Bengals kicker Evan McPherson proposes another kickoff rule following major change for 2024 season


The new NFL kickoff rules have been a sizzling subject because the NFL house owners voted to make a significant change.

One kicker has one other rule he’d wish to suggest. 

“I’ve obtained an thought for a enjoyable rule,” Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson informed the official staff web site. “In case you kick it by the uprights, make that 4 factors. And in case you miss, they get it on the 30.” 


Evan McPherson of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after kicking a discipline aim within the second quarter in opposition to the Cleveland Browns at Paycor Stadium Jan. 7, 2024, in Cincinnati. (Dylan Buell/Getty Photographs)

McPherson is aware of this isn’t one thing NFL house owners will probably be approving anytime quickly, particularly contemplating the aim of this new change to kickoffs is to encourage extra returns as a substitute of touchbacks. 

Nevertheless, factors for kickoffs have been recommended earlier than.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh as soon as recommended one level must be awarded to a staff whose kicker knocks the ball by the uprights on a kickoff. 


“I’m on file advocating that must be some extent,” Harbaugh, who has one of many recreation’s finest kickers, Justin Tucker, stated in 2016. “I’m severe now, kinda. Actually, how thrilling would that make it for [Tucker] to make these kickoff touchbacks so beneficial?”

Kickers are allowed to get a operating begin from the 35-yard line on kickoffs, and there are numerous cases once they put the ball by the uprights.

Evan McPherson kicks field goal

Evan McPherson (2) of the Cincinnati Bengals kicks a discipline aim throughout pregame warmups earlier than a recreation in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs at GEHA Subject at Arrowhead Stadium Dec. 31, 2023, in Kansas Metropolis, Mo. (Ryan Kang/Getty Photographs)

The league’s new kickoff rule comes from the XFL’s thought of the particular groups play, the place the ball is kicked off from the 35-yard line and the opposite 10 members of the kicking staff line up on the opposing 40-yard line. 5 gamers will probably be lined up on all sides of the sphere. 

The return staff may have at the very least 9 blockers lined up within the “arrange zone” between the 30- and 35-yard traces. No less than seven of these gamers will probably be touching the 35-yard line, whereas two returners will probably be allowed inside their very own 20-yard line. 

Solely the kicker and two returners can be allowed to maneuver till both the ball hits the bottom or is touched by a returner contained in the 20-yard line. A kick that reaches the tip zone within the air might be returned or the returning staff can go for a touchback, which might put the offense on the 30-yard line. A ball that goes by the tip zone will lead to a touchback. 

As a kicker, McPherson is aware of his complete course of main as much as the 2024 marketing campaign wants to alter. 

“I may need to make extra tackles. I’ve obtained to get within the tackling line now,” McPherson stated. “It takes away from the talents us kickers have.”

Evan McPherson looks on field

Evan McPherson of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up earlier than a recreation in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Stadium Dec. 4, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (Courtney Culbreath/Getty Photographs)


The kickoff rule will probably be thought of a trial within the 2024 season and topic to renewal in 2025. 

Fox Information’ Ryan Gaydos and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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