If Bears had tied? Lovie eyed OT

January, 3, 2011
1/03/11
12:41
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Imagine if Chicago Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler threw a touchdown on the Bears' final drive Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, instead of a game-ending interception to Nick Collins.

A Bears' score would've made it 10-9 pending the extra point.

What would've been Lovie Smith's next move?

Kick the PAT and go to overtime? Or attempt a two-point conversion and try to win the game?

"I really hadn't thought that far, we were thinking of tying the game," Smith said Monday. "Probably not [gone for two points]. I probably would've tied the game and gone from there."

The topic of overtime is sure to come up in the playoffs, since the NFL changed the overtime rules for the 2011 postseason.

Here is the simplest explanation of the new policy courtesy of the NFL.

  • If Team A receives the opening kickoff and scores a touchdown on that possession, the game is over.

  • If Team A punts or turns the ball over on the opening possession and Team B scores a touchdown or field goal on the next possession, the game is over.

  • If Team A receives the opening kickoff, drives down the field and converts a field goal, Team B gets an ensuing possession. A touchdown by Team B would win the game; a field goal would extend the game; failing to score would end the game.

  • If the score is tied after both teams have had a possession, traditional sudden-death rules resume.

  • If Team B kicks off to Team A and legally recovers the ball during the kickoff, Team A has lost its possession and a scoring drive for Team B ends the game.

    With talented return men like Devin Hester and Danieal Manning, the Bears are bound to have the edge in any postseason game that goes into overtime.
  • Jeff Dickerson | email

    Chicago Bears beat reporter
    Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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