NFL Overtime Rules

The NFL is again looking at overtime rules. As of now it is possible for the team winning the coin toss to win the game without the other team having a possession. And, even with all of the changes proposed the team winning the coin flip would still have an advantage any way you cut it.

If the NFL wants to totally take the coin flip out of the game, it should do one of two things:

  1. Adopt the College Football overtime system or something similar.

  2. Adopt a system under which as long as the teams score touchdowns with two-point conversions the game goes on, but as soon as a team fails to score eight points on a possession the game is either over or goes to sudden death. Here is the reasoning:

As long as the teams score touchdowns with two-point conversions, the best that the team is losing can do is tie. Thus, under this scenario, if both teams had the ball once and scored eight points each and if the game then went into sudden death, the winner of the coin toss would still have the advantage of only needing to score to win. Having the game go on as long as the teams score eight points eliminates this.

However, as soon as a team fails to score eight points the game is either over or goes to sudden death. If the team which failed to score is losing, the game is over. If the team which failed to score is winning or if the game is tied, that means that team had the opportunity to score eight points but did not, meaning that the other team has the opportunity to win on its next possession. At that point whoever won the coin flip and received possession first would no longer be of any bearing.

It would have been interesting to see how the game between the Bills and Chiefs played out under this set of rules.

Let me add another scenario…

Use the College Method but eliminate the Field goal.

A team must score a touchdown and try for an extra point of like 35 yards.

Team 2 can win with a Touchdown if team 1 failed to score or match team 1 or win with the Extra Point (Field Goal) if team 2 failed in the FG,

I know a bit complicated but this makes no difference as to who goes first. In effect it is as close to head to head as possible.

It removes the strategy either might do as to field goals… it makes both teams equal. Knowledge of what team 1 did makes no difference. The Coin Toss makes no difference. Each team must do the same tasks whether they are first or second.

However, what happens if both Team 1 and Team 2 score a touchdown and make the extra point, thus leaving them tied? Do they repeat the process with each team getting an opportunity?

I ask because one of the proposals out there would give each team a possession with the game going to sudden death if they are still tied. Under such a system the winner of the coin toss would still have an advantage.

Also, the extra point is thirty-five yards now, so I am calling it an extra point here.

Edit: I think I see your answer in your reference to the college system and that they would repeat the process. If I am wrong, please correct me.

It is always a pleasure to discuss sports with you. :smiley:

Yes Rinse Repeat? Maybe put it on the 2 Minute clock to save time… move it along.

Finally after 3 repeats… the team that gained the most yards wins. I know this gives an advantage to the team that goes last… but time is a problem, especially during the regular season.

For the SB and Playoffs less so.

The NHL uses different systems for the regular season and playoffs. For the regular season they use a three-on-three five-minute sudden-death overtime period followed by a shoot-out, which guarantees a winner. However, for the playoffs they play sudden death using the regular rules. They feel that a gimmicky system designed to give a winner quickly is not appropriate for the playoffs, where the stakes are much higher. That can lead to some rather long NHL playoff games, but that is the way it goes sometimes.

I think the NFL needs to look at it in the same way. With the stakes so high in the playoffs, the NFL should endeavor to have a system that does not rely on gimmicks. And, with the NFL specifically, where the outcome of a game can not be affected by the result of a coin flip.