There could be some interesting NFL news coming out later this week. on Thursday, the owners will vote to approve an alternative to onside kick.
If this does get approved, teams will then have the option to choose to forego onside kicks twice per game and instead have a 4th and 15 play to retain the football. If a team opts to go this route after scoring, the ball will be placed at their 25-yard line. If the team does not convert the 15-yard play, then the opposing team will take over at the spot of the football which would be at the 25-yard line.
Besides giving the team that is trailing an different type of opportunity to keep the ball, this would allow both teams to engage in a normal football activity, according to the NFL. Onside kicks are a lucky play to begin with, as you need a lucky bounce or bobble by the receiving team to recover the football. This would allow an offensive team to put their best unit on the field and put the defensive team in a tough position. Depending on how long the last drive was, the defense could be worn down and give the offensive unit a good opportunity to convert the play.
According to Packers.com, Packers Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Mennenga stated, “I don’t know if (the proposed measure is) gonna lead to a greater success rate or not. I just know with the rules it has made it harder. It’s what it is, so we gotta try to find a creative way to get a kick in there that maybe we can hit it into a certain area and bring a fold guy in (from the other side) and those type of things.”
During the 2013 – 2017 NFL seasons, onside kicks had a 16.3% success rate, while plays where the offense needed 15 yards had a 15.9% success rate during the same time frame.
How holding calls and pass interference will play into this is a good question. The offense could benefit greatly from a defensive penalty in this situation.
It is good to note that this is not the first team the the league has discussed or voted on changing the onside kick. Whether or not it happens this time, we will find out on Thursday.
Go Pack Go!
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag