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Friday, November 14, 2008

Overtime strikes again

Watching Thursday night's Jets-Patriots game, we saw another reason why the NFL should change its overtime rules.

The Patriots stormed back to tie the Jets at 31-31, only to watch helplessly as the Jets - who had done very little in the second half - win the coin toss and move into field goal range for a game-winning field goal in overtime after winning the coin toss.

How much more exciting would that game have been if both teams were given the ball at the 50?

Think the Jets would have settled for a field goal unless they had to knowing the Pats would get the ball as well with a chance to score?


Stigmata said...

I like the college system (overtime), without question. However, I never mind seeing the Patriots lose, no matter how it happens!

Anonymous said...

The system will never change. It's a pretty even split on the winning team vs. coin toss winner. Plus this shouldn't have gone to O.T. IMO. The Jets let the Pats back in the game and then the pass to Moss was 1 in 1,000,000 with no one under Moss for the protection. The rules are what they are. I just get tired hearing everytime an O.T. game happens the College O.T. is brought up.

70sfan said...

Instead of giving both teams the ball at the 50, I think a better system would be a "first to 6" criteria for winning in OT. In other words, you score a td, you win. If you elect to kick a fg, then you do so knowing that the other team will have a chance to score a td and win before you may have chance to kick another fg. If the 15 minute OT ends without either team scoring 6, then whatever the score is at that time is the final score, whether it's a tie or whether one team is only ahead by 3.

Another consideration is to leave the rules as is but move the kickoff up to the 35 yard line in OT. Statistics have shown that before the kickoff was moved back to the 30 yard line in 1994, there was less advantage to winning the coin toss. (Teams that won the coin toss won approx 51% of the time.) That advantage has been magnified ever since the kickoff has been moved to the 30, since it often results in better starting field position.

A third option could be to just play a predetermined length of time. For example, play a 10 minute OT period, and whatever the score is at the end of this period is the final score. This shoud guarantee at least 1 possession for each team. This is probably my least favorite option of the 3, but still palatable.

I dislike the college system. It eliminates special teams play, except for the fg unit, and the overtimes can get very long.

Patrick said...

i always liked Bill Cowher's idea. If you get the ball and score a FG, the other team needs a TD. If you score a TD, the other team needs a TD and 2 point conversion to win. If you score a TD and go for 2 and get it, game over, the other team can't win. So basically first possesion is still a huge advantage, but the other team has to beat what you do. This also encourages TD's in OT instead of FG's.

I personally think its the best solution, but like any rule change, has its strengths and weaknesses. I just think the strengths (and excitement added) outweighs the weaknesses, which I'm not getting into because I don't have all day.

ch3 said...

One benefit of not getting the ball first is if you have a good D and can force 3 and out, then you have the advantage of good field position. Remember the Steelers-Ravens game this year.

Dale Lolley said...

It would be so much more exciting if teams had to try to score touchdowns rather than move the ball 30 or 40 yards for a game-winning field goal.
You force teams to attack if they know they've got to score a TD to win.

SC Steeler said...

I agree. Too many OT games are decided by the receiving team, especially when both teams are hot offensively like last night.

Dale, has a college-type format ever been considered by the league? Do you think there's any chance of it being considered in the near term?

SC Steeler said...

Dale, another question for you... Harrison's contract runs out after next year. Any word whether he's a priority to lock up after this season? I'm hoping Timmons is viewed as a long term solution inside because Harrison still has fresh legs and I believe would be much more valuable wreaking havok on the outside for at least the next few years.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm sure the league has discussed changing the format at the committee level, but it's never gotten beyond that.

As for Harrison, I wouldn't be surprised to see a contract extension this offseason. He takes very good care of himself and has a number of years of football ahead of him.
Timmons is looked at primarily as an inside guy.

Anonymous said...

Both teams should have the ball in OT. Period. The Steelers have been the victims of this OT nonsense also....the infamous Bettis coin flip against the Lions and the Atlanta game in 2006. Totally ridiculous that the winner of the coin toss in OT is in essence, the winner of the game. Jets won because they won the coin toss. Period.