Since We're Changing A Few Rules . . .

1. Playoff Seeds
This one should be pretty simple. I mean, the NBA has it right, and so does the NHL. But no team that finishes 8-8 should host a playoff game against a team that's12-4. Absolutely not. That happened last year in the AFC with the Chargers sneaking into the playoffs and getting to play a home game against the Colts.

2. Overtime Change
I think it's time. Now, I don't have a huge gripe on the current system. But I think there are some ways to tweak the rule to not only provide a fair way to decide what has obviously been a close battle, but prevent silly ties.

3. Instant Replay
With the technology we have today, why can't the NFL be so much quicker with the replays? There is a replay official in every booth for every game. So why can't the NFL adopt the college system and basically take a quick, yes QUICK, look at every questionable play. If a guy makes a diving catch out of bounds, well, hit rewind and take a look. You could probably have two good reviews of

a player before the ball is ever spotted. Then, that eliminates the strategy of coaches' challenges. Why should a coach have to decide if he should "waste" a challenge? If it's wrong, then fix it. Just fix it quickly. But if they're not going to change the rule to basically review every play, then at least eliminate the amount of challenges one team receives. Currently, a team gets two per game, but can have a third challenge if the first two are won. To me, you should go all day long if you keep winning them.

4. Pass Interference
This one probably won't happen anytime soon, but it should. Too many games are being changed because of a judgment call. And really, pass interference usually comes down to the judgment of one official. And it's never called the same.

So just like instant replay, why not use the college rule, with a twist. I think pass interference should only be a 15-yard penalty . . . unless, the official rules it to be an intentional pass interference. If we're asking officials to determine the difference between running into- and roughing the kicker, or basketball refs get to decide a regular foul or a flagrant foul, or flagrant 2, then they can decide the difference between a cornerback completely grabbing a receiver who is about to score, and four feet getting tangled up in the middle of a play.

You see it too often where a team is having trouble moving the ball but somehow manages to get to midfield. A bomb goes up, the receiver is bumped at the goal line and they throw the flag. All of a sudden, it's first-and-goal from the one and the game is completely changed.   The game should not change on one of the hardest calls to make.

5. Stiff-Arm
OK, so the NFL tried to make this rule last year. I guess they didn't say anything about enforcing it. Seriously, was it ever called last year? Rarely, if ever.

The NFL tried to make a big deal about it, even referencing a few plays from Marion Barber. But it seemed like the rules were so vague, that it was never enforced.

And by the end of the season, offensive players were once again stiff-arming in the face of defenders. Here we are, trying to protect everyone, but apparently you can basically punch someone in the face if you have a football tucked under your other arm. Must not be as dangerous.

What happens most of the time is the offensive player stiff-arms a cornerback, who is now looking out of his ear hole from his helmet and he's just grabbing anything he can to make the tackle. So of course, he gets a face mask in return. And guess who gets the penalty?

Seems like an easy one to me. If you deliberately punch a guy in the head, that's a foul. Still wish they would call that one more.

----------

Doubtful the NFL would agree with me on some of the possible changes. Some of them, like overtime and obviously the stiff-arm have been addressed. Who knows if they will ever be changed.

But since this is the week the league is making a few changes, I figured I'd throw in a couple of pennies, too.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising