BOCA RATON, Fla. – The catch/no-catch question is no closer to making sense to legions of NFL fans but the league is not proposing changes to the beleaguered rule at this point.
But league representatives are looking at a spectrum of indicators in the areas of yardage and scoring and concluding, “We feel very good statistically where the game is today,” Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said on Monday at the NFL owners meetings.
Even where some numbers declined, the opinion was positive.
The drop in PAT success from 99 to 94.6 percent accuracy may not be viewed as a positive by any NFL kickers, but the rules proposers of the Competition Committee are going ahead with the recommendation that the placing of the ball at the 15-yard line for PAT kicks.
“We made it a meaningful play,” McKay said.
[SHOP: Get your Bears gear right here]
Curiously perhaps, the league-wide success rate of 84.5 percent on field goals is a “concern,” particularly the conversion rate of more than 90 percent on kicks from inside the 40-yard line.
“We definitely have, on the field goal side, something to look at down the road on that play and make if a more challenging play,” McKay said.
The league was surprised to have 164 neutral-zone infractions in 2015, as many as four times the normal total for a season.
“We think it’s directly tied to all the movement in the offensive lines in silent counts, and the quick movement on the fronts,” McKay said. “We will make that a point of emphasis this year to make sure offensive lines understand what they can and can’t do.”
Various proposals covering rules modifications, including outlawing all chop blocks and placing the ball at the receiving team’s 25-yard line instead of the 20 after kickoff touchbacks, will be presented to the league on Tuesday and most of them coming to a vote on Wednesday morning.