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New Kickoff Rules Could Affect Kickers


Welcome to managing editor Jay Adams' blog-style posts where Jay jaws about the Falcons. JAWS, of course, stands for Jay Adams Writes Stuff, which means all the Falcons news and information that slips through the cracks — and some that doesn't — can be found right here in these posts

We're just hearing now about some of the proposed rule changes passing by owners vote this afternoon. The one big rule change that seems to be pretty polarizing is moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35 — a proposal that easily passed today.

While touchbacks will remain at the 20-yard line instead of being moved up to the 25, many fans in my completely informal and unscientific Twitter poll are upset about the new rule change.

Yes, this most certainly has to do with the ability of Eric Weems to take a kickoff to the house — an ability which will now be slightly more difficult to see with kickers getting an extra 5 yards per kick. But this also works in the Falcons' favor.

In 2010, one of the most overlooked storylines was Falcons' kickers consistency on kickoffs. The Falcons kicked off 103 times last season. Of those kicks, 44 ended up in the end zone. Of those 44, 21 were touchbacks.

That's 21 times that a team was forced to cut their losses on the kickoff — a very dangerous scoring play — and just take the ball at the 20.

Now, think about how that will intensify with the new rule changes. As one of my Twitter followers suggested, we'll likely have to put up the net on kickoffs from now on.

What do you think?

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