I had an opportunity this week that I would never have imagined. I was a part of a conference call with the NFL. They were previewing some rules changes and other items in advance of the Owners Meetings this week in Arizona.
The conference call opened up with a quick recap of some interesting stats from the previous season. One stat that was brought up that was interesting was how we saw four new teams get into the 2016 NFL Playoffs that were not in there for a while. In fact, they were the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and the Atlanta Falcons. They also mentioned how we saw roughly 700 yards per game and the average points were 25.4 points per game. Then they started getting into some rule changes that are being proposed at the league meetings in Arizona.
Eliminating the jumper, on field goals, was on of the first proposals. Consequently, the reasoning for removing this from the game is to reduce the potential injuries that could come from players jumping. The NCAA is also pushing this rule. However, the pace of play was the major discussion on the day.
One thing that they want to do is have the refs make the announcement on an instant replay during a TV timeout. It used to be that they would wait until they came back from a television timeout to make the announcement if this gets passed, they won’t do that anymore. Regardless, if they do this, I am hopeful that whoever is calling the game that they are able to bring the TV viewer back into the action.
Several issues were worth discussing during the conference call. However, the one thing I found interesting was that they want to limit overtime games to only ten minutes, instead of fifteen minutes. The league does not expect more ties based on this change. Last year we saw two overtime ties, which ties the record for the most in an NFL season since 1997. Lastly, the Seahawks and Bills proposed that teams are granted more challenges.
It will be interesting to see which of these proposals receive approval at the league meetings.
What changes would you like for the 2017 season? Comment below.