McKay comes out against two-possession overtime

The NFL’s proposed change to playoff overtime will give the team that loses the coin toss a chance of getting the ball if it gives up a field goal on the opening possession. But it won’t guarantee each team a possession; if the team that wins the toss can score a touchdown on the first possession, the game ends.

NFL Competition Committee co-chair Rich McKay said today that he opposes a rule that would guarantee a two-possession overtime because he believes maintaining the sudden-death aspect of the ability to win on the opening possession is important.

“The problem with the two-possession rule is it will change the way people play at the end of the game,” McKay said. “It would absolutely have an effect. If there’s a minute and a half to go, you’re at home and you feel good about your team, if you’re in a two-possession overtime, you’re going to be conservative. Real conservative. Because in the end you feel very comfortable going into overtime. Whereas in a sudden-death format you’re not as comfortable, and you’re motivated to score. And that’s why we all like the sudden death aspect of it. This was the best proposal we could craft that modified it and still kept the major elements of it.”

McKay said he’s optimistic that the proposal will be adopted because the Competition Committee has demonstrated to the owners the statistics showing how big an advantage winning the coin flip at the start of overtime is.

“A lot of people are very open to talking about it because
people do recognize the statistical situation we’re in,” McKay said. “I hope they
recognize that the change we’re proposing is not a dramatic change in
philosophy. It’s still a sudden-death system.”

The overtime proposal will apply only to playoff games, and whether the rule is adopted or not, regular-season overtime will be unchanged in 2010. McKay noted that the stakes are higher in the playoffs and as a result the Competition Committee thought it was more important to get overtime right.

“This rule is proposed as postseason only,” McKay said. “The reason it was suggested as postseason only is that there were teams that thought, in the regular season you play 16 games, and if a game ends in a tie, you’ve still got 15 other chances to get to the playoffs. In the postseason you don’t.”

21 responses to “McKay comes out against two-possession overtime

  1. What a stupid argument from McKay.
    He is bascially saying that because the current system is so f’ed up, and has a coin flip as it’s primary decider, the teams will play differently if there is a fair system installed.

  2. Why don’t they just play a full goddamn extra quarter and whoever is ahead at the end wins.
    If tie, play another freaking quarter.
    How dumb are these people?

  3. It’s great to see that even a moron like Rich McKay understands the terrible effect the new rule would have on the end of regulation.
    Surely, the next post will be another of Florio’s rhetoric-filled affronts to common sense.

  4. making the rule change only effective in the post-season sounds like a reasonable compromise… but i can’t believe the resistance to the OT rule change. pure sudden death OT in football is LAME.

  5. Say What?
    An article written with no personal attacks or personal agenda?
    Oh, Michael David Smith penned this entry. Never mind.

  6. Changing overtime still sucks. The way the proposed rule is explained leaves me with a question: What happens when the receiving team gets stopped on the first drive. The original kicking team gets the ball and drives for a field goal. Do they win? Do then then have to stop the original receiving team for a second time? That would be stupid, as their defense already did their job and the offense went and scored. You would then make the argument that the original receiving team got two tries to get a touchdown and win vs one for the original kicking team. Don’t change the OT rule at all.

  7. Damn!!!! Just make the goal post smaller for christ sake. Make it harder to make three points……………Period !!!

  8. I agree, move the kickoffs up 5 yards and make the goal posts smaller. Guarenteed posessions make the game look like the stupid college game.

  9. “Whereas in a sudden-death format you’re not as comfortable, and you’re motivated to score.” – McKay
    I’m thinking that it might be just barely within the realm of possibility that motivation itself won’t guarantee you a score ( thus a win) in sudden death when the other team has the ball at your twelve.

  10. All rule changes will affect how they play the game. That’s kind of the point of making a rule change, to change how the game is played. In this case, you’re “trying” to change the way a game is decided. Some people believe that it is “unfair” for one team to win without giving the other team a chance to match. Well, that’s the point of Sudden Death. The reason you got to Sudden Death is because you FAILED to win in regulation.
    If you don’t like Sudden Death, then eliminate that. However, they DO LIKE Sudden Death, so they came up with this ridiculous convoluted proposal, which NO casual fan will understand (which supposedly was Florio’s reasoning for wanting a change, to satisfy his Auntie May, who doesn’t understand the concept of Sudden Death).
    If you LIKE Sudden Death, but still think the current system is “unfair”, then think long and hard about what makes it “unfair.” And, don’t say it’s not fair because one team can lose without a possession because now you’re talking in circles. THAT IS SUDDEN DEATH. No, what is perceived as “unfair” is that one team can win an arbitrary coin toss with no skill involved, and then drive 40 yards to win the game. So, the real problem is twofold: 1) the arbitrary coin flip, and 2) the ease of driving 40 yards to win the game.
    The solution is simple. Eliminate the coin flip, and make it more difficult to drive 40 yards or force them to drive more than 40 yards. In other words, reverse some of the rule changes that made it easy to drive 40 yards, such as ticky-tack PI calls, and QB’s wearing skirts, and ticky-tack hands to the face calls (see Packers vs Cardinals). Let the defense play, and you’ll get fewer 1st possession wins. Move the kickoffs to force a longer field.

  11. 100% of teams who outscore their opponents win the game. We’ve got a statistical situation on our hands and we’ve got to do something about it.

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