NFL Rule Changes: What You Need To Know


NFL Rule Changes: What You Need To Know

There were 19 proposed NFL rule changes for the 2016 season. The league announced that nine of those nineteen proposals were adopted by the NFL for the upcoming year. One of the nineteen rules that was proposed was done so by the Buffalo Bills.

The rule that the Bills proposed was an amendment to Rule 15, Section 2, Articles 1, 4, and 5 (otherwise known as Instant Replay). The intent of this proposal is to increase the instances in which a coach can use instant replay to challenge a play. This would have been a good rule but it was not adopted by the league.

The nine rules that were adopted by the league this year are below:

  • Permanently move extra point distance – Chris Carpenter’s worst nightmare just became a reality. The NFL has chosen to permanently move the extra point to the 15-yard line. This is the same distance as last season but now it’s permanent. Carpenter is going to have to improve his accuracy because if he misses another six extra points he will be looking for a new job.
  • Chop blocks are illegal –

    All chop blocks are now illegal. Under the old rule, chop blocks were ok around the line of scrimmage on running plays. This is a great move for player safety and the only people upset by the new rule will be NFL offensive lineman.

    NFL Rule Changes
    Sep 5, 2015; Fayetteville, AR, USA; UTEP Miners defensive back Adrian Hynson (12) tackles Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Keon Hatcher (4) by his dreadlocks during the second half at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Razorbacks defeat the Miners 48-13. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
  • Horse collar tackles expand – Players will now be called for a horse collar tackle if they grab an opposing player by his nameplate or above while pulling them down to the ground from behind. Somehow, they still allow you to tackle a player by his hair (see picture to the right). While this rule should include pulling someone down by the hair, at least it increases player safety by expanding what is considered to be a horse collar tackle.
  • Ineligible receiver rule penalty increased – It used to be a measly 5-yard penalty when an eligible receiver touched a forward pass after re-establishing himself in bounds but now the team will instead lose a down. This penalty seems a bit harsh. Making it a 10 or 15-yard penalty rather than a loss of down seems more appropriate.
  • Coach to player communication increased – Allows coaches who call the plays on offense and defense to communicate with players through the proper channels whether they’re on the field or in the booth.
  • Spot of ball on a double foul – If both teams foul after the last change of possession the team that gained possession will retain the ball at the spot where it was gained. The previous rules allowed for multiple spots of the ball depending on the scenario.
  • You need a timeout to call a timeout – Seems simple right? There used to be no penalty for trying to call a timeout when your team was out of timeouts. It seems crazy that a league would not have a penalty for this after it famously happened to Chris Weber in the NCAA tournament. It also happened last year in a game between the Saints and the Lions on Monday Night Football. Now the team that does this will receive a delay of game penalty.
  • Odell Beckham Rule – The NFL wanted to make sure referees had the ability to prevent another situation like the Odell Beckham/Josh Norman debacle that played out in a prime time game last year. The new rule will automatically eject any player who is flagged for two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in one game. (Are you listening Jerry Hughes?). This rule is not permanent and will be a one year trial.
  • Kickoffs? We’re Talking ‘Bout Kickoffs? – In a never ending attempt to completely nullify the kickoff, the NFL voted to make touchbacks on kickoffs start at the 25-yard line rather than the 20-yard line. The purpose of this rule is to incentivize teams not to return kicks in order to prevent injuries on these plays. This rule is not permanent and only applies to this season. For more on this rule check out the below video commentary.
  • We think rules 1 through 8 above are all good except the penalty on rule 4 which seems a bit harsh. Rule 9 is the only rule that we believe is not a good idea. If you want to get rid of kickoffs, get rid of kickoffs but stop trying to come up with band-aid solutions such as kickoffs starting from the 35-yard line or touchbacks starting at the 25-yard line.

    So those are the current NFL rule changes for 2016. What do you think of them?