New OT Rules in Effect for Playoffs

From the World Wide Leader:

  • 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.

This rule stinks of compromise. I bet there were some owners who wanted no change and some who wanted something as drastic as a switch to the college rules. And they ended up with this debacle.

If I recall, the whole idea was to give each team a chance – to remove “chance” from the equation. But was that necessary considering that the coin-toss winner is 13-15 in the playoffs? It seems like the best team finds a way to win, no matter what.

They wanted to ensure that both teams had a chance to touch the ball, but if the coin-toss winner scores a TD then the game is over and the loser is the loser.

I hope the Steelers make it to the AFCC game in Foxborough, win the coin-toss in OT and run the kickoff back for a TD. Game over. Goodell would be horrified and talking heads would clutter the airwaves with talk of a new OT rule change this off season.

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