Hate the NFL overtime system? Yeah. Get in line. We all dislike it. We all dislike it because it shouldn’t be the way it is. Yes, there are probably too many NFL games when considering the four team divisions in the two conferences. It would seem a better format would remove the divisions, allow each team to play every team in their conference and the 6 teams from each conference with the best record go to the playoffs. But. I’m no genius like Roger Goodell.
The OT system of the modern era has consisted of a single, 15 minute period, played in a sudden death format. This has resulted in ties. Ties in a professional sport. Perhaps the NFL big whigs want to toss a bone to American football’s predecessor–aka soccer–from time to time. Regardless, there are no ties in the playoffs. In order to balance the field of play slightly, and to avoid the curse of the coin toss, the NFL will present its new playoff rules beginning this weekend.
And you may ask yourself: Are overtime games in the playoffs really that common? There have been 13 OT games in the NFL playoffs since 2000.
How it works:
One team kicks, the other receives. Pretty simple. If the offensive unit receiving the ball first scores a touchdown, the sudden death rules will remain in place–that team wins; however, if the team receiving the first overtime kick off is only able to muster a field goal, the game will continue, with a possession offered to the other team. Ultimately, if either team scores a touchdown, the game is over…but if the team receiving the ball second only scores a field goal to tie, the next score wins the game, whether FG, TD or safety.
This presents all kinds of potentially crazy scenarios. For example: Receiving team scores a field goal to begin the overtime period. This team is also very confident in their defense. Instead of kicking deep, they kick onside, recover…game over!
No. It’s still not as exciting as college overtime rules, but it’s better than victimizing playoff teams with the flip of a coin.