Poll: Are You in Favor of NFL's Proposed Onside Kick Alternative?

Devon Clements

On Thursday, NFL coaches will vote on a proposed alternative to onside kicks, per The MMQB's Albert Breer. The alternative is that a team would be given the option to convert a first down on a 4th-and-15 situation on their own 25-yard line. If the team converts the first down, they can retain possession. The rule change was proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 4th-and-15 scenario would come with some caveats, however. It can only be used in regulation and it will count as an untimed down. 

Standard rules would apply on the play, with all normal penalties - such as holding and pass interference - enforced.

The all-time recovery rate on onside kicks is 13.2%, and the conversion rate on 4th-and-15 plays is 16.8%, according to NFL Operations. 

Kicking teams historically recovered onside kicks between 15% and 20% of the time in a given season. In 2018, in part to changes on the kickoff play, that number dropped below 10%.

Patriots veteran cornerback Jason McCourty voiced his opinion about the rule change during a video conference on Wednesday with the media. 

"From a competitive side, especially a defensive back, you don't mind that pressure going out there - fourth-and-15 - or whatever the down=and-distance is, 'All right, we have to show up to win the game,'" said McCourty, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "But if I'm a team and I've earned a right to be up, we've made the plays necessary to be winning in the fourth quarter or whatever it might be, I have a chance to go seal the game by just catching an onside kick vs. being out there for a fourth-and-15. From that standpoint, I don't really understand it. 

"We're now basically rewarding you for being behind. That's the only thing, for me, that is a negative of it. But at the same time, we're in the entertainment business, and onside kick vs. fourth-and-15, is a lot more intriguing. So we have no control over it. If they vote yes, we'll be out there preparing situationally how to stop fourth-and-15s with the game on the line."

Now that you've seen what McCourty thinks, let's hear your take. What do you think? Are you in favor of changing the onside kick to a 4th-and-15 attempt, or would you rather keep the onside kick? Vote below:

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Max McAuliffe
Max McAuliffe

It would be a strange twist to the game


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