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Offline wpr  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 28, 2011 7:22:01 PM(UTC)
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Memo to NFL, please fix regular season OT rule


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After 60 minutes of a Week 15 game last Dec. 19 in Tampa, the Bucs and Lions were tied, 20-20. The Lions won the overtime coin flip and, naturally, chose to receive.

In a little over five minutes, quarterback Drew Stanton guided the Lions 63 yards in eight plays before Dave Rayner trotted on to the field and kicked a 34-yard field goal.

Game over. Thanks for attending, Bucs fans. Drive home safely.

If you don’t think that outcome was significant, consider this. Had the Bucs won the game, they would have finished the season with an 11-5 record. That would have been good enough to beat out the Packers -- the eventual Super Bowl champions -- for a playoff berth.

But the Bucs never had a chance. Their offense stood helplessly on the sideline, unable to get another opportunity.

We’ve watched this scenario too many times since the NFL approved overtime in 1974. Two teams battle to a tie in regulation. Then the team that wins the overtime coin toss receives the kickoff, drives down the field and kicks a game-winning field goal without the other team getting a chance to respond.

It’s not fair. And it deflates overtime of a lot of suspense -- not to mention the fun factor.

That’s why the NFL needs to use the new overtime rule it adopted for playoff games in regular-season games, too.

As Broncos general manager Brian Xanders said, “It’s important to have consistency throughout all games.”

In March 2010, the NFL owners proposed a major change in the overtime rule for the postseason. If the team winning the coin toss kicked a field goal on its first series, the other team would get a possession and a chance to tie with a field goal, win with a touchdown or lose if it failed to score.

The rule change passed by a 28-4 vote. Only the Bills, Vikings, Ravens and Bengals voted against the proposal. Interestingly, the Vikings cast a dissenting vote despite the fact they had lost in the NFC Championship Game a few weeks earlier when the Saints won the coin toss and kicked a field goal on its first possession.

Driving the league’s competition committee to recommend the rule change was the increased accuracy of kickers since 1994, when kickoffs were moved from the 35-yard line to the 30, creating better field position for teams that won the coin toss and received.

According to the statistics examined by the committee, teams that won the coin toss at the start of overtime games won 59.8 percent of the time since ’94. Further, the team that won the coin toss won 34.4 percent of the time on its first possession.

The numbers weren’t as compelling last season. Of the 17 games that went into overtime, only two were won by a field goal on the first possession by the team that won the toss. Coincidentally, the Lions were involved in both games. On Nov. 7, they lost, 23-20, to the Jets after New York won the toss and Mark Sanchez quickly drove the Jets into position for Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal.

Like Xanders, Lions coach Jim Schwartz thinks the playoff overtime rule should apply to the regular season.

“I think if the rule’s good for overtime (in the playoffs), it’s good for the regular season also,” Schwartz told Booth Newspapers when the rule was passed. “The only thing that concerns me about the playoffs is that the first time this system may be used, it might be in the Super Bowl. There might not be overtime in the playoffs, and the very first time it’s used is the Super Bowl. That’s your biggest stage and your biggest game. To me, to have something untouched that’s broken out then might be a little interesting.”

As it now stands, the NFL is taking a risk. It’s not going to practice a fire drill until there’s a real fire.

Instead, it should add fun to regular season overtime and make it more of a cliff-hanger by applying the same rule as in the postseason. As Wilford Brimley would say, It’s the right thing to do.


That is such BS. They had lots of chances all game long. Score more points and it won't go into OT. With 2 minutes left and a tie game, TB had a 1-10 on Detroit's 15. They did not try to score a TD. 1 yard run to right guard. 2 yard run left end. 4 yard scramble by Freeman up middle. Kick FG.

In OT, their defense had a "chance" Man up and stop the Lions. They were the ones that failed. This concept of "let's give everyone a chance" is so much PC garbage. These guys aren't 10 year old little leaguers and we need everyone on the team to get a chance to play in the game.

Why not just adopt the High School rule of putting the ball on the 10 yard line for both teams and seeing who can stop the other team from scoring?
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 6:06:45 AM(UTC)
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I'm not sure how I feel about overtime rules, although I do think each team should have one offensive possession.
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Offline Formo  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:31:19 AM(UTC)
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Yeah.. the current OT rules, for the sport of football, doesn't work. If it were in a often-changing possession sport (like hockey), sudden death rules, well, rule.

But in football, I don't think the ball changes possession enough to warrant a sudden death OT. Of course, I'm one that loves the college OT rules. But I'm also ok with the playoff OT rules too.
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Offline Porforis  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:47:49 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
Memo to NFL, please fix regular season OT ruleThat is such BS. They had lots of chances all game long. Score more points and it won't go into OT. With 2 minutes left and a tie game, TB had a 1-10 on Detroit's 15. They did not try to score a TD. 1 yard run to right guard. 2 yard run left end. 4 yard scramble by Freeman up middle. Kick FG.

In OT, their defense had a "chance" Man up and stop the Lions. They were the ones that failed. This concept of "let's give everyone a chance" is so much PC garbage. These guys aren't 10 year old little leaguers and we need everyone on the team to get a chance to play in the game.

Why not just adopt the High School rule of putting the ball on the 10 yard line for both teams and seeing who can stop the other team from scoring?


Wow, I was about ready to tear into you, assuming that you posted the article because you agreed with it. Glad I didn't have to do that!

Same thing goes for bad penalties. With very, very few exceptions, there are NO penalties that ever change a game more than a bad play. If you want to win a game, play better than the other team, and one bad call that swings against you won't matter.
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Offline Formo  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:53:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
This concept of "let's give everyone a chance" is so much PC garbage. These guys aren't 10 year old little leaguers and we need everyone on the team to get a chance to play in the game.


That's great and dandy, and I would NORMALLY agree with you if this were in a topic OTHER than OT rules in football.

The point of OT is to start at nil-nil. Both teams get to wipe their slate clean and give it a shot to win. But with the current rule, both teams don't always get that shot.

Perception is reality, and the perception is that a coin flip has as much ability to determine a win/loss as the teams on the field do.
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Offline Porforis  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:02:29 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Formo Go to Quoted Post
The point of OT is to start at nil-nil.


According to who, you? Maybe that's what you were taught, maybe that's true in other sports, but I must have missed that page in the rulebook.
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Offline wpr  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:29:19 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Formo Go to Quoted Post
That's great and dandy, and I would NORMALLY agree with you if this were in a topic OTHER than OT rules in football.

The point of OT is to start at nil-nil. Both teams get to wipe their slate clean and give it a shot to win. But with the current rule, both teams don't always get that shot.

Perception is reality, and the perception is that a coin flip has as much ability to determine a win/loss as the teams on the field do.



No the point of overtime is to get rid of the pesky tie that owners decided that they and the fans hate. Everyone has a chance to win in regulation. There is no need to "share".

The reason owners changed it for playoffs is because of the NO/MN game. I had/have no problem with the rules that were in force before.

Moving the kickoff up 5 yards will lower the odds of a team taking the kick and moving down field for a FG attempt.

Look at it this way, it keep gutless HC-es who are afraid of losing their job a tiny bit more honest. There would be more playing for ties and OT if the HC knew he was going to get at least one possession for sure. I hate it when I am watching a game and the coach sends in running plays to play for a FG and a tie. bah. If they trow for the end zone 3 times and don't make it and they end up kicking a FG I am ok with that. Odds are the defense did a great job stopping them.
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Offline wpr  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:31:40 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
Wow, I was about ready to tear into you, assuming that you posted the article because you agreed with it. Glad I didn't have to do that!

Same thing goes for bad penalties. With very, very few exceptions, there are NO penalties that ever change a game more than a bad play. If you want to win a game, play better than the other team, and one bad call that swings against you won't matter.


naw I post articles that I don'[t agree with too. I feel we need to get some conversation going on the topic.
Sometimes I don't have enough time to post my opinions. Sometimes i just want to see what others will say.
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Offline Formo  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 7:18:21 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
According to who, you? Maybe that's what you were taught, maybe that's true in other sports, but I must have missed that page in the rulebook.


Well.. Considering it's a TIE at the end of regulation..

2+2=??
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Offline Formo  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 7:22:41 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
No the point of overtime is to get rid of the pesky tie that owners decided that they and the fans hate. Everyone has a chance to win in regulation. There is no need to "share".

The reason owners changed it for playoffs is because of the NO/MN game. I had/have no problem with the rules that were in force before.

Moving the kickoff up 5 yards will lower the odds of a team taking the kick and moving down field for a FG attempt.

Look at it this way, it keep gutless HC-es who are afraid of losing their job a tiny bit more honest. There would be more playing for ties and OT if the HC knew he was going to get at least one possession for sure. I hate it when I am watching a game and the coach sends in running plays to play for a FG and a tie. bah. If they trow for the end zone 3 times and don't make it and they end up kicking a FG I am ok with that. Odds are the defense did a great job stopping them.


I normally wouldn't have a problem with the rule changes if they abolished the FG winning it in OT.

I know I'm not going to change any minds, and it's not my purpose here. I'm just stating that under current rules, the general perception is the coin flip has as much say as the outcome as anything else. The MN/NO game exposed that to the T.

Yes, teams have PLENTY of shots to 'win' the game during regulation. But a series of bad calls/non-calls in OT has a far greater effect on the outcome of the game than it should (under current rules). And I'm 100% ok with them trying to fix that (hence the recent rule changes for playoffs).
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Offline wpr  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, June 29, 2011 7:59:30 PM(UTC)
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We are talking about 34.4% of the games. Moving the kickoff up will drop that significantly. There will be far fewer long returns and more possessions starting from the 20. My guess is it will be around 25-28%. That is not enough to justify a rule change.

Did a little research and found a couple of graphs that show it.
Beginning at the 20 means teams will score a FG about 10% of the time. A TD about 17% of the time.
These numbers are from 2009. I don't have proof but I assume they are typical.

http://farm4.static.flic...93205_515ff24398.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flic...93225_fc5aa77dd7.jpg?v=0

link
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Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#12 Posted : Thursday, June 30, 2011 1:00:23 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
If they trow for the end zone 3 times and don't make it and they end up kicking a FG I am ok with that.


But this almost never happens in overtime, and that is just my problem with it.

I think that both teams should get a chance to touch the ball, but for a different reason than many other people. I certainly have a strong sense of fair play, and when my team doesn't get to touch the ball, I complain just as much as the next guy. But for me, the biggest problem with sudden death in football is the way it changes the game itself. Solid, aggressive, offensive play gets sacrificed for plodding, conservative plays designed to get the offense just inside field goal range. The touchdowns -- the most exciting event in football -- are deemphasized almost to the point of nonexistence in favor of the much less thrilling field goal. I would rather see coaches settle for field goals only as a last resort, whereas under the current overtime rules, they frequently become the primary goal. No one wants to risk the public scrutiny that comes with losing the ball due to an interception or fumble.

I would rather see a fixed overtime period instituted; whether it is five minutes or 15 is neither here nor there to me. Have the teams duke it out for the entire overtime period. If they are still tied when time expires, they either play another overtime period or the game ends in a tie -- either result would be fine with me. I have never understood what is so distasteful about ties. In many sports throughout the world, ties are a normal occurrence in league play.

I think baseball probably has the fairest "overtime" procedure, but there is no way to bring a directly analogous system to football.

By the way, for those of you who think it is "so much PC garbage" that fans would object to the flipping of a coin giving (that is, chance) giving one team a statistically significant advantage in overtime, let me ask you this: Would you be equally sanguine about the league abolishing the current rules for opening kickoffs? Would it be acceptable to you if whoever won the coin toss was allowed to receive (or kick) at the beginnings of both halves? The whole point of the current system is it largely negates the advantage of the coin flip. In a game that is supposed to be much more about strategy, strength, speed and skill than luck, what is so objectionable about that?

Edited by user Thursday, June 30, 2011 1:11:58 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline wpr  
#13 Posted : Thursday, June 30, 2011 5:17:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
If they trow for the end zone 3 times and don't make it and they end up kicking a FG I am ok with that.



Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
But this almost never happens in overtime, and that is just my problem with it.


you missed my point. I was speaking of regulation play and the current desire of coaches to "play for OT instead of the win".




Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post

By the way, for those of you who think it is "so much PC garbage" that fans would object to the flipping of a coin giving (that is, chance) giving one team a statistically significant advantage in overtime, let me ask you this: Would you be equally sanguine about the league abolishing the current rules for opening kickoffs? Would it be acceptable to you if whoever won the coin toss was allowed to receive (or kick) at the beginnings of both halves? The whole point of the current system is it largely negates the advantage of the coin flip. In a game that is supposed to be much more about strategy, strength, speed and skill than luck, what is so objectionable about that?


I wouldn't object if you can tell me why a game that is 4 quarters long needs to have the same team receive the ball at the start of both haves. It is not a PC issue like saying both teams need to have possession of the ball in the only OT period is.

BTW a 5 min OT would not suffice. One team can hold on to the ball that whole time.

The emphasis seems to be on offense in the OT. GB beat Seattle on Harris' int. GB lost to Arizona on the facemask-sack-fumble of Rodgers. In OT is is incumbent upon the team's defense to get the ball for their offense. If they don't do their job don't blame it on the OT system. They are professionals too and should be held accountable. In the SB after GB got the larger lead Reggie stepped it up and shut down New England. In the recent SB, the Packer defense stepped it up and forced the fumble at the start of the 4th quarter and then got the int to end the game.
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Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#14 Posted : Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:26:14 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
you missed my point. I was speaking of regulation play and the current desire of coaches to "play for OT instead of the win".

Yeah, I figured that out after I hit the Submit button, sorry.

Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
I wouldn't object if you can tell me why a game that is 4 quarters long needs to have the same team receive the ball at the start of both haves.

There is no "need." In both cases they are purely pragmatic or philosophical choices. I question whether the call to give both teams a chance at the ball stems from political correctness anyway. I think branding a call for equitable treatment "PC" is just a convenient and rather lazy way to disparage a position with which one does not agree.

Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
BTW a 5 min OT would not suffice. One team can hold on to the ball that whole time.

As I said, it doesn't matter to me how long the OT period would be. Teams have been known to hold the ball for 10 or even 11 minutes. I have advocated a full 15-minute quarter in the past.

Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
In OT is is incumbent upon the team's defense to get the ball for their offense.

Notice I am not directly advocating for both teams to get the ball. I am advocating for a designated time period as opposed to a sudden-death system. If one offense is good enough to keep the opposing offense off the field for the duration of the overtime period, more power to them. I don't think it would happen terribly often, though. The system would be equitable and would largely, if not entirely, eliminate the statistically significant advantage that accrues from winning the coin toss.

Edited by user Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:40:20 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Wow @ all the typos!

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Offline wpr  
#15 Posted : Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:33:30 AM(UTC)
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understood.
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