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NFL to Change Overtime?

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The worst rule in football may be finally be getting a much-needed makeover.

An NFL spokesman said that the league will discuss changing the league’s overtime format at a competition committee meeting next month.

The new format would call for both teams to get the ball at least once unless the first team scores a touchdown.

The proposal will be discussed and then a vote would take place, with two-thirds of teams needing to approve of the changes for them to be implemented.

The overtime discussion has been one of much debate among fans, but has never been given serious consideration from the league.  According to the AP report, the debate steamed form this year’s NFC championship game, where the Vikings lost to the Saints 31-28 in overtime while the Vikings never touched the ball in overtime.

It’s good the league is discussing changes now before we see a coin toss in overtime decide a Super Bowl.  We were close the past two years, but Santonio Holmes and Tracy Porter ended any possibility of that.

In current system, 158 games have gone into overtime since the NFL changed the kickoff line from the 35 to the 30 yard line in 1994.  In those 158 games the winner of the coin toss has won 96 of those games, or 61%, giving them an alarming advantage over the loser of the coin toss.

While it’s clear that this proposal is better than the current one, it still isn’t perfect.

First off, this current system would only apply to the playoffs.

Why wouldn’t they include the regular season in this proposal?

The only other league that has different rules for overtime in the playoffs is the NHL and that’s because they don’t want shootouts in the playoffs, which is understandable.

Also if the teams can trade field goals on their first possession why does it revert to sudden death after?

This still gives the team that won the coin toss an advantage.  They should be able to continue to trade field goals until one team score a touchdown.

If I had my way to fix overtime I would be in favor of this proposal.

This system still keeps the sudden death aspect of overtime, but gets rid of the coin toss altogether.

Instead, a silent auction is used where each coach writes down on what yard line they would be willing to start on and then team with the least advantageous yard line would start with the ball at that yard line.

This adds a strategic part to the game and would be highly entertaining.

Would a coach have the kahunas to start with the ball at his own 10 at the risk of going three and out and giving the other the ball in great field position?

This system gives each team a fair share of getting the ball and let’s them decide where they want to start with it.

While this system may be a pipe dream, it remains an intriguing possibility.


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