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Biggs: Proposed Change Will Wipe Out Returns

By now we're all familiar with the proposed rule changes intent on making kickoff returns much less exciting safer, by essentially eliminating the kickoff return as a football play. But just in case, the rule changes involve moving kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 yard line, spotting the ball at the 25 instead of the 20 on a touchback, and giving players only a five-yard running start.

Brad Biggs pointed out the increasing trend in touchbacks over the last six years, so feel free to take a gander at that, and follow us below the jump to discuss. 

Biggs' statistical digging leads us to this growing trend of touchbacks in the NFL.

Kickoffs: 2,539
Touchbacks: 416
Percentage: 16.38
Kickoffs: 2,48
Touchbacks: 401
Percentage: 16.14
Kickoffs: 2,576
Touchbacks: 371
Percentage: 14.40
Kickoffs: 2,515
Touchbacks: 311
Percentage: 12.37
Kickoffs: 2,427
Touchbacks: 316
Percentage: 13.02
Kickoffs: 2,439
Touchbacks: 218
Percentage: 8.94
Kickoffs: 2,453
Touchbacks: 208
Percentage: 8.48

It's a statistic that has doubled over the last six years, especially with stronger kickers, kickoff specialists, and the like. Now kickoffs are being moved up five yards and teams are being given an extra five yards to let the ball bounce out of the end zone. As Biggs sums it up...

[Competition Committee chairman Rich] McKay said last season the average kickoff came down at the 5.5-yard line. Push it forward five yards and the average kickoff is coming down just shy of the goalline. Plenty of them are sailing out of the end zone.