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NFL Changes Kickoff, Replay Rules

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GREEN BAY WI - SEPTEMBER 19:The Buffalo Bills kick-off to the Green Bay Packers to start a game at Lambeau Field on September 19 2010 in Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bills 34-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY WI - SEPTEMBER 19:The Buffalo Bills kick-off to the Green Bay Packers to start a game at Lambeau Field on September 19 2010 in Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bills 34-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The NFL has passed a rules change that will push kickoffs out to the 35-yard line. Though the league is making this move as a safety precaution for its players, initial reaction to the change has been negative: this will lead to more touchbacks, slow the game down, and take away one of the game's most exciting plays. Furthermore, touchbacks will remain at the 20-yard line, and two-man wedge rules were not changed.

(I guess this means that C.J. Spiller isn't quite as valuable as we all thought he was. Same for Leodis McKelvin - and heck, maybe even Patrick Peterson.)

The NFL also changed its replay rules. Under the previous system, booth reviews were only used in the final two minutes of each half. That has not changed, but all scoring plays have been moved under the umbrella of the booth review, regardless of when they occur during the game. (It's going to be fun when NFL teams start asking the league to check if a field goal attempt really did, in fact, go over the top of the goalpost.)