Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NFL Adopts New OT Rule

OK overtime optimists, you have your change.

By a 28-4 vote today, the NFL approved a change to the current sudden-death overtime rules to one that will, unless a touchdown is scored on the opening drive of the overtime, see each team get at least one possession during the playoffs only.

So, if you score a field goal, the other team gets a chance to score a touchdown to win the game. If team two ties the game with a field goal, the game continues under the pre-2010 rule which is the next score wins the game.

Oh yeah, BTW: we think that if a team scores a safety on the first possession, the game is over just like a touchdown.

Let's just put me on the record right now as one who doesn't like it!

Here's a few simple reasons why:

* - If it's a better system, why not use it for both regular season and playoffs?

* - It doesn't completely solve the problem of both teams getting a possession. Sure, it eliminates a field goal winning the game by the team that wins the coin toss, but if the coin toss winning team drives down and scores a touchdown, game over!

* - What's wrong with just playing an extra period - whether it be 5, 10 or 15 minutes?

So, why the change? Here's why: almost 35 percent of the teams winning the coin toss since 1994 won the game on the first possession. Plus, the team that correctly called the coin toss won nearly 60 percent of the overtime games since they moved kickoffs back to the 30 yard-line.

I simply am a die-hard when it comes to overtime. Even if it's my team that loses the game on the first possession of overtime, then so be it!

Each team's had 60 minutes to win the game. Plus, if you want the ball, just stop the other team either on special teams or defense! They are just as an important part of the game as offense.

In the end, we're changing overtime now because field goal kickers are better than they were 20 years ago. They can make a 40-45 yard field goal more times now than they could have.

So, it now is not good enough to just go down and score in overtime, you must do it the NFL's way - get into the end zone. Heck, just throw up a long pass and get a 50-yard pass interference call to get you closer to the end zone. Wouldn't that be just as cheap?

If you can't solve the problem entirely, the status quo was just fine. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings, who lost in overtime in this past season's NFC Championship Game to the Saints which has paved the way for this rule change. The Vikes joined the Bengals and Ravens in voting AGAINST the rule change.

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