Arizona Cardinals likely to see more touchbacks in 2016
By Scott Allen
The NFL approved a new rule early Wednesday to move touchbacks on kickoffs to the 25-yard line
The chances of scoring a touchdown are only slightly higher if you have a drive start at the 25-yard line as opposed to the 20-yard line. According to Indianapolis Punter/Kick-off Specialist Pat McAfee he said ti is about a one percent better chance. He made those comments on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday morning after the NFL approved a new rule on touchbacks.
The NFL is going to experiment with bringing the ball out to the 25-yard line after a touchback on kickoffs. For the Arizona Cardinals, it means guys like David Johnson could have less opportunities to return the ball knowing you can automatically bring the ball out 25 yards instead of 20 if you take a knee.
Then again, last season in Chicago as we all saw, that may not matter given Johnson is likely to give it a try from time to time even if he catches the ball in the back of the end zone. His 108-yard kickoff return last season was one of the more exciting plays of the whole season.
To that point, excitement, could be curbed a bit. The NFL says it wants to improve the safety of the game. Alright, I’m all for that. But is that really what is going on here? I mean there had been talk about eliminating the kickoff all together, so I guess this is a better alternative.
The numbers don’t prove it but I truly believe this was more of a move to add to scoring in the league. I’m also alright right that. Let’s be honest though, that’s all.
All of this does bring up a good point though? Does this mean maybe kickers will now try to hang a kick short of the end zone to avoid a touchback coming out to the 25? McAfee didn’t think so but I have to say I believe some kickers will be told to try that approach, especially for defenses that have a tougher time stopping the opponent.
I think in the end as far as the Cardinals go, you won’t see much of a difference. Maybe they score one or two plays quicker? The Cardinals are already very apt at moving the ball down the field efficiently though. This could more help teams that have trouble scoring. Oh and save a hit to the head. Right.