NFL to Test New Rules at Pro Bowl
This weekend the AFC and NFC will play against each other in the NFL's Pro Bowl, which is an opportunity for the best-of-the-best in both conferences to face each other. While the game overall doesn't seem to bring much to the table for either team besides a decent paycheck, the NFL is doing something this season that will be beneficial to their offseason conversations about rule changes.
The NFL announced on Tuesday that they will be testing out some new rules during the Pro Bowl. The rules they will be testing out will include the following:
1) Options after a successful field goal or try attempt
- The scoring team (Team A), has the following options:
- Team A may elect to give Team B the ball a B25 yard line (first-and-10) beginning a new series of downs.
- Team A may elect to take the ball at their own 25-yard line (A25) (fourth-and-15)
- If Team A is successful in making a first down, Team A will maintain possession, and a new series of downs will continue, as normal.
- If Team A is unsuccessful in making a first down, the result will be a turnover on downs, and Team B will take possession at the dead ball spot.
2) No FST/flinch by flexed receiver
- It is not a false start if a flexed, eligible receiver in a two-point stance who flinches or picks up one foot, as long as his other foot remains partially on the ground, and he resets for one second prior to the snap. A receiver who fits this exception is not considered to be "in motion" for purposes of the "illegal shift" rules.
- It is a false start If all 11 offensive players have been set for at least one full second, and any flexed eligible receiver breaks his stance by picking up one foot.
Removing the ensuing kickoff after a field goal or try attempt is very different, and exciting. Teams have struggled the last several years with onside attempts, which has made that aspect of the game nearly unusable (unless you're the Falcons, who have Younghoe Koo). So adding an option where the offense has a chance to convert a first down in order to keep the ball could make close games even more enticing. It may also make the Pro Bowl at bit more interesting.