The NFL game has changed. The pace of the game is the most notable and obvious but that has changed because of popularity.
That isn’t the issue. The NFL in-game rules are.
A pass interference call in both college and the NFL will give the other team extra yards, however, in the NFL, it will give the opposing team yards from the spot of the foul. It is rare that one single play will change the entire complexion of a game but it has happened. There will never be a fifty yard pass interference call in the college ranks but it can and probably has happened in the NFL. And pass interference calls in the past were for times when the pass was interfered with. Now, it seems that a call will be made even when the football is miles away from the receiver.
Another issue arises when a replay challenge is issued with the spot of the football on certain plays. How many teams of the past would have won games under the current rules? That is difficult to say but in the not too distant past it wasn’t a question of where the ball was when a runners knee was down, the running back would have just been down.
Also, the protocol for hits to the head and roughing the passer just seem inconsistent.
The NFL is still the best brand in sports and it’s popularity endures.
But the NFL isn’t football, it’s a brand of football.
Whether or not the rules implemented will actually change the game itself remains to be seen but without a doubt the NFL brand of football will continue to change.