Every year the NFL reacts to the previous season and makes rule changes that often make problems worse or simply confuse an already complicated situation. But in the 2014 offseason, there are two proposed changes that make a lot of sense, and that should help the game immensely.
In speaking to NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the extra point has become almost automatic and meaningless, so the competition committee may remove it from the game entirely, instead opting to give teams an automatic seventh point after touchdowns, with the option to risk that seventh point for a chance at an eighth using the traditional two point conversion method.
This has been long overdue in the NFL, as the extra point is an extremely boring and meaningless play that is executed to perfection by literally every special teams unit in the league. It will impact the value of kickers in real life and in fantasy football, but that’s a fair tradeoff to get a quicker game that’s missing such a meaningless play after every score.
Yet another change that may happen this offseason is a shift in replay rules to allow for the review of penalized hits for personal fouls. It’s extremely difficult for referees to get these calls right in the heat of the moment, so allowing the chance for replay would be a meaningful step to make sure that safety doesn’t come before competitive balance.
This rule would impact the Buccaneers in a major way, as their hard-hitting safeties are often flagged for hits that seem questionable to fans. And even if the referees don’t overturn every penalty, at least fans can know they got a chance to watch in slow motion.
I believe that every single play should be reviewable, as I see no reason not to let the refs get a chance to make a wrong call right. So this would be a step in the right direction toward a more replay-friendly NFL.