The NFL Should Find Ways to Improve the Onside Kick, Not an Alternate


NFL owners are voting Thursday about whether they want to add an alternate to the onside kick. In 2017, there were 57 onside kick attempts with 12 recoveries (21%). In 2018-2019, the NFL had incorporated a new rule that banned players from getting a running start on kickoffs and only 5 of 79 onside kicks (6%) were recovered. This according to PFT.

I get that safety is everything and that's fine but the NFL should find a way to make the onside kick more interesting the same way they did for the extra point. In 2015, the NFL moved the extra point back from the 2-yard line back to the 15. Dating back to 1994, an average of at least 98% of extra points were made and since the move back to the 15, the average has not been higher than 94.3% and the game is more exciting for it.

Find a way to do the same with the onside kick rather than changing the game around.

Why not instead of making the ball go 10 yards before the kicking team can recover, make it go 7 yards? Maybe, just for onside kicks, you let the kicking team get a running start? Push the receiving team's front line back a couple yards? Find some way to improve the odds of recovery rather than changing the game.

The NFL did send out updated language for the new 4th-and-15 alternative that, again, will be voted on, on Thursday.

Teams will have the option to still go for the onside kick even with the new alternative but finding ways to improve what you already have in place seems a lot smarter than trying to incorporate a new aspect to the game.

We will find out Thursday what owners think.


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