Last year, the NFL Pro Bowl featured a variety of changes that made the game a lot more entertaining. This year's Pro Bowl, which takes place this Sunday in Glendale, Arizona on ESPN, will feature a couple more changes.
Tougher Extra Points: In the preseason, extra points were moved back from the 2 yard line to the 15 yard line, turning them into a more difficult 33-yard field goal. That will be instituted again for the Pro Bowl, but with an extra caveat: the goal posts will be narrower as well.
On extra points, the goal posts will be narrowed from 18 feet 6 inches to 14 feet. If a team attempts a regular field goal during the Pro Bowl, the goal posts will be set to the regular width. The entry photo above shows how they will utilize the different goal posts on the fly. It could encourage teams to go for two points more often.
New Timeout Allocation: A new timeouts system will be pilot tested, but this might only be in place to help some of the other unique rules of the Pro Bowl rather than it being a consideration for regular season games. Each team will have two timeouts per quarter. If a team saves a timeout in either the first or third quarter, though, they can carry that timeout over to the second or fourth quarter, respectively.
If you forgot about last year's rule changes, here is a quick rundown of them:
MVPs: There will be an offensive and defensive MVP, each of which will be awarded a new GMC vehicle. That goes a long way in making players want to play the game rather than just not caring.
Two-Minute Warnings: There is a two-minute warning at the end of each quarter. The ball changes hands at the end of the quarter. Also, if a team is winning, they can't just take a knee at the end of a quarter or half: a negative play (such as a knee) will stop the clock. At the very least, the team would need to gain one yard on a QB sneak, for example.
Speeding Up the Clock: After an incomplete pass, the game clock will continue to run except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half. This helps speed the game along until crunch time. Also, the play clock will be at 35 seconds instead of the traditional 40 seconds.
Cover 2 & Press Coverage: Defenses are allowed to play cover 2 or press coverage, instead of having to just stick with man coverage.
- No Kickoffs: There are no kickoffs in the game. After a score, the other team receives the ball at the 25 yard line.
What do you think about the increased difficulty of extra points for regular season games in the future? I think it's fun for the Pro Bowl, but I'm against it in the regular season. The current scoring system has been defined for so long that even if a certain play seems "dumb" or "automatic," I think it's such an integral part of the game that you don't want to mess with it.