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What NFL rule would you like to change?


The discussion of rule changes has dominated the sports discourse over the past few days.

Last Sunday, the NBA debuted a new scoring format for the All-Star game, turning each quarter into a separate, winnable competition, then creating a target score (the leading team's three-quarter total plus 24 points) to decide the winner of the game.

The XFL debuted a series of new rules, mostly pertaining to special teams and extra points. While the success of the rival league remains to be seen, it's easy to daydream about a version of football that allows for a three-point conversion.

Football has always been adaptable. Consider that, in the first four decades of the sport, the forward pass was illegal and the first-down marker came after five yards. In the past century, we've watch innovations for safety and style of play. It was legal to grab an opponent's facemask until 1956. It was legal to play without a facemask until 1962.

Many changes that happened well within living memory have become so familiar that it seems odd to imagine a game without them, such as the introductions of the two-point conversion in 1994 and instant replay in 1999. 

So, what is the NFL rule change you'd like to see?

For some, it would be the unraveling of a previous change. Bears defenders Nick Kwiatkoski and Eddie Jackson needed less than a second after the question had been posed to deliver the same answer: get rid of targeting calls. 

"I get it," said Kwiatkoski, "you gotta protect players, but, at the same time, some of these penalties are just crazy against guys just trying to play football."

In recent years, some have called for the legalization of holding, owing to the perceived subjective nature of the penalty and potential safety benefits. 

Jackson liked the version of this change proposed by Chuck Klosterman (writing for Grantland in 2012), where defensive backs are allowed to hold to counteract the extra time the quarterback would have to throw.

"I think DBs still win," said Jackson. "It's going to take more than one person to hold Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald."