#1

        Seriously. No the league is trying to market itself to the international audience. Their #1 complaint is too many commercials and not enough action.

        • CanadaBear

          You know they won’t address the too many commercials. Unless they add more!

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    I have conflicted feelings about the proposed rule change for extra points.

    On the one hand, I like tradition and continuity in sports. It’s difficult enough to judge players from different eras without changing the rules dramatically, but that doesn’t mean all change should be ceased (forward pass, no more mugging WRs, T-formation, slapping helmets upside the head, etc)

    The ONLY reason to keep PATs is for the sake of continuity because it’s not exciting at all even if it’s in the waning seconds of a close game. It might very well be a vestigial remnant. I mean, does anyone really stick around to watch PATs. When they score a TD, I now just hit the fridge or restroom knowing it’s automatic and commercials are coming up.

    I’ll give you another reason I don’t really like PATs. Leading scorers.

    Almost without fail the leading scorer of every team is THE KICKER.

    That just seems wrong.

    Example. Leading Scorer for Bears

    1. K Butler
    2. K Gould
    3. HB Payton

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/chi/career-scoring.htm

    Tell me that doesn’t suck.

    I also agree with what some other posters argued, that back in the day extra points weren’t as automatic. You gotta remember that in those days the kicker most likely played offense and defense, while having a summer construction job, so FGs in general were not a given.

    If we still want to keep the PAT, thus preserving some continuity, then as others mentioned, move it back.

    I’d say a 35 yard PAT would be just the right distance to make the kick high percentage, but not automatic (esp if the games are on the line).

    35 yd PATs might also encourage some teams with questionable kickers or kickers in a slump to go for the 2pt conversion too.

    Just my 2 pesos.

    • AlbertInTucson

      The not-so-immortal kicker, Roger LeClerc was the Bears’ 3rd all-time scorer for a VERY long time.

    • SC Dave

      That doesn’t suck.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Interesting. Make the kick a challenge, and not a given. Change the distance, not the points.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    As for expanding the playoffs, how about this crazy idea.

    The NFL chooses 3 teams with winning/even records from each conference to be voted in.

    That’s right, the fans vote which team gets in!

    So for example, this year in the NFC 3 teams would qualify

    Cards, 10-6
    Cowboys, 8-8
    Bears, 8-8

    Now, many are going to counter, “Well of course the Bears and Cowboys are gonna get in because they have more fans!” but not so fast my friend. They also have a lot of haters too, and most fans would probably want the most winningest team in out of some strange sense of justice.

    But if a majority of fans want to see how Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon and Bennett fare in the playoffs, why not?

    Yes, yes, it’s wacky.

    • SC Dave

      Isn’t “what the viewers wanted” what has led to cultural failures like the Kardashians?

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        Well, democracies aren’t perfect, but this would be more of a republic with the NFL cockblocking absurd teams from getting in (hence, top 3 teams with winning/even records).

        I also think it will have a secondary effect: more meaningful week 17 games.

        How many duds are played out week 17, thus depriving us of a week of glorious football.

        If a lot of teams are at the cusp of being even, maybe they’ll ball out and put on a show for America instead of checking out.

        It will also create much more fan involvement, discussion, debate and mystery towards the end, which is always good for ratings.

        It’ll never happen, but it would be fun.

      • AlbertInTucson

        “What the kids wanted” curriculums has certainly led to the decline of public schools in this country.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Not the lack of funding / re-direction of funds into military coffers?

      • Irish Sweetness

        … and the crappy endings to movies based on test-screenings for mouth-breathers.

    • BerwynBomber

      Sorry, sounds like the “voting” that determines who plays for the BCS championship. Let’s stick to the system that has proven to work: determining all things on the field of play.

    • CanadaBear

      Butch I like most of your ideas and analysis. Can’t get behind this one. Popularity contests are no way to get into the playoffs.

  • Ososfan

    On another note, what do you all think of Martellus Bennet’s critique of the Bears uniforms? I love the tradition of the Bears and the great history, that’s what made me become a fan, however, there is no indication anywhere that shows we are the Bears. I’d propose putting a big wishbone “C” on the jersey and have the “retro bear face” on he helmet….. And the retro jersey should be our main unis..

    • Sactowns#1

      Hmmm. Idk but you should change your pic.

      • Ososfan

        Haha, I was kinda here before you sir, But I’ll change it, no big deal, we are all bears Fam here! Bear Down!

    • AlbertInTucson

      The Unicorn’s entitled to his opinion, even when he’s wrong.

      • Ososfan

        Haha, please don’t chastise me Al. I’m a fan of tradional with just a minor, minor tweak.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Not chastising or even saying the UNI’s are sacrosanct.

          They HAVE changed since I’ve been a fan, and not just adding the GSH on the sleeve.

          When I was a kid they NEVER wore white tops and blue pants and I never cared for the all-white road uniforms.

          I remember when the C on the helmet was all white and they didn’t even HAVE a C on the helmets until 1962.

          • bearsfantillend

            damn needed a dictionary for sacrosanct.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Sorry. Probably too much Howard Cosell when I was younger.

          • Ososfan

            Copy that. Wow, yove been a fan longer than I’ve been alive. That’s beyond awesome!

          • AlbertInTucson

            “…you’ve been a fan longer than I’ve been alive.’

            Sigh. Yeah, I hear a LOT of THAT these days along with “Wow, I wasn’t even BORN when you started working here!”

          • CanadaBear

            I’m retiring this year so I won’t have to hear that one much longer.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I now give my age as years on this job so Monday, I will just be turning 39.

          • Ososfan

            I meant it with all due respect and admiration. Just saying you all have been enjoying the beloved longer, that’s all. Haha

    • Johnathan Wood

      I love the throwback ones they wear about 1x a year. Wish dark blue with the orange numbers.

      Make those the full-time ones.

      • Ososfan

        Yea, I KNOW! The burnt orange would look GREAT on the blues they normally wear. I don’t understant why they don’t change it to that color.

      • CanadaBear

        The one’s with the burnt orange stripes on the sleeves? I really like those too. I don’t mind the orange tops once a year but that’s all. I agree with Al. Those white tops/white pants were hideous and they always seemed to lose when they wore that combo.

    • Irish Sweetness

      We have the best Unis in the NFL, bar none. Hate the retro one though, why do we have retro day? It sucks. Especially if you’re a Steeler.

  • AlbertInTucson

    As far as adding a playoff team…

    It would give us triple headers on the first weekend and get a 10-6 (or even an 11-5) team into the playoffs despite a a slot going to an 8-8 or 9-7 (or 7-9 1!) Division winner.

    More football. Less injustice.

    I don’t have an issue with either of those concepts.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Browns can’t let candidate leave building after second interview w/out hiring him and then turn around in three days and call him “the guy”.”

    Yeah, well, you can’t fire a guy after 1 year on top of having 4 guys in 6 years but the Brownie’s managed THAT “daily double”, too.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “From the look of Twitter, nobody cared about Pro Bowl draft. ”

    Was that TODAY?

    I was busy rearranging my sock drawer.

  • Get rid of the extra point and save me the commercial breaks.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for fewer commercials.

  • gpldan

    Hums theme to ‘The Needle and Damage Done’ by Neil Young.

    …Every junkie’s like a setting sun…oooh yeah, the damage done…

    http://tinyurl.com/ny7uve2

    • Irish Sweetness

      It’s pretty cold here in Toyland these mornings – no kidding – it’s cold. Global warming my ass.

  • Jokey

© Da' Bears Blog