Dan TM's Blog

I want to know what the great people of FanNation have to say about this idea.  I thought of it while reading this great throwdown that everyone should check out:


So the issue at stake is that in OT games last season, the team who won the coin toss won the game 60% of the time.  That's too much influence for a flip of a coin to have in a sport with a 16-game season.  There have been a couple of proposed changes.

Some people want to see the NFL mimic the NCAA's system, in which each team alternates possessions from the 25-yard line until one team has a lead after a set of possessions.  It's very fair, since the only advantage involved is that one team has the wind at their backs (correct me if I'm wrong on that, I'm an NFL guy).  This cuts out special teams, which I don't like.

Another proposal is to move the kickoff for overtime five yards forward, so the team to get the ball first has weaker field position.  This will mean, more often than not, that the opening kickoff will result in a touchback, which the NFL deemed boring a few years ago when they moved all other kickoffs back.  Plus, this could only knock the percentage down a few points; the coin flip will still have a major impact.

The NFL could also opt for a set overtime period.  Ten minutes has been suggested, which is most likely enough time for each team to get at least one possession.  I don't like it because it gives an advantage to teams with a strong running or short passing game, who can win the toss and then run out the clock, giving them 7 minutes to score and leaving the other team with only 3.  It's better, but still not fair.

Other options?  Just end it at a tie after regulation, which I kind of like because then a team might go for two to avoid a tie in a must-win.  Or give each team one possession and then call it a tie, which has the same problems as the college system. 

Here's the thing - I like sudden-death.  It makes the NFL unique, ends the game on a score, clock management isn't a concern, and makes every play exciting.  So here's my crazy idea to level the playing field a little bit, and I think it makes overtime better all-around.

Keep the coin toss, keep the kickoff where it is.  The big change is, the game doesn't end until a team scores 6 points in the overtime period.

Can you imagine the drama?  On every play inside the opponent's 30, the coach must decide whether to take the field goal or keep trying for a TD.  No more driving to the 25 and making a no-brainer kick.  You still have the risk of everything ending on one play.  Once a team's kicked a field goal, if they get the ball again, they only need one more field goal. 

If the 15-minute period ends without anyone scoring, then it's a tie.  Same if it's 3-3.  But a team can also win if they're up at the end of 15 minutes by a field goal, safety, or both. 

What do you all think?  See any flaws that I haven't?


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