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NFL Changes Playoff Overtime Rules


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ESPN.com

 

The NFL owners voted to change an element in the overtime rule, giving the team that loses the coin toss at the start of overtime to get a possession if the coin-toss winning team scores a field goal with the first possession.

 

The proposal passed 28-4. As it is written, the rules change applies just for the postseason, but the owners also decided to discuss adopting the changes for the regular season at their next meeting, in May in Dallas.

 

The Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals voted against the proposal.

 

The competition committee recommended the change in a vote of 6-2, and commissioner Roger Goodell supported the plan. He was able to secure enough votes to get the proposal passed on Tuesday, a day before the expected Wednesday vote.

 

The reason for the change was the increased accuracy of kickers since 1993. In 1994, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 35 to the 30, which created better field position for the teams that won the coin toss and received the kickoffs.

 

Statistics examined by the committee showed that since 1994, teams winning the coin toss win the game 59.8 percent of the time. The team that loses the toss wins the game 38.5 percent in that 15-year span.

 

"We've had this discussion for a number of years," competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay said. "We feel this year's proposal gave us the opportunity to [install] a pretty good rule. Statistically we felt it needed to be changed. It wasn't creating the fairest result as far as field goal accuracy, field goal distance and drive starts."

 

McKay said one of the selling points was it maintained the sudden death aspect of overtime.

 

This is not a one-year experiment. The vote is a permanent change to the overtime rule, which was established in 1974 to minimize the number of games ending in ties.

 

McKay didn't rule out the possibility of the change being implemented in time for the 2010 regular season, but he doubted discussion would result in such quick movement.

 

• Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball once during the extra period, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession, in which case it is the winner.

 

• If the team that possesses the ball first scores a field goal on its initial possession, the other team shall have the opportunity to possess the ball. If [that team] scores a touchdown on its possession, it is the winner. If the score is tied after [both teams have a] possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.

 

• If the score is tied at the end of a 15-minute overtime period, or if [the overtime period's] initial possession has not ended, another overtime period will begin, and play will continue until a score is made, regardless of how many 15-minute periods are necessary.

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I like the new rule but hate that's only for the playoffs. Having different OT rules for the regular season and the playoffs is stupid. I hate that the NHL does that. I think Mike Golic's suggestion of a 10 minute OT period of non-sudden death football is better though. But at least its not sudden death anymore.

 

Apparently they're gonna vote in May whether or not to do it for regular season games. I hope they do. Does Nancy Pelosi own a team?:p

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That is a very poorly written article and you really have to think to understand what they are saying...

 

and for god sakes how stupid are these guys? There are two options. Either switch to college style OT scoring or dump the coin toss system. NFL OT is the biggest joke in sports. While it's certainly possible for the coin-toss losing team to win... winning definitely favors those who win the toss.

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That is a very poorly written article and you really have to think to understand what they are saying...

 

and for god sakes how stupid are these guys? There are two options. Either switch to college style OT scoring or dump the coin toss system. NFL OT is the biggest joke in sports. While it's certainly possible for the coin-toss losing team to win... winning definitely favors those who win the toss.

 

 

I dont agree with you. College OT would not work in the NFL.

 

The easiest solution would be to not allow field goals in overtime in playoff games, only allow touchdowns. I understand that in the regular season you dont want games going into second overtimes, but the playoffs are different.

 

This change isnt so bad. With kickers getting so good, you'd hate to see a great game end on a 60 yard kick (35 yard drive).

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Dump the coin toss? What do you mean? One team is gonna get the ball first somehow. How ever that is, they would be favored to win. I don't like the college OT. They should do it Golic's way.

 

 

 

It doesnt necessarily need to be dumping the coin toss as a whole... but the fact that a TD wins just like an FG wins is wrong. Things the NFL can do....

 

- remove FGs from OT scoring

- force the teams to reset their positions unless a turnover occurs

- give each team a chance to score, removing sudden death

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That is a very poorly written article and you really have to think to understand what they are saying...

 

and for god sakes how stupid are these guys? There are two options. Either switch to college style OT scoring or dump the coin toss system. NFL OT is the biggest joke in sports. While it's certainly possible for the coin-toss losing team to win... winning definitely favors those who win the toss.

 

 

I dont agree with you. College OT would not work in the NFL.

 

The easiest solution would be to not allow field goals in overtime in playoff games, only allow touchdowns. I understand that in the regular season you dont want games going into second overtimes, but the playoffs are different.

 

This change isnt so bad. With kickers getting so good, you'd hate to see a great game end on a 60 yard kick (35 yard drive).

 

Ideally, yes, that's the point. College style doesnt necessarily mean that every aspect must be the same... just that if it is an FG... maybe the other team deserves a shot at the FG too. You cant determine the fate of a game simply by... like you said 35 yards... and a kick. That essentially is deciding the game upon a coin toss...

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That is a very poorly written article and you really have to think to understand what they are saying...

 

and for god sakes how stupid are these guys? There are two options. Either switch to college style OT scoring or dump the coin toss system. NFL OT is the biggest joke in sports. While it's certainly possible for the coin-toss losing team to win... winning definitely favors those who win the toss.

 

 

I dont agree with you. College OT would not work in the NFL.

 

The easiest solution would be to not allow field goals in overtime in playoff games, only allow touchdowns. I understand that in the regular season you dont want games going into second overtimes, but the playoffs are different.

 

This change isnt so bad. With kickers getting so good, you'd hate to see a great game end on a 60 yard kick (35 yard drive).

 

Ideally, yes, that's the point. College style doesnt necessarily mean that every aspect must be the same... just that if it is an FG... maybe the other team deserves a shot at the FG too. You cant determine the fate of a game simply by... like you said 35 yards... and a kick. That essentially is deciding the game upon a coin toss...

 

In reality its not. 58% of the coin toss winners won the game, not 100%.

 

Either way, I am glad that in the playoffs you can't lose on a first possession field goal. However, I have no problem with a first possession TD winning the game.

 

I want to say the regular season should be the same way, but the fact is the regular season OT is just one quarter. Its hard to apply those playoff OT rules to a 15 minute period.

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