NFL to change overtime format for playoffs?

The NFL is considering a change of its overtime format for future playoff games.


Under the new format, both teams would get the ball at least once unless the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, Greg Aiello said. If the first team to get the ball makes a field goal and the other team ties the game, action would continue until a team scores again.

The debate about the rules gained steam after the NFC championship game, when New Orleans beat Minnesota 31-28 in overtime and Brett Favre’s Vikings never got the ball in the extra period. Under the proposed rule, Minnesota would have gotten another possession because the Vikings didn’t allow a touchdown.

John Paulsen and I recently debated what the best way would be to revamp the NFL overtime system, which you can check out here. He likes the idea of a blind auction, which would certainly be fair for both sides and add more intrigue than the coin toss. I wrote that I would be all for it as long as the process didn’t turn into a game show at midfield.

That said, I’m also fine with a coin toss. Is it thrilling? No. Is it fair that one team can win without the other team even touching the ball? Probably not. But it’s simple and it’s tradition. The game is the thrilling part – I don’t need anything more elaborate than a coin toss to determine which team gets the ball first. And if more defenses rose to the challenge and stopped their opponent from scoring (which is the whole point of a defense in the first place) on the first possession in the extra quarter, then we might not be having this debate at all.

If the NFL wants to change its overtime format, then I won’t be appalled or angry. But just make a decision and be done with it, because this is beginning to be a tired topic. I have a bigger issue with the fact that it took Brett Favre not getting a possession in last year’s NFC title game for the league to sit down and talk about a rule change. Why doesn’t the NFL just change its name to the Brett Favre League and be done with it. The “BFL” it is.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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