Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New NFL Playoff Overtime Rules

As some of you may know, during the offseason, the NFL owners officially voted in new rules for overtime in the playoffs. These rules now prevent the team that possesses the ball first from winning the game with a field goal on the first drive, thus eliminating the new sudden death rules. We can see these new rules for the first time this weekend.

If the team that receives the ball first in overtime only scores a field goal on their first drive, then the opposing team gets a chance to tie the game with a field goal of their own, or win the game with a touchdown. If the first team scores a touchdown on the opening drive, then the game is over like normal overtime rules. If the first team scores a field goal and the second team scores one as well, then overtime becomes sudden death as it usually is. If a ball is turned over on the first possession, then sudden death is back in play. Playoff games still cannot end in a tie and will go to as many overtime periods as needed. The point of this rule is to prevent the coin flip from being the deciding factor in a playoff game.

In my opinion, I feel that the NFL owners still messed this one up. If they were going to implement this rule, it should have been for the entire season, not just the playoffs. Also, if they really wanted to make overtime even, they would use NCAA football rules, where each team gets a chance from the 25 yard line and keep going until one team outscores the other. I feel that the NFL is not done with these rule changes and will fix the overtime rules again at some point in the near future.

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