New Overtime Rules In NFL Playoffs

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NFL overtime: not so awesome.

The league owners voted 28-4 to change overtime rules in the NFL playoffs, Tuesday.

The new rule states that the team that loses the coin toss will get a possession if the team that wins the coin toss only scores a field goal. If the team that wins the coin toss scores a touchdown, the game is over as was the case with the previous overtime rule.

The new rule currently only applies to the playoffs, but the owners will discuss applying it to the regular season at their next meeting in May.

According to ESPN, the rule was changed because of the increase in field goal percentages since 1993. The following year kickoffs were moved from the 35 to the 30, creating better field position for the receiving team.

Statistics examined by the committee showed that since 1994, teams winning the coin toss win the game 59.8 percent of the time. The team that loses the toss wins the game 38.5 percent in that 15-year span.

The Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals voted against the proposal.

While this is a step in the right direction, I can’t quite imagine why the NFL isn’t talking about just playing the overtime as a five or 10-minute period.

First, it doesn’t get much fairer than that.

Second, you know what’s really fun to watch? Overtime in college football, where both teams are guaranteed to touch the ball – something a 10-minute extra period would enable.

That scenario would make too much sense for the NFL, though.


About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

3 Comments on "New Overtime Rules In NFL Playoffs"

  1. Jeremy


    If there’s a safety on the first possession of overtime, the game ends. (

    I agree with MacMahon that this isn’t perfect. I believe coaches should get at least one challenge in overtime. I don’t trust the Booth to lord over all decisions. But its still an improvement over what we have.

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