It's a rule that gets debated often among the airwaves of the media, does the NFL need to change its rules for overtime. Or maybe just a change to the overtime rules for the playoffs. We have seen two great games in this year's playoffs that have lead to overtime, the 51-45 Wild Card game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers, and yesterday's NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints.
First, the Wild Card game. Arizona did not win the coin toss, but won the game off of a fumble recovery by LB Karlos Dansby. So, the coin toss may not have been the deciding issue in this game, the Packers just blew it.
Then, the NFC Championship Game. The Vikings had a chance to win it, and the old Brett Favre showed up at the wrong time of the year, again. But should that game have ended off of one posession in overtime? Some will argue that the Vikings and Favre had their chance to win the game in regulation, while others say despite that fact, that such an important game should not have been determined by a flip of a coin.
Here's an interesting stat on overtime games in the playoffs, prior to the start of this season's playoffs. Before the start of the 2009 season, dating back to 1958, 25 postseason games have gone into OT, and in 21 of those cases both teams have had an offesnive posession. So is the system totally flawed? And if changes were to be made, what would they entail?
College seems to have an adequate system where both teams get a possession, and starting in the third OT, both teams must go for a two-point conversion, to speed up the game. But the college game places the ball at the 25 yard line. That would not be adequate for the professional game, especially in yesterday's game featuring two of the premier QBs, and offenses, in the league this season, not to mention in a position where most NFL kickers should be able to hit a field goal from. Starting at the 50 would make teams need to make at least one first down to make it into field goal range. Starting at a team's own 20 yard line would possibly prolong the overtime longer than most casual fans would care to watch. So perhaps it's time to let each team get a chance from the 50, and have at it. The question is not whether the rules committee will discuss a possible change this offseason, but whether or not it will get enough support to make a change. Love him, or hate him, how many true NFL fans wanted to see an icon like Brett Favre possibly end his career without a chance to redeem himself?