The NFL Competition Committee has been meeting for the past several days, deciding how they will next tweak the game we all know and love. Rule changes happen all the time, as the league does a fair enough job of keeping the game fresh and, well, competitive. Some think that rule changes are made just because they have nothing else to do. As someone that lives in the Washington DC area, I can attest that does happen more often than people admit.
1) All kickoffs will now be done from the 35 yard line, instead of the 30.
2) All touchbacks will be brought out to the 25 yard line, instead of the 20.
3) Kickoff blocking is set to undergo another change. A few years ago, wedges of more than two people were outlawed. Now, all wedge blocks will be illegal formations.
4) All players will be required to lineup between the 30 and 35 yard line (less head of steam).
[Update, hat tip to thebigham]:
5) All scoring plays will be subject to instant replay review, without use of a coaching challenge.
6) Repeat offenders for illegal hits will get suspended this coming season.
7) The rules determining a defenseless player have been expanded to include the following:
-- A quarterback in the act of throwing; A receiver trying to catch a pass; A runner already in the grasp of tacklers and having his forward progress stopped; A player fielding a punt or a kickoff; A kicker or punter during the kick; A quarterback at any time after change of possession; A receiver who receives a blind-side block; A player already on the ground. A player who is breathing; A player who has eaten nachos in the last two weeks; Players with freckles. OK, the last three I made up. I think.
There are currenly no plans to propose a new seeding process for the playoffs.[END UPDATE]
The rule will not change on kickoffs that travel out of bounds. Those will still be brought out to the 40 yard line.
The league still needs to approve the rule changes, however the advice of the competition committee is normally adhered to. What are your thoughts on the changes and how they will affect the games come Sundays? If, you know, there are games on Sundays.