Time to complete the overtime fix that started 12 years ago

USA TODAY Sports

In 2010, after the Saints scored a first field goal to secure a Super Bowl berth via an overtime win over the Vikings, NFL owners knew overtime was on hold. So they fixed it. Partially.

The half-measure devised by those running the sport prevented an opening basket from winning, but preserved the ability of the side receiving the opening kickoff of the extra session to win by scoring a touchdown.

While a different approach isn’t necessary for the regular season (the original sudden-death approach is fine for the 272 non-playoff games), the evidence that supports ending a 12-year job is in the pudding. And the pudding is currently smeared all over the Shield.

Of course, the current overtime procedure places too much emphasis on winning the coin toss. This truth becomes even more true in the playoffs, when the best quarterbacks execute the best offenses in the best games. How many playoff games go to overtime with the score 6-6? Instead, when the team that wins the coin toss game gets the ball first in overtime, the end result is 42-36, 37-31, 34-28.

The most exciting games of the year are bypassed by a rule that ignores the fact that over time the rules have veered toward NFL offenses and reality, as mentioned above. , that teams making the playoffs have pretty good quarterbacks and, in turn, pretty good offenses.

Just play defense.

It’s the only counter anyone can collect. And that’s right, if the rules require both teams to play defense. According to the current rule, a team must play defense. The other team, if their offense continues to score the same way they have throughout the game, doesn’t even have to try.

Also, the fact that the Bengals beat the Chiefs in the second overtime series of the 2021 AFC Championship and the Rams beat the Saints in the second overtime series of the 2018 NFC Championship doesn’t make the rule fair. They are simply two relatively rare examples of a team overcoming this inherently unfair rule.

The competition committee seems to slow down the road to change, as the competition committee often does. Beyond an unreasonable fear of potential, undefined “unintended consequences” (which is another way to recognize an inability to proactively imagine those consequences), some teams can be swayed by the simple fact that every rule that lives one team helps another – and that their team may be the next to benefit from the unfair rule.

Look at the bosses. They got burned by the first-touchdown rule in the 2018 playoffs. This year, they advanced because of it. Next year, maybe the Bills will win the toss and score a home touchdown in the first playoff overtime campaign.

Then there are the Packers. They’ve been violated twice by the first-shot touchdown rule in overtime, in consecutive years. It would be easy to pretend that they have to make it happen the way they want the next time it happens. So why, the Packers may wonder, should we get rid of a rule that can help us before it has the chance to do just that?

While resisting much-needed change will certainly benefit teams that end up falling on the right side of a bad rule in the future, the current rule isn’t good for the game. The current rule isn’t good for players. fans. He ends exciting games prematurely, with the prevailing feeling that the game shouldn’t be over and that maybe the better team didn’t win.

Although (as explained in playmakers), I’d rather see the two-point conversion shootout the USFL will use in their debut next month, the NFL doesn’t want gimmicks. He wants to continue playing football. The simplest solution is to look everyone in the face. Guarantee possession to the starting team to start overtime, then convert the game to sudden death if the game remains tied after each team has had the ball once.

Owners, rewind the clock nine weeks. Think about how the Bills and Chiefs were meeting a touchdown with a touchdown at the end of their Divisional Round game. Whoever won the overtime toss was going to run the length of the field and score a touchdown. Why wouldn’t Buffalo have had the chance to do what Kansas City did?

Under the rule as it is set to be revised, the impending reality of sudden death from practice three would have set the stage for the Bills to eventually have to choose between a winning or losing two-point try or risking a shot. sending to the Chiefs even if a field goal would have won the game. The NFL loves drama on the field, and it’s hard to imagine anything more dramatic than that.

More importantly, it’s fair. And that completes the job the owners started 12 years ago, when they knew it wasn’t fair to let a team win a playoff game with a first-time field goal in overtime. (Later that year, the rule was applied to the regular season, although it wasn’t really necessary.) Owners need to realize that they didn’t go far enough in 2010, and they must put the good of the game and its fans above the simple reality that this unfair rule will still help as many teams as it hurts – and that it could help their team as early as this year.

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