Goal scoring remained at a 15-year low last season, but could finally rise this year if the league's premier midfielders rest more often inside attacking 50.
The average number of goals per team last season was again 12.6, the same as 2014, although that stagnation could be considered a minor success, for there had been a steady decline since 2000, when teams averaged 15.2 goals.
The cut in the number of rotations to 90 this season could, according to the AFL, lead to players spending an extra five minutes on the bench a game, compared to when the cap of 120 was enforced. Rotations will be made less often but players will spend on average 2.3 more minutes on the bench when interchanged.
However, it also has coaches and players preparing for their best midfielders, who more often are goal-kicking options, to spend more time resting up forward.
Carlton vice-captain Kade Simpson said the revised rotation cap, despite also having the role of a substitute abolished in favour of a four-man bench, would prompt change.
"Now we have a rotation cap, you are going to have midfielders that rest forward and probably play deep forward. I don't think that is going to be a surprise to anyone. I think you'll see midfielders and guys having to rest on the ground rather than going to the bench," he said.
"As a backman, I think you'll be playing high 90 per cent game time, so it will probably go up five, six, seven per cent, and distance (run) will probably go up as well. I am pretty sure most teams have probably changed their pre-season a little bit to combat the rotations."
One impact of the reduced cap could be that players become more tired, and find it more difficult to get to as many ball-ups, thereby reducing congestion.
The number of balls ins and throw ups last year (excluding centre bounces) jumped to 70.7 a game, an increase of four from 2014, and a massive spike of 23 since 2006.
That has to be a worry, for it not only slows play down, but means the length of the match is dragged out because of the added time-on - something the league is conscious of.
Greater Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford has said he was happy with the 120 cap, and has expressed concern about the impact the reduction will have on players.
Mumford has noted that the "AFL wants to do it to stop the congestion" and "they want to make it more of a spectacle for the fans, but I was more than happy with the way the rotations were".
The AFL says the on-field changes are for game fairness and easing player speed, but it's goals on the scoreboard which, more than anything, excites supporters, viewers and, surely, broadcasters who have doled out a record amount of cash for the rights.
Coaches spoke this time last year about the need to inject more goals, this coming after AFL chief Gillon McLachlan had informally discussed with them the benefits of playing an attractive brand of football.
What resulted was only two teams - grand finalists Hawthorn and West Coast - averaging triple figures. This despite coaches knowing that the last team to win a flag without averaging at least 100 points was Sydney in 2005.
What will be hoped is that this year follows the lead of 2009 when, with teams averaging about 90 rotations a game, scoring averaged 13.3 goals a team.
"Kicking more goals is always better. It doesn't matter what it is, whether it's runs in the cricket, slam dunks in the basketball, people like to see scoring," said Brian Taylor, the former Collingwood and Richmond forward, and now Channel Seven commentator.
"I think we are nearly over that defensive attitude that perhaps Mick Malthouse and others brought to the game. I reckon we are starting to move past that with (Alastair) Clarkson and a few other coaches starting to attack a little more.
"There is no doubt attacking and kicking more goals brings more people to the game, gets more people interested in the game."
Taylor said that for broadcasters "there was nothing worse than the ball pinging around across half-back and not moving anywhere and moving sideways".
In 2009, three teams averaged at least 100 points - Geelong, the Western Bulldogs and Carlton - but not the Cats' grand-final opponent, St Kilda. The Saints were arguably the best team that season but fell short when it counted.
Average goals per club per season:
Source: Champion Data