The Big Question: New OT?

March, 23, 2010
3/23/10
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Should the NFL change its overtime format?

ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of the biggest topics of discussion here at the NFL owners meetings is whether to tweak overtime rules.

[+] EnlargeVinatieri
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesUnder the proposed overtime rules changes, this Adam Vinatieri field goal would not have immediately ended the game.
The competition committee has recommended the league adopt a system for the playoffs allowing the team that loses the coin flip a possession if the team that wins the coin toss kicks a field goal on the opening drive.

Sudden death would occur only if a touchdown is scored.

There has been spirited debate about whether it will pass.

Traditionalists such as Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan prefer the current system. First team to score wins, no matter what. They view the proposal as too radical.

Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick prefer change.

"I think probably it's a good idea," Nix said. "Fans want it and what it does is if you're a team that gets beat without ever touching the ball by a field goal, obviously, you feel that you've been cheated if you don't get a shot at it.

"I probably shouldn't say this -- I usually do anyway -- but I think any time you take a kick out of it, a field goal out of the equation, then it helps. And it will limit some because a guy on fourth-and-1 from the 15, he might go for the first down to try to get the game over with, which I think is a good thing."

My take is that the proposal would be an effective and fair way to determine a winner, but it should be instituted for regular-season games too. If the NFL deems the current system inadequate for money games, then how can it justify maintaining the overtime system for a crucial game in Week 16 or 17 with a playoff berth on the line?

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