I applaud the NFL for taking the bold decision to shake up the playoff overtime ruling, meaning games will no longer be decided by the first team to get a field goal (on possibly the only drive in the extra time period).
I do however think the NFL execs have stopped short of making this ruling really fair for both teams.
You will still be able to win a playoff contest on the first (and maybe only) overtime possession if you score a touchdown.
I know there are people who say it is the responsibility of the defense to stop a team from getting that first possession touchdown, but ultimately if you do not give BOTH teams the opportunity to field their defense AND their offense then it is still not fair on the team that loses the coin toss (if their opponents then elect to receive and then get a td).
If the NFL adopted the college overtime rules that would give both teams a fair crack of the whip.
There are indeed some crazy crazy college Bowl games that follow a pattern such as – team a drives in O/T – gets TD, team b then drives next in O/T – gets TD, team a then drives and gets a FG, team b then drives and gets a FG…. you get the idea.
It may turn into survival of the fittest, but if you want to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy you should be able to handle up to say four possessions in overtime.
This new NFL rule did make me think of some alternatives…..
- Each team gets two possessions starting at the 50 yard line and if scores are tied ( either 0-0, 3-3, 7-7 if you kick exps, 10-10 if you kick exps) you then add up the total yards that each team accumulated before a drive went to a field goal, turnover or if a 4th down conversion was unsuccessful. If both teams scored two tds in their two O/T possessions then you both get another possession each until one team gets a higher score at the end of a drive (td beats fg, fg beats turnover).
- Each team gets 5 plays from the 10 yard line – the play cannot be a field goal. If the scores are tied at the end of the 5 plays it goes to sudden death.
- Each team gets 5 plays from the 15 yard line – the play can include field goals. If the scores are tied at the end of the 5 plays it goes to sudden death
- Each team starts at their own 20 yard and they have 10 plays to score as many points as possible. You score a td or fg in 3 plays you then start at your own 20 and have 7 plays left to score. The 4 plays to get 10 yards rule still applies so if you fail on 4th down or turn the ball over the team on offense starts back on their own 20 with however many of the 10 plays they have left. If the defensive team score a defensive touchdown this gets included.
I could go on but I hope the suggestions above spark a debate – either that or the men in the white coats will come and pick me up tonight.
What do you think is the best way to manage NFL overtime in the playoffs?