NFL Owners Vote for New Overtime Rules

NFL Owners Vote for New Overtime Rules
by Badger of

On Tuesday, the competition committee of the National Football League voted to change the rules of overtime next year starting in the
playoffs by a whooping 28-4 vote. But only 24 hours later on
Wednesday, as the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., were
wrapping up, several owners were already calling for the new rules to
be included for next years regular season.

So dont be surprised if the new OT rule becomes the law when the NFL
owners reconvene in May, especially since Philadelphia Eagles owner
Jeffery Lurie and New York Giants owner John Mara have already
publicly stated that they want the rule in place for the regular season.

The new overtime rule is simple: if the team that wins the coin flip
decides to play it safe and kick a field goal on the opening
possession of OT, the other team will get the ball back to try and
match the field goal or score a touchdown to win it. If the coin-flip
winning team scores via touchdown, the game ends in sudden death
fashion just like before.

This is not a one-year experiment either, as the vote was for the permanent change to the old OT rule.

The old overtime rule hasnt been altered or changed in 36 years,
starting in 1974 when the NFL was looking for a way to eliminate all
of the games that were ending in ties. From 1974 to 1994 the team
that won the coin flip in OT also won the game, but only at a 46.8
percent rate. In 1994 the NFL changed the kickoff from the 35-yard
line back to the 30-yard line, and that tipped the balance in favor
of the coin-flip winning team. Since 1994 the team that won the coin
flip has enjoyed a 59.8 percent of winning the game (34.4 percent on
the 1st possession).

Now whether or not the rule NEEDED to be changed is debatable, but I think youd have a hard time finding anyone that thinks the old rules
are better than the newly proposed solution. But with kickers
becoming more accurate, many of the NFL suits decided something
needed to be done to make overtime fair for both teams involved.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that the league wants to
meet with the players union and the television networks that
broadcast NFL games to discuss the ramifications before expanding the
new OT rule into the regular season, but I highly doubt that either
of those parties will be opposed to the new scenario.

Personally, I think the new OT rule is a step in the right direction.
By changing the rule the owners basically admitted the old rule was

By the way, the four teams that voted against the new rule were the
Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore
Ravens. The most curious team voting against the rule is the Vikings,
who lost this years NFC Championship game to the New Orleans Saints
when the Saints won the coin toss and kicked a game winning field
goal on the opening possession.