Although it had happened multiple times since the half-measure change to the overtime rules of six years ago, there had been little public push (although we griped about it in 2015) for expanding the rule that prevents first-possession wins to include touchdowns until the aftermath of Saturday night’s win by the Cardinals over the Packers.
But even with a stronger sense that something isn’t right about Green Bay exiting the postseason in back-to-back years by losing the coin toss, kicking off, and having their opponent score a walk-off six-pointer, it’s currently not expected that the overtime rule will be tweaked.
A source with knowledge of the situation explained to PFT that overtime changes always will be on the agenda for the annual league meeting, but that a significant effort to adjust the rules isn’t coming.
Last year, the Bears proposed an adjustment that would guarantee one possession per team. Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke out against the change prior to its formal consideration.
“I think our overtime rule is really working well,” Goodell told Peter King in March. “I think it’s got the right balance. It keeps the sudden death nature of the game but . . . you have the opportunity to win the game and not give the other team the ball if you score a touchdown. . . . I think that maintaining the sudden death nature of the game is very important.”
Not surprisingly, the change wasn’t made. Somewhat surprisingly, the Packers voted against the proposal.
That’s where the dynamics become very bizarre among NFL teams. Although players and coaches may be inclined to gripe about the application of an unfair rule in the aftermath of having it work against them, the league has a goofy cultural superstition regarding the notion that it makes sense to keep the unfair rule in place because the team that was screwed by it once will likely benefit from it the next time. While that obviously didn’t happen for the Packers, some in the organization may believe even more strongly that they are due to benefit from the unfair rule, so why should they want it to go away?
The question now becomes whether you want it to go away. Speak your mind on the subject below.