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Mike McCarthy

Ravens, other teams try to exploit the new kickoff rule in a way the NFL didn't intend

Ravens, other teams try to exploit the new kickoff rule in a way the NFL didn't intend

A new NFL rule meant to decrease the number of kickoffs that are returned has done just the opposite.

The Ravens are covering more kickoffs and kicking fewer touchbacks, and that has little to do with Justin Tucker's leg power.

This season, the NFL is experimenting with placing touchbacks on kickoffs at the 25-yard line instead of the 20, as in previous years. The intent was to reduce the number of high-speed collisions between players that can contribute to serious injuries.

But while the new rule incentivizes returners to take a knee in the end zone, it makes teams discontent with conceding the 25-yard line when kicking off.

A five-yard difference might not sound...

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