Proposed NFL kickoff rule would make Seahawks special teams even more dangerous

Jason Myers could join Michael Dickson a a major weapon

Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The story isn't the onside kick, it's the other 2,657 kickoffs

Now for the proposal that would give the Seahawks a bigger advantage than almost any other team. Under the proposed rules, the receiving team will line up at their own 35-yard line. The kicking team, other than the kicker, will line up at the receiving team's 40-yard line. Yes, that's just 5 yards away, and that's the point of the rule change - to help prevent injuries from high-speed collisions. Neither the receiving nor the kicking players on those lines can move until the ball is touched by the receiving team, or the ball reaches the target zone, which is past the 20 yard-line.

Now comes the fun part. If the ball is kicked into the end zone, the receiving team takes the ball out at their 35-yard line. However - this is the fun part - if the ball reaches the target zone and rolls into the end zone, the receiving team starts their drive at the 20. So teams have a major incentive to stop blasting the ball into the end zone.

At the same time, they'll have all the incentive in the work to drop the ball inside the 20. If a returner attempts a return, he has a cadre of special teamers like John Rhattigan and Jerrick Reed III inches from his chest. If he lets it roll, odds are it will stick inside that end zone, and it comes out to the 20.

Why am I so confident about this? Jason Myers wasn't the most effective kicker when it came to forcing touchbacks last season. While the league averaged returns on just 22.2 percent of all kicks, Seahawks opponents returned the ball on 26.7 percent of all kicks (per Pro Football Focus, subscription required). That wouldn't seem so bad, except that 20 players with at least 60 kickoffs faired better. The NFL's best was the Jets Greg Zuerlein, who only allowed five returns on 64 kicks. That's a phenomenal return rate of just 7.8 percent.