The Baltimore Ravens are no stranger to offseason rule change proposals. Some have sorta worked, like the time they got the league to tweak its eligible receiver rules, though minus the Ravens real idea that linemen should wear bright-colored pinnies over their jerseys.
This year, they’re back pushing another out-of-left-field idea. Kickoffs that sail through the uprights should be a point for the kicking team, according to Pro Football Talk.
Of course, it’s not an idea being proposed for the good of the league or to make the game better, even if the team is pretending to argue that way. They’re the catalyst because they have Justin Tucker, objectively the game’s best kicker (and one of the best ever), someone quite capable of putting the ball through the uprights from that distance.
They also have a floundering offense that ranked 27th in total yards last year and 23rd in passing touchdowns. Frankly, they need all the help they can get.
John Harbaugh and the Ravens have floated the idea for awhile now. Here’s what Harbaugh said in early May.
“I’m on record advocating that should be a point,” a smiling Harbaugh said after the Ravens’ 19-14 win over Cincinnati. “I’m serious now, kinda. Really, how exciting would that make it, for him to make these kickoff touchbacks so valuable? Let’s do it. Let’s go for it.”
In 2017, Tucker led the Ravens with 141 points. No other player had more than 36. For reference, the Steelers had three of them: Le’Veon Bell with 66, Antonio Brown 56, and JuJu Smith-Schuster 48. Chris Boswell led the team with 142, edging Tucker out.
Of course, this is a rule that certainly won’t pass now and likely not anytime in the future. Soon enough, it could all become a moot point anyway if the league decides to ban kickoffs altogether, something that could happen in the next five years. For now, they’ve made tweaks to formations, and I’ll give the league credit, a good compromise for all sides, but who knows how long that will last.
If this rule doesn’t pass, I can only assume the next one Baltimore will propose is “let us release Joe Flacco for free please.”