Hey NFL, try these rules on for improvement of your game


Brentton Wharton, staff writer

It’s easy to forget just how many little details go into the rules of an NFL game.

There’s literally a rule for everything, and sometimes they are modified at the end of a season to make the game better. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. So to add onto the madness that is the ruleset of the NFL, here are a few potential rules/rule changes that I think could/should be implemented into the NFL.

1. Overtime Overhaul

One of the biggest problems in the NFL today is the overtime rule. It’s literally a coin flip, like seriously?

A team’s chance to win the game comes down to a coin. I believe that both teams should be guaranteed at least one possession. Specifically a goal to go situation, from the ten yard line going in. You get four downs to go ten yards for a TD. This is A. the most competitive option and B. the most fair.

Having a heads or tails call practically determine the outcome of a game takes the entire competitive edge away from the sport. If a game goes to overtime it means that both teams have shown that they can keep up with one another, so why is only one guaranteed a chance in the extra period?


Along with the overtime overhaul should come this, the end of ties. Draws are for 2-2 games in soccer, not football. If a game goes to OT, the teams should play until a winner is decided. One idea I heard was that if a game ended in a tie instead of adding the extra column for the tie into the teams’ records, both teams should get a loss. I understand that point of view, but it also seems a little harsh. I think a reconstruct of the overtime period, making ties no longer an option would just be easier.


3. Alternative to the onside kick

Less than 10% of all onside kicks are successfully recovered by the kicking team. A rule implemented a couple of years ago that limited the amount of players a team is allowed to place on each side of the kicking formation resulted in the huge drop in success percentage from the year prior. An alternative of this could be the 4th & 15 rule that was tested in the 2020 Pro Bowl.

Instead of kicking an onside kick, the offense would instead attempt a 4th down play with 15 yards to go for a first down which would result in possession of the football. This rule didn’t end up seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, because of special teams coaches fearing irrelevance. But with so many new rules being added that restrict certain actions on special teams, the phase of the game is already becoming irrelevant.

The 4th & 15 rule would give teams a better chance at gaining extra possessions, as well as make the game more exciting. As a fan if you see your team resort to an onside kick you can probably just anticipate the loss, but this rule would give a little bit of hope and a better chance.

4. Fumbles that go out of bounds should go to the defense

Way too many aspects of football in this generation favor the offense. The defense gets absolutely no benefit of the doubt. As the rule stands now, if an offensive player fumbles the football and it rolls out of bounds the offense keeps possession. That’s absurd. The offense can literally lose the ball and have it handed back to them. I think that any fumble not recovered by an offensive player should be rewarded to the defense, they are the ones who cause fumbles after all. Why does the offense get good graces for losing the football?

Four simple yet (would be) important changes to current rules in the NFL. Do I think these rules would ever get approved by majority of NFL owners — no. Most of them seem extremely stuck in their ways.

I tried to think of rules that would not add nor subtract the referee involvement of the game, but just change the way the game is handled. Rule changes are proposed every single offseason and I’m sure this one will be no different, so I will look forward to seeing what teams comes up with new ideas to send to the NFL this year.