Welcome to our 4th year of NFL CONFIDENCE PICKS  !!!!!

This also marks the 97th SEASON OF THE NFL!!

We; no doubt, will see many errant calls by the field officials.  SOME legitimate, (after all they are human and can make a miss call).  Some wil most likely come from NFL RULE changes.  So be prepared for some mistakes, both from teams, players, and officials.  I will have these rule changes posted with the PICK sheets for the next 3-4 weeks


I really hate to bring this up.  But I can’t help wondering if any of you have the same feeling on this subject.  I feel , MAKIING TOM BRADY AN HONORARY CAPTAIN OF THE     MICHIGAN WOLVERINES DURING HIS TIME OF PUNISHMENT ( THE SUSPENSION), IS AN AFFRONT TO not only the School, the Alumni, and all the the things the NCAA is supposed to stand for.  WHY!  Honor someone who CHEATED!!!!  Maybe after he has served his suspension.  Then he could have a message of  what he learned .  (If anything).  To me this is just not the right thing to do.  He takes back the message that “Cheating is okay.  (Just don’t get caught).  This could spill over to the academics; if it is okay to cheat on the field,  it must be okay to cheat in the classroom.


Here is a list of the rule changes, as I understand them.  

  1. Extra Points Permanently Moved Back. Last year was a 1-year trial run for extra points being moved from the 2- to the 15-yard line. This year, the vote was to make the change permanent,
  2. Press Box Coach-to-Player Communication. In the past, coaches in the press box could not talk to  players with the communication system directly. The coach in the press box had to radio down to the sideline; then the coach on the sideline could relay it to the player. Now, teams have the option of the “box coach” talking directly to the players.  The hope here is to have  fewer delay of game issues?
  3. Chop Blocks Are Eliminated. Chop blocks are now illegal, However,  you can still go low if a defensive player engages you first. (This may change some teams’ playbooks on offense, but shouldn’t have a major impact. (Defenders, might feel safer about their lower legs.)
  4. Ejection for Certain Unsportsmanlike Penalties. This was passed for a one-year trial run. (Shouldn’t this be at the Official’s descretion). Hopefully this will not come up more than 2-3 times during the season.  I look for it to be tossed next season.  I do not know what the Certain Unsportsmanlike actions will be.  But to call for EJECTION, they must be pretty severe.
  5. Touchbacks Now Come Out to the 25. I see this as an attempt to eliminate run backs.  After it is rare when someone ran it back for 25 yards.  I didn’t even like it coming out to the 20.  It is like a free play. NOW that fictionalplay will get you down 25% of the field.  Let’s just make the field 75 yards long?  The challenge will now be for the KICKER to kick HIGH and SHORT  . This proposal passed for a one-year trial run as well. I think the fans will not take to this rule. ( I think moving the kickoff to the ten yard line would be more acceptable).
  6. Horse Collar Expanded. The horse collar penalties have been expanded to a little below the neck area of the jersey; grabbing anywhere near the name area and yanking the player down will be an infraction moving forward.    I don’t see the reasoning behind this.  I suppose it is to give the officials a little leeway.  One way to interpret this rule, (I suppose), would be….PLAYERS MAY USE THE HORSE COLLAR TO   S..L..O..W   THE RUNNER;  THEN SLIDE DOWN AND MAKE THE TACKLE  JUST DON’T PUT HIM TO GROUND WHILE IN THE HIGH AREA.  (Heck, next year it may be illegal to touch a player above the waist).
  7. Five Yard Penalty for Excess Timeout. If a team tries to call a timeout when they don’t have one, there will be a delay of game penalty called on them. This could work either way.  Penalty OR benefit,  (Example in a two minute drill?  just saying)  I think if they are going to hae this rule it should be at last a TEN yard penalty.  (Or, just for the heck of it let’s make it a 7 1/2 yard penalty.  Add a little twist to the game.
  8. Illegal Touching Penalty. Previously, if a player went out of bounds and then caught a pass, it’s not a legal catch. The offending team would be penalized five yards, but would repeat the down. Now, with the new rule, the offending team will not be penalized in yardage, but they will lose the down.   Thus ruled as an incomplete pass.
  9. Double Foul Issue:                                                                                      A. If there is a double foul during a down in which there is a change of possession, THE team last gaining position may keep the ball UNLESS, its’ foul was committed prior to the change of possesion.                                                                                                    B. If a double foul occurs after a change of possession, The DEFENSIVE team retains the ball at the spot of its’  foul or dead ball spot.                                                                                                           C.  If one of the double foul involves disqualification, that player must be removed, fut no penalty yardage is to be assessed.                  D. If the kickers foul during a kickoff, punt, safety kick, or field goal attempt before possession changes, the receivers will have the option of replaing the down at the previous spot (offsetting fouls), or keeping the ball after enforcement for its foul.                                                  Please feel free to do your own interpretation of this rule.  I figure the officials will have to huddle to decipher this one.  BUT  how often do you see a double foul called?
  10. Re-Signing Player With Injury Settlement. Teams can reach injury settlements with players to waive them. Basically, if a team meant to sign a player for one week but they suffer an ankle injury, for roster flexibility, they can reach an injury settlement for four weeks of pay if that is how long they feel it would’ve taken the player to heal. PER the old rule said that if you wanted to re-sign that player, you had to wait six weeks after the end of the injury settlement time. Now, that period is shortened to three weeks.
  11. Short-Term IR Change. In the past, teams could designate one player to return from injured reserve. Teams were often in a predicament with regard to which player they should give the designation to, and when they should give it. Under the new rule, a team can still only have one player return from IR, but they do not have to declare which player that is. So, if a team puts five players on IR, they can go through the season and determine in say, Week 12, which player they could most use back, based on the players’ rehabs and their own roster needs.  This rule change makes sense to me.
  12. Minor Injury Clarification. There were some adjustments to the wording of what constitutes a “minor injury” and how teams should handle those roster transactions with respect to IR.  I could not find what these clarifications are
  13. Two Personal Fouls will result in ejection – Type of fouls include throwing a punch or kick without contact, use of abusive or threatening language toward an opponent, and taunting. Fighting or flagrant fouls can still result in ejection on one incident.

 There are also FIVE Points of Interest.

1. Hit QB below the knee will result in a 15-yard penalty – Once QB   becomes runner, rule is negated.

2.Contact with quarterback on a feet first slide – If QB slides late some  contact is allowed, but never with    the head.

3. Leading with the crown of the helmet – This means hitting a player with the crown of the helmet     anywhere on the body, not just the head and neck area.

4. Center ball movement before snap – A false start penalty will be  called if center moves ball too quickly to avoid intent to cause offsides.

5. Blindside block – Blocking a player while facing your own goal line.  Basically blocking player on their blindside. This rule is in effect on special teams, change of possession, as well as run plays.

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