Starting tomorrow (Sunday 21st March) the NFL Competition Committee will be meeting to decide on possible rule changes at the NFL Annual Meeting. Eighteen of the rule changes have been suggested by the teams.
The first suggestion is to get rid of the red flag and instead call a timeout for a Coach’s challenge, if they win the challenge they get the timeout back, but I have to say, I quite like the red flag, I do not see the reason for removing it. We all do it, we watch a play and to us it looks questionable and we say out loud; ‘Oh, I would challenge that if I were them!’ Then we wait, we watch as the camera takes a sneaky glance at the Coach’s reaction to the play/call, we speculate whether they will challenge, we hope to see that glint of red in their hand.
It adds something to the game, if just another timeout is called, it doesn’t seem like it will make that much difference to the game, but the flag itself is a great way to illustrate the coaches taking that risk to call the challenge. Plus, it is always funny to see a grown man try to throw a red napkin in a manly or angry way as it gently floats to the ground.
The Patriots have been keeping themselves busy, putting forward three of the rule changes, the first of these was a ban on challenges in the last 2 minutes of the half and overtime. The second was to place fixed cameras on the sidelines, end lines and goal lines, this change has also been suggested by other analysts and commentators throughout the years.
The last suggestion was to move the PAT back to the 15 yard line and keep the 2 point tries at the 2-yard line, this has been put forward before by the Patriots so it is not a new suggestion. My issue would be that if they put the change into practice (although not likely), it would stop plays like the ‘Fake Field Goal’ which are always a cause for great excitement, especially if your team pulls it off.
I am sure some people who know their stuff can spot them coming, however I am still unable to and I love being surprised in a game, they can be real game changers and you never know whether they will benefit or suffer from it.