Onside kick alternative "picking up steam" around the NFL

May 22, 2020 - 1:34 am

Be honest. Your team is down by one score with under two minutes left and no timeouts. An onside kick is the only chance at regaining possession of the ball and a chance to win/tie the game.

How confident are you about getting the ball back?

Probably not confident and rightfully so. In 2019 just 6% of all onside attempts were converted (2 out of 32) which was even lower than 2018's 8% success rate.

The NFL might finally have an alternative for teams trying to get the ball back.

The Philadelphia Eagles proposed a rule change earlier this offseason that would give a team the option of an onside kick, or a 4th and 15 play at their own 25-yard line to regain possession. A similar proposal was also made in 2018 by the Denver Broncos, which was tested at the Pro Bowl.

A team going for the 4th and 15 play would be required to tell in-game officials of their intention, which would then be forwarded to the opposing sidelines.

Once a decision to go for a 4th and 15 has been made, a team cannot then elect to kick on the free play. If the offense gets penalized on the play, they cannot change their minds and kickoff.

If a team going for the 4th and 15 play do not convert, the opposition will get possession at the dead ball spot.

Multiple reports indicate the idea is gaining steam around the league.

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