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Broncos propose fourth-and-15 play in lieu of onside kick

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 3/9/2019 Charean Williams
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (30) breaks free for a touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. © AP Photo/David Zalubowski Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (30) breaks free for a touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver.

The Broncos have proposed an alternative to the onside kick, using the Alliance of American Football’s rule as a template.

Denver’s playing proposal would allow a team trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring. The NFL did not provide specifics, but Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports that it would entail a team converting a fourth-and-15 play from its own 35-yard line.

The Broncos’ proposal allows a team only one chance at converting it per game, according to Seifert.

It would give teams a better chance at keeping the ball than with an onside kick, though the odds likely would remain under 50 percent.

The AAF’s version of the rule allows a team trailing by 17 or more points at any point in the game or a team trailing by any amount with fewer than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter the option to try to convert a fourth-and-12 play from its own 28. If the team gains 12 or more yards on that one play, it keeps possession. If it doesn’t, the other team takes possession.

Denver’s proposal was one of nine the league’s Competition Committee is considering. The Competition Committee then decides which, if any, to endorse.

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