New NFL Overtimes; Work Of Visionaries Or Compromise Worthy of Congress?

March 24, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

The National Football League owners have finally done something about their overtime system.

Well, for the playoffs anyway. And only when there’s a field goal involved.

It used to be that the first possession was decided by virtue of a coin toss at the beginning of the overtime period. If that team scored, then the game was over, whether or not the coin toss loser got a shot at the ball.

While the statistics were not overwhelming, the system did favor the team that won the coin toss. Given that every NFL game is important due to how few games are played each season and that the league has the only one-and-done playoff system of the four major sports, too much deference was given to the random flip of a coin.

Today, in a 28-4 vote, the NFL owners adopted a rule that would allow the team that loses the coin toss to get a possession if the opposing team scores a field goal.

Yeah, there’s no really good way to phrase that. But so it ...

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