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Citing concerns about safety, the NFL adopted a rule change last offseason that moved touchbacks on kickoffs five yards out to the 25-yard line, ostensibly to reduce the number of kick returns, though perhaps with the added benefit of juicing the league’s offense.Authentic NFL Jerseys.For its stated purpose, the effect of the rule change has been underwhelming. Cheap NBA Jerseys.Of non-onside kickoffs this season, 39 percent have been returned. While this is an all-time low, it’s only down from 42 percent last season, which was already well below the 52 percent average from 2011-14, which was way below the average before the tee placement for kickoffs was moved to the 35-yard line in 2011. Jerseys For Sale.It’s not clear that this decline is any greater than what we would have expected if the rule change on returns hadn’t been adopted, based on the ongoing kicker improvement that has been taking place across the board.
In 2015, the Jacksonville Jaguars returned 24 percent of kickoffs out of the end zone, and had the seventh-worst average starting field position in the league. Youth Football Jerseys.In 2016, they have the lowest return rate from the end zone in the league at just under 9 percent3 and are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the second-best starting field position after those kickoffs (both 0.8 yards better than if they’d taken the touchbacks). Cheap Baseball Jerseys.Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears went from returning 37 percent in 2015 to returning 48 percent in 2016. Cheap Football Jerseys.Yet, despite seeing their starting field position improve from the 23-yard line to the 24-yard line, their advantage fell from being tops in the league (by a wide margin) to being 20th — and one of the 25 teams that would have been better off always taking a knee.