News and Notes

NFL Passes New Overtime Rules For Postseason Play

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All those worried that their favorite NFL quarterback will be left watching helplessly while their defenses blows up in overtime during a playoff game, no longer need to worry. NFL owners voted 28 to 4 to change the overtime rules during the postseason at league’s annual owners gathering.

Beginning next postseason, the team that wins the coin toss will have a chance to win the game with a touchdown on the initial possession of overtime. However, if said team kicks a field goal the opposing squad will get a chance to tie the game with a field goal or score a touchdown that would give them a win.

If matters remain unsettled after the first two possessions, overtime will go into sudden-death rules.

The new rules will only take hold during the playoffs and not during the regular season.

Interestingly enough, one of the four teams that voted against the new playoff overtime rules? The Minnesota Vikings, who were victimized by the sudden-death rule during the NFC title game in January. The other no votes came from the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and Baltimore Ravens.

This is the best move in the long-term. You cannot have a Super Bowl determined under the old parameters. While kicking is as unreliable as ever, giving each team a chance to touch the ball in overtime potentially makes sense.

NFL competition committee co-chairman astutely pointed out that the team winning the overtime coin toss and has won just under 60 percent of the time since 1994. When nearly two out of every three games is decided in that manner, it is probably time for a change.

The league basically has built the current on-field product around the quarterback position and it’s only right that both get a chance to win the game.

The rule change probably would not have helped the Vikings in the NFC title game considering Brett Favre resembled Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out fame by game’s end. Yet, it’s the right move for the league to make.

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