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New Kickoff Rule Hurts the Hawks and Leon Washington

The NFL owners today officially approved modified rule changes for kickoffs and instant replay, hurting those teams around the league that have good kick return games.

The two-man wedge remains in place and touchbacks will still go out to the 20-yard line, however, the kickoff starting point will be moved up to the 35-yard line. That of course means there are going to be a lot more touchbacks instead of returns around the league.

Take the Hawks, who just gave a lot of money to kick returner Leon Washington. The move to put kickoffs at the 35 hurt in that it takes Washington out of the game, and therefore puts the Hawks at a disadvantage as well as most sports betting that take Washington into consideration each week.

Also decided upon was that all scoring plays will be reviewed, and coaches can keep their third instant replay challenge. All field surfaces must remain a league-approved shade of green unless they are given consent from the league office. The reason behind the rule was to preserve uniform appearance of NFL games.

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