I Am Intrigued by the NFL's Onside Kick Experiment

I was reading an article earlier today that talked about the NFL experimenting with onside kicks during this weekend's Pro Bowl and, while stuff like this normally doesn't interest me all that much this time of year (especially since the Pro Bowl seems like a big waste of time now), I am admittedly curious if this will pan out.

Here's the gist of it - instead of attempting an onside kick which, due to all the new safety rules, is practically impossible to convert, a scoring team can receive the ball at their own 25 yard line and get one chance to pick up 15 yards. If they do, they keep the ball. If they don't, the opposing team gets the ball with excellent field position.

I personally think something like this can add some new excitement to the game. Not only is this a better (and probably safer) way for a team to get the ball back when they are behind, I can see it potentially being used at various other points in a game as well. For example, if a team has just completed a very long scoring drive and the opposing defense is exhausted as a result, I could see a team attempting to take advantage of that, even if they already have the lead.

And, I like the fact there is a built-in deterrent as well. If a team attempts this and throws an incomplete pass, the opposing team is already in field goal range. If there's a sack or loss of yards on the play, it is even better for the other team. So, it's not as though you're going to see teams trying this every time they score.

Sadly, I'm not sure how much we'd actually see it in the meaningless Pro Bowl game to truly judge its potential. But, I think it might be worth a one-year look, just to see if it makes a difference.


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