Before tonight NFL teams had recovered 3 of 38 onside kick attempts. Today two teams made the equivalent of that. What is now the most significant consequence of the 2018 off-season kickoff rule changes is broken.
Younghoe Koo’s Journey to the NFL
Younghoe Koo has had an interesting journey to the Falcons, getting his start as a creative kicker at Georgia Southern. He converted 88.6% of his kicks in college and went viral for his trick kicks.
Then he was a San Diego Charger in 2017. As an undrafted free agent, he started hot and cold, missing two significant kicks. He then made two field goals in two games before going 0-4 and getting cut.
Next, Koo signed with the Patriots for 11 days before they cut him. Then chose to sign with the Falcons after they cut long-time kicker Matt Bryant. The South Korean sensation has gone 12-14 while tacking on two onside recoveries (he actually made three, but one was called back for a penalty).
Teams now must start one yard behind the kicker and not get a running start. This rule is ridiculous for onside kicks. The reason for this change was to bring down concussions on kickoffs, which it did by 35 percent. With that being the case the NFL will not be changing this rule.
If a team is down by two scores with five minutes left, it’s nearly impossible for them to make a comeback. You would have to score a touchdown, get three defensive stops, and have enough time to kick a field goal or score a touchdown. Clearly, there needs to be a substitute where teams can have one designated onside kick or some type of middle ground.
The Amazing and Weird
I would like to take a minute to appreciate Dolphins (YES DOLPHINS) kicker Jason Sanders who made an incredible Pat McAfee-Esque own onside kick recovery vs. the Bills in Week 11
Overall, kicking is weird recently, including yesterday.
Younghoe Koo missed a first-half field goal and extra-point that could’ve tied the game 10-10 early. We need to re-examine what makes the game great and allow more chances for teams to come back. That’s how you make the NFL even more exciting.
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