: Should the NFL Change its Overtime Rules?

2010-01-25, 02:42 PM
Would you want the change for just the playoffs? or for both the regular season and playoffs? or just leave it the way it is now with the coin toss and first team score, wins?


If a baseball game goes into extra innings and one team scores a run in the top of the 10th, it doesn't mean the game is over.

If an NHL player scores on the first shot of the shootout, the other team still gets a crack at it. In fact, they'll do it again twice more just for good measure.

So why is it that, if you can get the ball within about 45 yards or so of the opposing team's uprights in the NFL on the very first drive of overtime, you can win the game or, in the most recent case, full-on end a team's season just like that?

2010-01-25, 02:47 PM
I was thinking the same thing when the coin toss occurred in last night NO-Min game.

How about this for an idea (it may not be the best solution- but it is better the a coin toss)....

Option 1: If the game is tied with no time left in the 4th quarter, let the drive continue until one team scores.

Option 2: do like the CFL does, but with a twist.
First and goal from the opponents 25 yard line. (only 4 downs to score)
If the team A scores a TD- they must kick the extra point.
Team B must beat Team A by going for 2 on the extra point.
As well if Team A scores a FG on their first possession, then Team B must score a TD to beat Team A.

Option 3: Have a shootout with the field goal kickers. (aka Put the Foot back into Football)
Each kicker tries one from the 25 yard line (42 yard NFL FG) and they add 5 yards each time both kickers make the kick.

Under the current rules, if I lost the OT coin toss, I would try an on-side kick.

2010-01-25, 02:52 PM
In baseball, the team playing defense cannot score, which is not the case in football.

2010-01-25, 03:03 PM
At least change it for the playoffs for sure, or make it first to 7 points. Get the ball, move it half the field at best, then kick to win does not do justice to the game. It make a soccer shoot out look reasonable in comparision.

2010-01-25, 03:08 PM
Interesting this question didn't come up when Arizona played Green Bay and Arizona won without ever running an offensive play.

College football gives teams alternating possessions.

Frankly, keep it the way it is.

2010-01-25, 05:28 PM
There isn't any ideal solution so I like the current rules.

As noted already, the defense can score on any play.

If the kickoff is deep, and the receiving team doesn't make a first down, the coin toss losers will get the ball in good field position.

Instead of whining about losing the toss, blame your defense instead.

2010-01-25, 07:50 PM
About 60% of the time the team that wins the coin toss in overtime wins the game.

I think overtime should still be sudden death, but the team receiving the ball in OT should be decided on a stat from the game like time of possession, or total yards or something.

2010-01-25, 08:17 PM
Funny, my buddy & I asked the very same question last night while watching the game!

We both agreed that the NFL's OT is flawed, because as mentioned above, only one team has offensive possession.

However, as also mentioned above, a turnover or poor offensive possession can result in the other team gaining possession.

Whoever wins the coin toss has the major advantage, which doesn't seem fair. Neither does not having an opportunity to have offensive possession.

The CFL rules seem too convoluted. I'd prefer to see a timed OT, aka not sudden-death....like basketball.

2010-01-25, 08:53 PM
This issue comes up everytime a pivotal game goes to OT and the first time to get possession wins. The current format isn't perfect, but I think for the NFL competition committee, it's close enough that they're afraid to overhaul the system in fear of making the situation worse.

It's kind of like the BCS football rankings. From a completely objective standpoint, a playoff system would be fairer than relying on polls and computer formulas to determine which two teams compete for the national championship, but there are those who think preserving the tradition of how things have always been done is as important.

2010-01-25, 09:09 PM
I think that both teams should get the ball at least once before deciding the game. The fact that 60% of games end with the team winning the coin toss winning the game proves my point. Yes the defense can score on the same play, but a turnover in OT is not that common. The only problem is most of the teams want to keep it the way it is which I find very strange. Maybe they feel it adds more excitement to the game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost the coin toss (even though they won, but the ref didn't have his hearing aid in to hear the proper call:rolleyes:) in a game years ago against Detroit and they lost in OT with the first possession--even after that the Steelers voted against changing the OT rules.

The CFL rules are just using the same rules as in College football--except in the 3rd OT you must go for the 2-point play instead of the single point if you score a touchdown.

2010-01-25, 09:50 PM
However, as also mentioned above, a turnover or poor offensive possession can result in the other team gaining possession.
A turnover ends the possession in college. If youre on the defense, and you're team has scored, you're going to try your hardest to get a turnover to end the game.

The game is even. It is tied. Each team should get the opportunity with the ball.
The College rules are the best, CFL is good (I like the must go for 2 pt. conversion) but there should be no ties (CFL).
Maybe they could do what the NHL does, and have the equal opportunity in the regular season, and then decide important playoff games with a coin toss! :)

2010-01-25, 10:22 PM
The CFL and College rules are so much better. Having seen both play out live (including a double overtime Grey Cup game), there's simply no argument in my mind that it is so much a superior way of deciding games. It combines the excitement of shootouts/penalties of hockey and soccer without their major flaw ... settling a team game through an individual skills competition.

The NFL rules are not only stacked in favour of the team that wins the coin toss, they don't match the excitement level that the NCAA and CFL rules do.

2010-01-25, 10:31 PM
Boise State Vs. Oklahoma (Overtime - 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl)

Part 1 of 2:

<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/HdW8x2ZUJi0&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/HdW8x2ZUJi0&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>

Part 2 of 2:

<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bi2xPyKtVmE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bi2xPyKtVmE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>


2010-01-26, 12:06 AM
The most exciting part of OT is the coin toss!

2010-01-26, 01:09 AM
That Boise State Vs. Oklahoma Tostitos Fiesta Bowl was the best ending to a football game I have ever seen. BSU was the underdog and was leading the entire game by 10-14 points until Oklahoma tied the game with less than 2 minutes left. On the very next play the BSU quarterback threw an interception for the go-ahead Oklahoma touchdown. When BSU got the ball back they used a trick play to tie the game and send it into overtime. Then in the OT they used more trick plays to score the tying touchdown including the 2 point conversion to win the game.

2010-01-26, 10:05 AM
Very interesting article.


The best answer seems to be to adopt the pre-1994 rules or consider a first to six rule.

2010-01-26, 10:57 AM
Anyone remember the "Heidi" incident? That's where this whole issue originates from. This overtime mess is caused by the belief that network TV air time is more intrinsically valuable than the football game being televised, when the opposite is what the NFL needs to enforce. The next time that the NFL is shopping around its TV contract they would be wise to remember that they are the ones in control, not the TV network executives.

BTW, I think the solution is to play a ten minute overtime period, and if the score is still tied then play another, and so on and so on...