The NFL announced today that they will be changing the current overtime rule for the post- season starting this coming season. The new rule passed by a 28-4 count. The owners also agreed to speak about the new overtime rule for the regular season at next years meetings. The four teams voting against the new rule were Buffalo, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Baltimore. This is the first time the overtime rule has been changed since 1974.
As for the new rule? It may be an improvement from the old rule, but I’m still not sold that it’s the answer. I still like the idea of putting eight to ten minutes on the clock in the overtime period and let the teams play until there is 0:00 on the clock. If it’s still tied after the overtime period ends then the game is a tie.
Here is the new overtime rule from ESPN.com
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.
Some other important details were brought up about the new rule on ProFootballTalk.com
What happens if a team attempts an on-side kick?
“A kickoff is the opportunity to possess for the receiving team. If the kicking team legally recovers the kick, the receiving team is considered to have had its opportunity.”
This is also true if the receiving team fumbles a kickoff.
It is also my understanding that if the offense surrenders a safety on their initial possession that the game would end.
I’m sure we all have our own opinions on the new rule. My opinion is that if Brett Favre didn’t throw the interception late in the NFC Championship game or if Favre was able to get a chance in overtime, this rule would have never been discussed at the owners meetings. Should this be the Favre rule?