NFL considering replacing the onside kick with 4th and 15 rule
This XFL 4th and 15 rule instead of an onside kick appears to be growing some legs, the NFL is reportedly considering it.
Why the NFL is considering XFL's fourth-and-15 replacement for onside kicks following early XFL season success
The NFL has grappled with the idea of replacing onside kick attempts as recently as 2021, when the Eagles proposed a rule change that would get rid of the attempt and instead let the "kicking" team go for it on a fourth-and-15 from their own 25-yard line.
The recently reestablished XFL has incorporated that rule in its 2023 season, and so far it has seen solid results. In Week 1, A.J. McCarron and the St. Louis Battlehawks completed a 15-3 fourth-quarter comeback with under two minutes left with the help of the rule, creating a thrilling finish in what would ultimately be a Battlehawks win.
The NFL is reportedly considering revisiting the rule after those early returns, as it looks like a viable way to spark comebacks. Last season, NFL teams were 3 of 56 on onside kick attempts, continuing the longstanding trend of onside kicks being exceptionally difficult to recover.
The idea is to create more comebacks in a high-risk high-reward scenario. This rule is nearly identical to the one the Eagles proposed two years ago, as the XFL has taken it and run with it.
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