The eight teams left in the NFL playoffs can thank their special teams for a good part of their success. That’s one reason players are still upset that Commissioner Roger Goodell has floated the idea of abolishing kickoffs altogether.
Not so elite? Half of the league’s 32 teams would make the playoffs if the system were to expand to 16 slots.
The NFL without kickoffs? It will soon be under consideration. “Eventually you would almost have a flag football league,” said Domenik Hixon of the Giants.
While the labor dispute was the “primary focus” of two days of owners meetings, according to Roger Goodell, the league also carried on with business as usual, discussing rules changes that included moving kickoffs up 5 yards to the 35, and using replays on all scoring plays.
Ray Anderson, the NFL’s chief disciplinarian, said Wednesday that repeat offenders or players committing flagrant illegal hits will have a much greater chance of being suspended during the 2011 season.