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Ask Sam Farmer: Why teams defer receiving the opening kickoff
Ask Sam Farmer: Why teams defer receiving the opening kickoff

Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com Question: Why is it much more common now for teams to defer receiving the ball in the first half of a game? Martin Schwartz, Pacific Palisades Farmer: It takes patience and restraint to defer until the second half, but if you have confidence in your defense, you could get an early field-position edge. Three years ago, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35, making touchbacks much more common. So if you kick off and get a touchback, then force a three-and-out,...

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