Chicago Sun-Times

NFL owners approve OT rule change in postseason

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Despite their overtime success, the Bears were among the 28 teams that approved an overtime rule change for the postseason.

The rule now prohibits the team winning the coin flip in overtime from winning the game with a field goal on its initial possession. If they successfully kick a field goal, the other team would have an opportunity to possess the ball.

The Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens voted against the rule change. The rule needed 24 votes to pass.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara said he was not optimistic about the measure passing, when he arrived in Orlando because "we've been down this path before and have failed."

But he said the owners built some momentum and decided to vote Tuesday instead of Wednesday, a decision that irked some coaches, including Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.

Mara jokingly said, "I think the feeling was, 'Let's get the vote done now before the coaches and everybody else can come in there and screw it up.' "

There's a possibility that owners may vote to extend the rule for the regular season as well, at their meeting in Dallas in May.

"Statistically, it needed to be changed," Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay said. "It wasn't producing the fairest result, based on the effect of field goal accuracy, distance and drive start."

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6 Comments

Should have been done years ago. With all the differnt ways to go about the rule, the NFL went with the First team to get the ball atleast has to score a TD to end the game?? But yet if the coin flip wining team has to punt then the other team can make a field goal and win??

Then they talk about fairnes??
Am I the only one that thinks this is a lame duck idea just to do a quick fix.

My opinion if the NFL ruled out field goals on first possetion, they should also rule it for the second to make it all fair. After the first 2 possetions then all rules should apply.

Sum it up the NFL should have ruled out field goals for the first 2 possetions.

onside kicks INTs, Fumbles give the other team to win on a field goal but yet the first team cant. See where Im comming from. Can see this rule last for a short time.

To make it "fair", first team to score 8 or more points wins.

the rule should stay the same..if u can win games n go to the superbowl thats good but if u cant win games boowhooooo go cry to your mamas this is a man's game...

Stupid, over-complicated solution to something that was hardly a problem.

If they wanted to change it, make it first to 5 or 6 points. This new overtime blows.

Every offseason the NFL owners feel the need to change the rules of the game and every year the game gets less enjoyable to watch. Anyone hear that Commi$$ioner Goof-dell is considering doing away with the 3 point stance? Flag football here we come.

Timmer, I think what you've highlighted is the sheer stupidity of these old farts. They think they can "fix" some aspect of the game and in the end, more and more problems spring up.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the team that doesn't start with the ball in OT still has a defense right? If El Presidente de Los Falcons thought the OT results were "unfair" then how about they change the rules on the defensive side of the ball where it's near impossible to cover a receiver without getting flagged for pass interference, defensive holding or illegal contact? Or what about changing those rules where if you simply graze the QB, I'm sorry, certain, popular, and important QBs, on the head, it's a 15 yd penalty? Hey, that would make things fairer wouldn't it? Oh but that would make way too much sense and the NFL owners along with Goof-dell aren't used to that.

Restricting this change to only the playoffs is a good idea. That way we can see how it works out and dump it if it doesn't.I'm not sure a change is really necessary even though winning the coin toss and then getting a good kickoff return creates an anti-climactic conclusion to a hard-fought game.The way the change is structured does make sense. It's somewhere between the university approach and what the pros do now.

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