Goodell doesn’t want to change overtime


The NFL’s owners will vote this week on whether to change the rules of overtime so that each team is guaranteed a possession. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hopes the owners vote it down.

Goodell told Peter King of that he likes the current format in which a team can win on the opening possession of overtime by scoring a touchdown.

I think our overtime rule is really working well,” Goodell said. “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.”

The current rule, which says the game doesn’t end if the team receiving the kickoff kicks a field goal on its opening possession, has been in place since 2012. It still gives the team that wins the coin toss an advantage, but not as significant an advantage as that team had when it only needed a field goal to win the game. There have been many suggestions for how to improve overtime, ranging from adopting the college system of alternating possessions to taking field goals out of it entirely. But Goodell thinks the rules the NFL has in place right now are the best system.

78 responses to “Goodell doesn’t want to change overtime

  1. NFL current overtime is much better than a ‘FG Kick’ contest… which would be the equivalent to the NHL shootout travesty.

    Leave NFL overtime alone

  2. The reason why the other team doesn’t get the ball is because if the first team scores a touchdown, the other team can, at most, tie the game. Goodell doesn’t want the games to carry on too long because of injuries.

    But at the least, the team should be required to make the extra point first. Or maybe let the other team get the ball too, and if they also get a touchdown, require them to go for two, so the game comes down to that play. Just an idea…

  3. Goodell is often wrong. Often enough that I almost used the phrase “usually wrong,” but this time he happens to be right.

    There’s nothing wrong with the current overtime system. If your defense can’t prevent a touchdown you haven’t earned the win.

  4. Listen to the fans, please… Nobody likes or wants the “sudden death nature”!! That only adds an unnecessary element of unfairness to the game.

  5. Yes, change it – back to the way it was. First team to score in OT wins, by any type of score. If you want to cry and whine how unfair it is to lose a game on a coin toss, I say too bad. You had 60 minutes to win the game, and if you lose the toss, your defense can always stop the coin toss winner. Man up and put it back where it was. First team to score in OT wins. Period.

  6. Good, the current overtime rules work just fine. If you can’t stop the other team from scoring points you don’t deserve to win. However, knowing Goodell, his reasoning for upholding the current overtime rules were probably something stupid like “I’ve been told there have never been any player injuries during overtime. In fact, overtime has never been safer. Also, overtime is exciting so there is no reason to try and change it.”

  7. Maybe they can make the coin toss the best of seven. Just as stupid as the rules as they are now(and I’m a Hawk fan)

  8. Offense and defense are both part of the game. If you lose the coin flip and your defense can’t prevent the other team from scoring a touchdown when the game is on the line, maybe you don’t deserve to win the game. On the other hand, if you force a 3-and-out, you get the ball back in good field position and have a good chance to win the game with a field goal.

  9. Overtime should be in the playoff only. Let games during the season end in a tie, like the old days, also go back to real grass fields when he players had to play in the mud on rainy days

  10. Overtime should be in the playoff only. Let games during the season end in a tie, like the old days, also go back to real grass fields when he players had to play in the mud on rainy days

  11. No changes needed. You have 60 minutes to win the game before it gets to that issue. Can’t blame the loss on one possession after regulation has ended.

  12. One ball. Dead center of the field. Both teams entire rosters and coaches can go for it. Whoever has it at the end of one minute wins.

  13. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Offense and defense are both part of the game. If you lose the coin flip and your defense can’t prevent the other team from scoring a touchdown when the game is on the line, maybe you don’t deserve to win the game.
    in the old days I agree, not now, the defense isn’t allowed to touch anyone anymore, this is the only reason each team should now get a possession,

  14. What Goodell wants and what’s best is rarely the same thing.

    It would be nice if the coin flip didn’t give one team such a large advantage over the other. Especially if it’s a playoff game.

  15. They should’ve left it like it was before Goodell’s input, but whatever; I’m sure that many will disagree. I guess there is no such thing as playing defense anymore…


  16. Just eliminate the ball in OT. Have both teams (coaches too) line up on the twenties, at the whistle, rush toward each other and have a big scrum. Goes on until only one team has a player standing. THAT would be entertaining

  17. NFL doesn’t want to change to that system because it would be closer to college and a concession the college rule is better. The NFL has always had an inferiority complex when it comes to college, which dwarfed the pro game for its first 50 years of existence. They hate to admit college is better; that’s why they resisted 2 pt conversions until they absorbed the AFL.

  18. So, Mike.. it is only Goodell that does not want to change.. it is not the owners? I was not aware Roger could just change something if the owners did not want it… just a thought

  19. Change it to college, but mandate a 2pt conversion attempt after a score.

    This would likely prevent a 2nd OT period needed.

    Otherwise if you are going to keep a coin flip so important, just literally make it the winner of the flip wins the game. Might as well go the whole 9 yards.

  20. In both Seattle OT games (DEN Week 3; GB NFC CG), the visiting team called the flip (this is SOP). Peyton Manning as much as admitted the reason he called tails is because they did for the regulation kickoff and the Broncos won that toss. In short, both teams had the advantage and blew it.

  21. I like most of the NFL rules as they are now with the exception that no team should be allowed to beat the Seahawks…..Can we make that a rule?

    I vote to keep O.T. as it is now….

  22. Overtime is essentially starting a new game at 0-0.

    It takes an entire team to win or lose a game. So it should take an entire team to determine the outcome of an overtime game.

    Having to rely on just an offense or just a defense isn’t going to tell you which team is better; it’s going to tell you which half team is better. The current method lacks integrity and the better team doesn’t always win in OT because of it.

  23. And so the Packers and Steelers will continue their silent protest of the OT rules by immediately giving up a long TD bomb every time they go into overtime.

  24. It has nothing to do with the possibility of a continuous tie game.. at least for the games sake. Hell that sounds great for the fans but who pays Goodell’s 44+ million dollar salary again? As far as he is concerned, the networks.

    A tie game after a 15 minute OT is one thing but delaying or pushing to the right “hot” and “new” programming by that Network. NGH. Say it with me, ‘Not Going to Happen’.

  25. Overtime is just fine. So many other areas that are so bad and in desperate need of change. This would be so far down on my list… if at all.

  26. But I understand Goodell DOES want to eliminate the coin toss and let a player from each team scramble for the ball for the first possession.

  27. Sadly, it’s come down to this for me — if Goodell likes it, I’m against it. There’s probably never been a commissioner of a major sport so wrong so often.

  28. What about treating it like just a new quarter–like going from the 3rd to the 4th? No kickoff to make anyone feel ripped off. The team that has possession at the end of the 4th keeps possession, down and distance, but time just keeps clicking. Then you can go sudden death and it doesn’t revolve around a coin flip.

  29. I miss the old system. This new one is ok, but I prefer immediate sudden death. There was nothing more exciting in all of sports than an NFL overtime game before the rule change..

    College’s system is just plain terrible.

  30. first possession in OT should be determined by rock/paper/scissors, not flip of a coin.

  31. Change the AFC and NFC championship trophies back to the old school ones. The new ones are boring and lame.

  32. Overtime is hands down the most messed up problem with the NFL as far as rules within the game. Not sure about the facts but Im sure the team that wins the coin toss wins the majority of the time. But of course, Goodell doesn’t want to change something from bad to good. Just good to bad like the kickoffs (so boring now), my as well give teams the ball on the 20.

  33. If they do change it to each team is guaranteed a possession, then the team that wins the toss will want to defer. Otherwise, they could score and kick a PAT. Then the other team scores and decides to go for 2 and gets it and wins. Completely would change the mindset of coaches.

  34. i like the current overtime rule. no mater what the NFL does people complain. you know like cry baby peyton manning

  35. I like the college overtime format, but not for the NFL. Somewhat related is that the NHL realizes that skills contests should not be deciding games and moving to more overtime (3 on 3) after the first five-minute OT period. Fans like games decided on real plays.

  36. First team to score a TD/Goal in the game gets the decision if the game ends in a tie. if there is no score than excuse the teams from the field and ice with no points. We’ve seen enough.

    Leave OT for the playoffs.

  37. The one thing he needs to change, he doesn’t want to.

    With the college format, both teams have to play on both sides of the ball. Of course it’s fair. If you think the current rules are good, you’re saying only one team deserves to lose if they can’t make a stop.

    By that logic, how will we know that the team who got the ball first deserved to win if they didn’t even have to make a stop?

  38. coltzfan166 says:
    Mar 23, 2015 1:43 PM
    Goodell doesn’t want the games to carry on too long because of injuries.

    Are you sure about that or just guessing?
    Because if you are right, then why is he proposing an 18 game schedule?

  39. The last thing we want is more ties. The current system has resulted in a few, but not too many. If the coin toss loser is allowed an offensive possession after the coin toss winner has scored a TD, it’s going to result in too many tie games to tolerate.

  40. What he meant to say was “We can’t find a way yet to make more money by changing the overtime rules so until we do we are fine with the way they are.”

  41. For all of you people who espouse the “Let both teams get a guaranteed possession, and if they both score, THEN it goes to sudden death after that” – How does that make sense? If you think it’s not “fair” that a team loses the game because they give up a TD on the first possession (thus never getting a shot at having the ball), how is it “fair” for a team to win after getting 2 possessions when the other team only got 1? i.e. Team A scores a TD, Team B gets the ball and also scores a TD, Team A gets the ball again and scores again and wins because we’ve now entered sudden death. Final possessions tally: Team A 2, Team B 1.

  42. Hahaha, so much hate for a guy who has never harmed any of us personally. The man is a sports commissioner…hired by owners, not voted in by us or appointed by the government. His employers give him authority to corral their employees and haggle over rules and regulations. They must like him because he’s still on the payroll. You dudes need some ice cold lemonade and a chair on the lawn…relax and stop getting worked up over something. It’s not like you’ll stop watching football because of him.

  43. But mostly Goodell just doesn’t want to tell the truth … about anything

  44. Lmao. The one thing this clown should change and he doesnt. This guy is a total joke. The college OT is so much better than the stupid NFL rules.

    Instead of giving the teams at the 25 like college, each team should get the ball at the 40 and follow college OT rules from there. Theres no whining about 1 team not getting the ball. Problem solved. Things are too simple, yet this clown cant get anything right

  45. Both teams should be guaranteed one possession…

    How hard is that to understand?

  46. Worst rule ever.

    If they score a field goal you get a chance, if they score a TD you don’t get a chance.

    What kind of crazy logic is that ?

  47. I’m still totally in favor or Roger Goodell resigning and moving on. He has no leadership ability and the NFL would be better off with a new visionary leader.

  48. I’m more of a fan of the original rule. If the team that wins the coin toss scores, they should win the game right there. Defense is as big a part of the game as offense.

  49. There are three phases to football – offense, defense, and special teams. If you don’t get the ball first in OT, you have chances on defense and special teams to get the ball back. In fact, you can even give up points, you just can’t give up a TD. OT does not need to be changed.

    Hey, if you don’t like OT, win the darn game in regulation!!

  50. Overtime is essentially starting a new game at 0-0

    This isn’t quite right. OT is the result of both teams not being able to win the game in regulation. With that understanding, Sudden Death is exactly the proper resolution – the first team to get a score after the regulation period has already ended is the winner.

    The rule was changed a few years back because changes in the game have given enough of an advantage to the offense that all they had to do was get to the opponent’s 35-yard line and kick a FG. So they allowed the exception that the other team would then get a chance to score after that.

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