What new rule changes should the NFL implement? Every season, the NFL takes steps toward "improving" the game of football. This year, the NFL modified the rule book to focus on taunting, relax jersey number rules, change the way replay reviews operate, and more. But what about some better, more innovative ideas for NFL rule changes? None of these could wholly cure the NFL's real problems—such as concussions or the league's domestic violence crisis — but they could make the on-field product a whole lot more fun. What are the best rule changes we'd like to see in the NFL?
Rule changes such as no kickoffs might speed up the sport, while eliminating the chain gang would add efficiency to one the least effective modus operandi in football. Below you'll find new NFL rule proposals for better overtime periods, punting, timeouts, and fourth downs, as well as more tongue-in-cheek possible NFL rules such as participation trophies, power-ups, Instagram awards, and style points for touchdowns.
What rule changes do you want to see the NFL make? Vote below on the best rule changes to improve the NFL!
- Photo: Seattle Seahawks / Instagram1154 VOTES
Coaches Can Challenge Un-called Penalties
In the 2018 NFC Championship Game, NFL refs famously no-called a blatant and dangerous pass interference penalty that directly led to the Los Angeles Rams defeating the New Orleans Saints. NFL fans everywhere got absolutely robbed of a Brady-Brees Super Bowl showdown simply because the Saints couldn't challenge the most horrific, high stakes penalty no call of all time. Instead, the world was treated to easily the most abysmal Super Bowl of the modern era. A 13-3 snoozefest between the Pats and Rams, that featured more field goals than plays over 20 yards. In a situation that likely would have led to a second (farewell) Super Bowl ring for NFL superstar and beloved human Drew Brees and his legendary head coach Sean Payton, the NFL had no solution to fix a simple problem. Even if it's one per game, NFL coaches must be allowed to challenge awful penalty no-calls throughout games. It's a no brainer at this point.
- Photo: Michigan Wolverines / Instagram2149 VOTES
The NCAA Overtime Rule
Navy football coach Tom Hamilton once said, "A tie is like kissing your sister." And in the NFL, a lot of folks must like kissing their sisters because of the ludicrous NFL overtime rules where any game can end in a tie if no one scores during the extra period. In college football, teams alternate possessions from the 25-yard line until either one team doesn't score or doesn't score enough. The great thing about college football OT is how it usually ends very quickly and the drama increases tenfold when teams are forced to start going for two. The NFL OT rules are bizarre and unevenly favor the winner of the overtime coin flip, leaving a close game completely to chance. In the NFL, each team should start at the 30-yard line, so teams have to get a first down before they’re in the red zone. Then, push it back 10 yards for every subsequent overtime period until a winner is declared.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 1.03141 VOTES
Kickoffs Through the Uprights are Worth 1 Point
There's not really a ton of rhetoric to this rule. Mainly, wouldn't it be fun?
- Photo: Green Bay Packers / Instagram4107 VOTES
Timeouts in the NFL are a lot like quarters. Not enough to ever make a real difference, and never around when you need them most (at the parking meter). One of the dumbest rules in the NFL is how timeouts are half dependent, when they should rollover, because strategically a team is more likely to need timeouts at the end of a game. All the time bad coaches are wasting timeouts due to confusion, bad play calling, and opponent trickery. So why not punish bad coaches for, ya know, being bad? Meanwhile rewarding good coaches for managing the game well. If a team is well coached and responsible, it should have the upper hand at the end of the game with a chance to manipulate the clock any way it pleases.
- Photo: Los Angeles Rams / Twitter5130 VOTES
One Foot Down Catches
Whoever decided on the two foot down rule was a cop. There. Someone had to say it. For years, NFL fans have watched amazing catches be undone by the infamous two-foot down rule, where a player must get both feet in bounds for a catch to be a catch. Who cares? And why is the narc NFL so invested in taking away the magic of wide receivers making phenomenal catches. Who is behind this outdated, un-entertaining, and frankly bureaucratic rule? Be done with it, I say! One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot... don't matter to me.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons / GNUF6119 VOTES
Eliminate the Chain Gang
Everything NFL chain gangs do can be done digitally. We have to end this charade for the betterment of mankind. The fact that three guys in yellow and black striped vests decide anything in America is shocking, let alone a football game. In the time it takes NFL chain gangs to leisurely trot out to midfield and stretch their little chains out over the ball to DRAMATICALLY show whether or not the offense got the first down, 1250 babies are born around the world. As a society, we have to get that number down under 100 babies for the sake of not wasting everyone's time. A small digital yardage monitor could be installed onto every field in one afternoon and likely for half the cost of one chain gang member's annual salary. Everyone hates downsizing, sure. But in the interest of protecting the shield, and its' multi-billion-dollar industry, where games often hang in the balance on the accuracy of three men and a chain, it’s time to implement technology for accurate measurements and efficiency.