During an offseason meeting with the NFL Competition Committee, Eagles proposed an alternative to the onside kick, allowing the team to try to convert the fourth and 15 games from their own 25-yard line rather than trying on the kick offside.
The reason for the proposal? Traditional onside kicks are almost impossible to convert, because only six percent of them succeed in 2019.
The owner will vote on the measure to approve the rules on Thursday, May 28. If these XFL-inspired rules do pass, it can completely change the prospect of a final game scenario moving forward.
Let’s look back at the scenario from the previous Seahawks game where the onside kick was tried and explore whether this new alternative would help or hurt the Seahawks.
2015 vs Carolina Panthers, Division Round
This is one of the wildest games of the Pete Carroll era for the Seahawks. After Seattle was strangled by the Vikings to come out of the Wild Card round, they met MVP quarterback Cam Newton and Panthers in Carolina.
The Panthers jumped to a 31-0 lead into the first half thanks to two Seattle turnovers, including pick-six, and Carolina’s explosive explosive scores on their first four drives in the game.
In the second half, Seattle made a big comeback, scoring on their first two drives in the second half, cutting the score to 31-14. In the fourth quarter, Seattle jumped again by 10 points in the last six minutes of the match, making it only a 31-24 match.
Their last score was a field goal to bring a deficit in touchdown with only one minute left in the game.
The next kick from The Seahawks failed and they lost the game, heart-breaking after the return with 24 points missed and a strong defense effort coming out of the first half.
What if Russell Wilson could try the fourth and 15 of Seattle’s own 25 instead? He has Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and Tyler Lockett. Given the fact that Seattle has committed 403 yards offense, it is likely they changed efforts to bring down and tie the game far from far.
Let’s say the Seahawks convert it with time ticking in under a minute and still need more than 50 meters to score and tie the game. The Carroll troops do have one timeout left before the onside kick is tried.
Looking back, it would not have been a definite victory even if Seattle had been allowed to make alternative onside kick attempts, because they had to drive more than 50 yards after converting efforts and were likely forced to burn their last timeout in the process. They also need touchdowns to bind the game, which is much harder to do.
Chances are still favored by the Panthers winning the game in a glimpse of the Seahawks to score at the end of the rules or in extra time with their MVP quarterback at the helm. Unless Seattle has chosen to try previous attempts at the game too, because the proposal allows for two attempts per game, they are likely to still be disappointed in Carolina.
2017 on the Tennessee Titans
The fight against the Titans was frustrating for the Seahawks and their fans. Tennessee ran wild in the Seattle defense up to 420 meters, including 195 on the ground.
At one point, Seattle was behind 30-14 in the third quarter. However, as they tend to do, the Seahawks jumped back in the fourth quarter and almost finished their comeback.
Russell Wilson found Paul Richardson to score with only two minutes left, cutting the deficit to 33-27. Seattle tried to do a side kick, which failed.
If Wilson faces a fourth and 15th punch instead of an onside kick, he will have a large number of options for conversion, including Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. Graham is the perfect target to try and convert all four down to the bottom stitch.
Carroll still has one time limit in his pocket, which he can use after conversion or survive later, because there is still one and a half minutes left in the game.
The Seahawks opportunity to drive more than 50 yards with more than a minute to go is pretty good, given Wilson’s weapon. Plus, the Seahawks are only six behind, so touchdowns and extra points will win the match.
If Seattle won this match, maybe it might have pushed them to the playoffs instead of stuttering to finish 9-7 and lose the postseason that year.
2018 in Dallas Cowboys, Wild Card Round
In this 2018 playoff match, the Seahawks once again found themselves behind in the fourth quarter trying to mount a heroic return.
After an incredible third down conversion moving the chain with his feet, a touchdown run by quarterback Cowboys Dak Prescott gave Dallas a 24-14 advantage with two minutes left.
Seattle was able to advance and score a touchdown along with converting a two-point conversion, cutting Dallas’s lead to just 24-22 with a little more than a minute to spare in the game.
From a Seattle perspective, this game will be very relevant to possible alternative onside kicks. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski injured himself while taking a shot before halftime, making him unable to do a side kick.
In fact, All-Pro player Michael Dickson got the nod to try a side kick, which failed miserably.
Conversely, if Russell Wilson were given the opportunity to convert, Seattle would have the chance to fight to go ahead and score the winning game or at least try a high-pressure field goal with Dickson, who lost most of his area of goal effort during the first half.
Carroll has used all of Seattle’s timeouts before the onside kick, so the Seahawks will work against time, with the possibility of less than a minute to go after the conversion.
At the end of the contest, passing games began to open for Wilson, so that he could find a large open path to get Seattle in a position to win this playoff match and advance to the Division Round against the Rams.
2014 vs Oakland Raiders
Coming from the Super Bowl victory, the Seahawks started the 2014 4-3 season towards a match against the Raiders in Seattle.
The Raiders did not win at 0-7, but for one reason or another, they gave Seahawk all they could handle at home that day.
The Seahawks led 24-3 in the first half, but they let the Raiders return to the game in the third quarter thanks to a blocked kick that was returned for touchdown and another score by Oakland, putting the score at 24-17 ahead of the fourth quarter.
Seattle came back with 13 with two field goals in 30-17 before the Raiders made one final push with a touchdown from Derek Carr with only two minutes left in the game, cutting Seattle’s lead to six.
The Raiders tried a side kick but Seattle recovered and ran out of time.
If Derek Carr was given the opportunity to convert the fourth and 15th, things might change differently that day. Oakland is running out of time and the conversion to four will make another minute and a half pass.
However, given this was at the top of Seattle’s elite defense with Legion of Boom still present, minus Kam Chancellor that day, Seahawk might find a way to squeeze and come out with a dramatic victory with a large turnover or sack.
2017 in Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals and Seahawks have experienced some tough battles over the years and this contest is no exception.
Seattle led 22-10 in the fourth quarter before Drew Stanton led a touchdown drive with 20 seconds left in the game, cutting the Seahawks’ lead to 22-16. The Cardinals tried and failed to take a side kick, which allowed Seattle to run out of time and ensure victory.
What if Stanton gets a chance to convert? The remaining time is the key here, because even with conversion, their hopes will likely rise on the Salam Maria trial from just behind the 50 yard line.
However, with future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and Jermaine Gresham being formidable, the Cardinals at least have the chance to punch when their prayers are answered against the Seahawks’ fierce defense. Little chance for Arizona is interesting from the upset, but it will definitely make things uncomfortable for Seahawks fans that day in the desert.
2018 vs Kansas City Chief
This fight was an epic battle of two MVP caliber quarterbacks on Sunday Night Football and it did not disappoint.
Although Seattle has never fallen behind in this game, it looks like Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson match each other’s blows, each throwing more than 270 yards and three touchdowns.
Seattle was led by 10 at the end of the fourth quarter before Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker nailed down a 32-yard field goal to cut the Seahawks lead to 38-31 with 1:20 left on the clock. The Chiefs helplessly tried a side kick and failed, giving Seattle the victory.
It was a dangerous proposal to give Patrick Mahomes an extra chance to win or tie a soccer match. He will likely change the experiment from his own 25 yard line to another Mahome way. Kansas City still has a time limit in their pockets, which they will most likely use after repentance.
Needing more than 50 yards with a minute left, Mahomes and the Chiefs faced a longer and successful opportunity before. This scenario will make Seahawks fans squirm in their seats at CenturyLink Field.
Quarterback MVP can easily set game-binding touchdown as time ends, setting up very dramatic overtime sessions. With how the game is played, with each offense buzzing, whoever wins the coin toss overtime will likely win the game.
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