NFL Rule Changes: Texans Mostly Unaffected, Colts Helped Most

If you were hiding under a rock yesterday (and why wouldn't you be with all the crazy stuff going on in the world lately, am I right?!?!), the NFL passed some terrible new rules while you were out. They moved kickoffs up five yards in an attempt to "help player safety," and enacted new changes to the instant replay system that will let replay officials review every score, whether it's inside two minutes or not.

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While the Texans have traditionally had strong return teams, that wasn't the case last season as Steve Slaton was cover-your-eyes bad on kickoffs. The Colts, on the other hand, almost always have poor kickoff coverage teams: this is a rule that will make things a lot easier for them, as all they'll have to do is find a kicker who can launch touchbacks. So while it doesn't seem to affect the Texans themselves, it will be bad for them by being good for their division juggernauts. As for overall effects, look for scoring to go down a bit next year as more teams wind up starting their offensive series from the 20-yard-line. 

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The new rule for reviewing scoring plays will be a drag for everyone--more time spent in front of a monitor rather than playing actual football is always a bad thing. And no, I don't care about "getting it right," if all you're going to do is half-ass it. If you want to get it right, bring out the computer sensors and have the refs around for tradition/calling things like holding. Otherwise, enough. Instant replay is already a huge drag on game times and cuts snaps left and right. The last thing we need is more of it. 

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Check out more hypotheticals on the NFL's rule changes at SB Nation's stream for the changes, including one I didn't cover: the banning of non-green fields. I know, you're deeply hurt.

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