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NFL Rule Change: Kickoffs Move to 35 Yard Line

We will have a new rule in the NFL in 2011. Kickoffs will move from the 30 yard line up to the 35 yard line.

Specifically, kickoffs will be moved from the 30-yard line back to the 35. But the owners voted to keep the touchback spot at the receiving team’s 20, not moving it as recommended to the 25. And they also decided to reject the committee’s recommendation of wiping out all wedges and keep the two-man wedge in front of the returner, which was introduced in 2009.

This will create more touchbacks. I assume it has to do with player safety as less returns on kickoffs, which tend to be wild will protect players more. I enjoy seeing big returns so I am a bit disappointed.

I see this as helping the Jets, though. The teams best suited to adapt to new rules are ones with excellent special teams coaches like the Jets have. Considering how good the defense is, more touchbacks and longer fields will also benefit Gang Green.