Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) rushes for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) rushes for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel

The NFL’s Most Hated Rules

The NFL has a lot of rules and different plays, some rules fans agree with and others not so much. Some fans are very passionate about the rules and plays that they hate. Some examples that have sparked controversy include the Tush Push, a play performed by the Eagles for short gains in the red zone. The reason so many people hate this play is that so many teams struggle to replicate it the way the Eagles do.

Another rule that has become hated during playoff time is the overtime rule. One team calls heads or tails and decides whether they get the ball or elect to defer and give the other team the ball. You must also know that in overtime, if the receiving team scores, the game ends with the other team’s offense never touching the field.

This year was different as the Super Bowl went into overtime, but the NFL decided that the playoffs would be different granting both teams a possession. Even though this is what people wanted they weren’t aware of it until the rules were stated during the coin flip.

To offset these rules people have suggested that plays like the tush push should be banned because it gives the team an unfair advantage. As for the overtime rule, people suggest that the NFL adopts the NCAA football overtime rules where each team gets a chance to score unless one team does and the other doesn’t. The game is over however if either team scores or no one does; they attempt 2-pt conversions again until one team scores and the other doesn’t. 

Another rule that has been gaining a lot of attention and could be changed going into next year, this rule, of course, is the fumble-out-of-the-endzone rule. This is when the ball carrier has possession and loses it before crossing the goal line, causing the ball to roll out of the endzone. The problem is the penalty that comes when this happens, as when the ball is fumbled in the field of play and goes into the opposing team’s endzone, it results in a touchback and is rewarded to the opposing team at the 25-yard line.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson fumbles the ball while attempting to score against the Philadelphia Eagles

There are many reasons this rule sparks the most controversy, one reason being the fact that the penalty is way too harsh because if you fumble the ball out of bounds in the field of play, the offense regains possession; it doesn’t go to the defense. This is a problem because in high-stakes games where the offense needs to score by any means necessary players might reach out trying their hardest and score, but the risk to reward just is not worth it because you go from, almost scoring to being on defense.

One rule they are potentially going to bring to the 2024-2025 NFL season is the current XFL kickoff rule where instead of the kicking team being 15 yards away from the returning team, they will only be 5 yards away and they will not be able to be in motion until the ball is fielded. Touchbacks result in the ball being spotted at the 35-yard line compared to it being spotted at the 25-yard line in the NFL.

This rule change has been experimented with in the XFL this year. The goal for this rule change is to try to bring more action to kickoffs because this season, a mere four kickoffs returned for a touchdown, one of the lowest seasons in recent times.

It is going to be interesting to see what direction the NFL decides to take when dealing with these rules because they can either make the change and see if it sticks or they can keep the rules and tell teams that they just need to adapt and plan to incase the rules come up in games.

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About the Contributor
Eli Johnson, Reporter
Eli Johnson is a sophomore at West High, this is his first year on the Wahawk Insider staff. Outside of school Eli plays baseball and enjoys photography but in his off time, he likes to travel and spend time with family and friends.
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