The NFL goes through changes every year. Most notably, the league has created some rule changes that have affected the way the game is played and how it’s perceived by viewers.
There are some significant new football rules that you should be aware of to see how the game has changed.
With this in mind, consider these points below.
1. Quarterbacks Are Very Much Off Limits
Year after year, the league has increased the rule changes that protect quarterbacks in the pocket.
Since this is the highest paid and arguably the most important position in the game, the NFL continuously does what they can to keep QBs healthy. The definition of roughing the passer has increased, and referees are quick to throw flags and issue fines.
The results are mixed.
While they’re definitely protecting quarterbacks better, there have been several horrendous calls made that have affected the outcome of some games. With this said, it doesn’t appear that these rule changes protecting quarterbacks are going to let up anytime soon.
2. Pass Interference Is Skewed Toward the Receiver
When the ball is in the air, defenders and receivers have equal rights to make a play to catch it. However, the rules are most often called against defenders, rather than receivers.
These rules are in place to create an entertaining, offense-centric game. Not only does this please the casual fan, but it also allows for more points, which is important during a time in which sports betting is becoming more acceptable and widespread.
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3. Every Touchdown Play Is Reviewed
In recent years, the league mandated that every scoring play be reviewed.
Whether a touchdown is obvious or not, it doesn’t go into the record books until the video team makes a review. This enforces accuracy, and also makes it so that coaches don’t need to waste challenge flags on questionable calls.
4. The League Is Cracking Down on Helmet to Helmet Hits
Today’s players are bigger, stronger and faster than ever. As a result, helmet to helmet hits carry serious repercussions that change lives and affect health.
Most recently, a player had to have spinal surgery following a helmet to helmet hit.
The league is cracking down on these rules even further. In addition to a 15-yard penalty, the referee has the discretion to eject a player at any time for any level of helmet to helmet hit, intentional or not.
5. The Definition of What a Catch Is Has Changed
There have been a lot of questionable calls these days related to whether or not a receiver maintained possession of the ball during a catch.
In order for a catch in question to stand, the official must declare that the receiver caught the ball, and then either made a football move that consisted of two steps, or that they had the ability to do so.
This rule puts even more power and responsibility into the hands of the ref to make a judgment call, so expect to see more controversial calls in the coming seasons.
6. An Extended Trade Deadline Allows for More Flexibility and Blockbuster Moves
Trade deadlines in the NBA and Major League Baseball are incredibly exciting because teams go all out to make moves. Historically, the NFL trade deadline hasn’t been nearly as exciting, because it’s early in the season, and teams generally stand pat.
This continues to change because the NFL recently voted to push back its trade deadlines a few weeks. Fans and sports journalists are now geeking out over the possibilities similar to how these matters are handled in other leagues.
Having a longer trade deadline also affects the way teams manage their finances and allows for salary cap flexibility. This gives teams more options to make moves that help their Super Bowl run.
7. Teams Will No Longer Be Forced to Kick Meaningless Point After Touchdowns (PAT)
The NBA has the shot at the buzzer, and Major League Baseball has the walk-off home run.
While the NFL has similar game-ending plays, it never quite feels the same, because teams still have had to come back out and kick the point after touchdown kick.
That’s no longer the case.
Now, if a touchdown decisively ends the game, the team is no longer required to come back out for the kick.
8. A Longer Point After Touchdown (PAT) Kick Makes It No Longer a Gimme Play
For years, the point after touchdown kick has pretty much been a gimme. While misses did happen, they were rare and highly unlikely.
All of that changed in recent years when the NFL opted to move the PAT kick back to the 33-yard line. Now, several kickers have begun missing these kicks, and it has made the play a lot more interesting.
One of the most notable casualties of this rule change during the 2018 season Daniel Carlson, a rookie kicker for the Minnesota Vikings. After a string of missed field goals and extra points that appeared to be mental, he was cut 2 weeks into the season.
Consider the Effects of These New Football Rules
When you consider these new football rules, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how the game has changed and evolved.
Football fans will want to keep track of these rules as they continuously evolve.
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