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NFL Rule Change On Kickoffs Approved

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The NFL owners voted to approve the change of kickoffs being placed at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 yard line for the 2011 season. The NFL had moved the kickoff from the 30- to the 35-yard line back in 1993 due to the large number of touchbacks and now are ironically, reverting back to that in hopes of having more touchbacks. The reasoning behind this change is based more on player safety than anything else, but it will greatly reduce the advantage a team with an excellent kickoff return specialist currently enjoys.

At the same time, the original proposal called for the touchbacks to be placed on the 25-yard line, but they will continue to be put on the 20-yard line. This new rule might actually end up being an advantage for the Baltimore Ravens' Billy Cundiff, who tied the NFL record with 40 touchbacks on kickoffs in the 2010 season, when the kickoffs came from the 30-yard line. Imagine how many more he should have in 2011 when he will probably shatter that record with his rocket leg?

At the same time, the rest of the league will increase their touchbacks, as the next best kicker's touchback number was the Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski with 29.

For mor in depth coverage on this rule change, go to NFL.com.