NFL changes postseason overtime: and as fans now you have to think



The NFL owners voted to change an element in the overtime rule, giving the team that loses the coin toss at the start of overtime to get a possession if the coin-toss winning team scores a field goal with the first possession.
The proposal passed 28-4. As it is written, the rules change applies just for the postseason, but the owners also decided to discuss adopting the changes for the regular season at their next meeting, in May in Dallas.

The NFL owners had the right idea with the new overtime rule, but they sure did execute it poorly.

The Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals voted against the proposal.
The competition committee recommended the change in a vote of 6-2, and commissioner Roger Goodell supported the plan. He was able to secure enough votes to get the proposal passed on Tuesday, a day before the expected Wednesday vote.
The reason for the change was the increased accuracy of kickers since 1993. In 1994, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 35 to the 30, which created better field position for the teams that won the coin toss and received the kickoffs.
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.

New postseason overtime rules
• Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball once during the extra period, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession, in which case it is the winner.

• If the team that possesses the ball first scores a field goal on its initial possession, the other team shall have the opportunity to possess the ball. If [that team] scores a touchdown on its possession, it is the winner. If the score is tied after [both teams have a] possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.

• If the score is tied at the end of a 15-minute overtime period, or if [the overtime period’s] initial possession has not ended, another overtime period will begin, and play will continue until a score is made, regardless of how many 15-minute periods are necessary.

“We’ve had this discussion for a number of years,” competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay said. “We feel this year’s proposal gave us the opportunity to [install] a pretty good rule. Statistically we felt it needed to be changed. It wasn’t creating the fairest result as far as field goal accuracy, field goal distance and drive starts.”
Those statistics showed that since 1994, the team that won the overtime coin toss won the game 34.4 percent of the time on the first possession.
Overall, the team that correctly called the coin toss won overtime games 59.8 percent of the time in the last 15 years, or since kickoffs were moved back 5 yards to the 30.
“Plenty of people on the committee, myself included, are so-called traditionalists,” Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian said. “I am proud to be one. But once you saw the statistics, it became obvious we had to do something.”

Chris Mortensen is ESPN’s senior NFL analyst. John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Read More:
[URL]http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5022064&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

About Canadafootballchat.com

CFC is the number one national amateur football website (source: ComScore.com) and most respected source for high school and recruiting news in Canada.

About the ‘CFC Insider’

The 'CFC Insider' section is for the fan, player, coach, parent, looking for MORE. The mission of this exclusive membership section is to give more recruiting news, exclusive rankings and multi-series stories as well as coach-player instructional videos.

As a CFC INSIDER member, you will have access to:

Become a CFC Insider MEMBER today!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Leave a Reply