Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NFL Amends Overtime Play for Postseason

According to NFL.com, the NFL has voted to change the way overtime is played during the postseason. Of the 32 franchises voting, 28 of them voted in favor of the change.

The Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, and Cincinnati Bengals were the four teams to oppose the change.

The new rule is being called "modified sudden death," because it still incorporates some of the old ways of handling overtime.

Under the new rule, if the team that won the coin toss kicks a field goal on its opening drive, the other team will get an opportunity to match that field goal and send the game into a full-blow sudden death scenario -- or score a touchdown and end the game.

If the team winning the coin toss is stopped, then the other team kicks a field goal, the game is over. If the team that won the coin toss scores a touchdown on their opening drive ala the Chargers and Colts a couple years ago, the game is over.

Again, this is only for postseason play. The owners could vote sometime in May whether or not to extend the rule to the regular season, but will most likely give the rule a year in the playoffs before using it universally.

Personally, I think it's backward to test something out on the playoffs before the regular season. If they wanted to test this rule out, they should have tested it out throughout the regular season, then met during the season for a vote on whether or not to extend the rule into the playoffs.

The majority believes this was a much-needed change, but you can leave me out of that group.

The argument of "just play defense" might be wearing thin for some, but it's the easiest, simplest, and most logical argument there is. This rule does nothing but take even more away from the defensive side of the ball and puts the game where the NFL's decision-makers think the fans want to see it -- with the offense.

The idea that all NFL fans simply want to see games that end in the 50-point range is ridiculous.

Sure, there are a lot of new-age fans who would like to see that, but that's why the Arena Football League had done so well for over two decades and is now making its return. The NFL, on the other hand, used to attract more of the old-school fan who wanted to see a running game and some defense.

The league is attempting to move their product forward, but they're moving in circles and slowly killing it. Overtime was not the problem, the rule changes putting a shackle on defense was the problem.

Instead of fixing that hole in the wall, they've simply slapped a poster over it. But it won't be long before the poster falls off and that hole is exposed once again.

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