Thomas Dimitroff would like both teams to get a chance in overtime

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Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff lost the Super Bowl in overtime last month, so it’s understandable if he’s a little sore about sudden death.

Dimitroff said on PFT Live that he’d like to see the NFL explore an overtime format that guarantees each team a possession, as opposed to the current format, which allows a team to win the coin toss, receive the opening kickoff and win the game with a touchdown without the other team ever possessing the ball.

“I would like to have a chance, of course, but that’s not where we are right now and I’m a big league guy so I’m supportive of where we are right now,” Dimitroff said. “Personally I’d like us to continue to discuss that. I understand coin flips. I understand when Tom Brady flipped the coin — when it flipped in his favor in the middle of the field, there’s a guy who’s incredibly special when the game’s on the line, so that’s a difficult situation. . . . We would like to have an opportunity.”

The only overtime proposal the NFL is considering at this week’s league meeting is one that would shorten overtime in the preseason and regular season to 10 minutes. But the league is constantly talking about ways to improve overtime, and it wouldn’t be surprising if another change comes at some point, one that would get rid of the sudden death format. Too late for the Falcons.

107 responses to “Thomas Dimitroff would like both teams to get a chance in overtime

  1. If you want an opportunity your defense has to stop the other team, plain and simple. Falcons had their chance and screwed it up.

  2. I’m in favor of employing an OC that understands the importance of running the ball, when you have a lead & a head coach that will veto passing plays in favor of clock management!

  3. Both teams do get a chance… if you don’t get the ball, you have to stop them from scoring a TD. If they score a TD, you blew your chance…

  4. Hey Thomas, if you had spent more of your efforts shoring up the D maybe you would have gotten the ball. I like the current rule, if you keep the other team out of the end zone you get your shot

  5. Idiot,,,you do get a chance..Have your over hyped, winded”D”,,,stop them from scoring…You loser… Simple as that

  6. Although I’ve been a Patriot fan since 1960 and loved the Super Bowl win for my team, I agree with Dimitroff, that a game specifically of the importance of a Super Bowl, I hope the league gives this some thought. The teams play too hard to have a coin toss, be the reason you might not get a chance to possess the ball or come back and win the game. I think it might be more exciting for the fans on both teams. I never liked the rule has it stands now. What do you guys think?

  7. Dimitroff…but You had “opportunities ” the entire 2nd half of the game. Matt Ryan took a horrible sack. You offensive coordinator and coach called awful plays. You squandered your opportunities.


    Don’t blow the biggest lead in a Superbowl, and you won’t have to worry about overtime, what a baby !! This is why the Falcons will never be a winner.

  9. Sudden death. That’s what we use to call over time. You had your chance during regulation. This is sudden death.

  10. The Falcons allowed 31 unanswered points. They had their chance to win that game in regulation. Changing the overtime rules would not have changed the outcome of that game.

  11. when slater said “heads” with such confidence I knew The Greatest Franchise in NFL History was about to seal the deal…..I am so proud to be A Patriot!

  12. I’m against that proposal.
    I think it would actually benefit a team to defer and let the other team get first possession in OT. The team deferring will play all 4 downs on every series, if the other team has scored. And they know what they need – 3 to win or tie, or 7 to tie. The team with the ball first still has to punt on fourth down, basically anywhere outside the other teams 40.

  13. You had your opportunity,to stop them or hold them to a FG.Make the games shorter they say…unless!!I hate it when grown men whine….know your gender.

  14. Two years ago Falcons fans wanted to run this guy out of town on a rail. This past year, he’s a “genius”. And now comes this whining like every other coach/player that loses in overtime. Can’t wait to see if he still has a job this time next year with the turnover in the coaching staff. Get a real haircut.

  15. Waaahhh….

    Heres an idea. Don’t let the other team score if you don’t win the coin toss. If you cant keep them out of the end zone, maybe you don’t deserve to win in the first place?

  16. It wouldn’t of mattered if the Falcons had possession of the ball in OT. They only had one 3rd down conversion the entire game. Pats defense shut them down and the Falcons defense was exhausted because they were on the field for 40 minutes.

  17. I can’t believe stuff like this. I was against the last change, even though the Pats lost a game or two on FGs in OT. Overtime shouldn’t be comfortable. It’s not supposed to be. It’s a last chance desperate scramble to win the game. Stop crying.

  18. As long as there is a need to break a tie, some form of coin flip is inevitable. If both sides get the ball in overtime and scores, then what? Sudden death still requires one side getting the ball first, so why is a field goal loss in this situation easier to take than in the beginning of the overtime? After all, both teams have had 4 quarters to try and end things in regulation. This is one topic I’m surprised to see Mike Florio (who’s normally very logical) pushes so strongly without first clearly explaining at what point during a game the (inevitable) coin flip is acceptable to him and why. Personally I’m even fine with the original rule where a field goal wins it since a full 60 minutes have already been played where both sides have had plenty of chances to get the ball. I’ll be the first to admit this is a subjective opinion but I argue it will always be a subjective opinion and there won’t be a “universally fair” rule anyone can come up with that can end this debate.

  19. lgw91s says:
    Mar 28, 2017 8:25 AM

    I’m against that proposal.
    I think it would actually benefit a team to defer and let the other team get first possession in OT. The team deferring will play all 4 downs on every series, if the other team has scored. And they know what they need – 3 to win or tie, or 7 to tie. The team with the ball first still has to punt on fourth down, basically anywhere outside the other teams 40.

    this is correct but we could say if you go behind you only get 3 downs to make first downs on your answering drive

    I would prefer to just leave it as it is though

  20. I’m surprised he’s not saying he thinks the game should end after 3 quarters now lol…To me, the sudden death started after NE tied the game before regulation. If Atlanta just had managed to make a FG at the end there would be no complaining at all about anything, right?! That was one of their several chances to Finish the game off.. And again, if their D had stopped NE or forced a turnover in OT, game over again right?!?! Lol…

  21. Think about it Dimitroff. The Patriots won the SuperBowl, in overtime, without ever having led for even one second in a game where 62 points were scored.
    Do you really think that having been given the ball one more time would have made a difference?

  22. play a full extra quarter in all games, playoffs play another full quarter until somebody has more points at end of extra quarter(s)

  23. No it’s totally better that a coin toss helps decide a super bowl or any game !

  24. If the Patriots lost the SB the OT rule would remain the same. But you can bet the mortgage, being that NE won on the first possession of OT, they will change the rule

  25. It used to be a field goal win in OT. Them that wasn’t fair so each team gets a chance for a field goal but a TD or safety now wins…where do you draw the line? I want a fifth quarter of the game is tied after 4? I’d like it to go back to a sudden death style. Of 4 quarters and 25 points aren’t enough a fifth quarter seems…excessive.

  26. If you won the coin flip the rule would be ok……don’t run the ball four times when up 25 points…..don’t give up a 25 point lead….don’t give up 2 two point conversions to blow that lead……you get my point……….

  27. I bet that game haunts the Falcons for years. For as much talent as they have, and they’re a good team, psychologically, they may be ruined. 25 points. Incredible and unbelievable.

  28. In the current system, defense wins (or loses) championships. That’s as it should be. Want the ball? Stop the other team’s offense. There’s your “opportunity.” No free handouts on the football field.

  29. this doofus needs to sit down……It would not have mattered…..the Falcons were toast…the overtime was merely an extension of the 4th quarter

    If the rule was to play OT in entirety, the Pats would have won 50-28

  30. After gagging on a 25 point lead in the last 18 or so minutes of the Super Bowl they say it’s unfair they didn’t get a chance in OT.

    How adorable 🙂

  31. FINALLY! lgw91s has it right. Everyone pushing for both sides to get the ball in OT misses the fact that the second team has 4 downs available, and already knows what card the receiving team has in the hole (i.e. their points – 0,3,6, or 7).

    Allowing both teams to have a possession gives a huge advantage to the team that wins the coin flip (and would obviously defer).

    This proposal does not make things “equal.”

  32. Remember the 2011 AFC Wildcard game between the Broncos and Steelers? First play of OT, Tebow to Demaryius Thomas for the TD. Game over.

    The OT rule was new then and I don’t remember a lot of hand wringing about it being a bad rule because of what happened in that game. It only turns into a bad rule when your team loses or you want to delegitimize the winner’s victory. In other words, when you’re a whiner.

    If you don’t like the rule, propose a new one and make your case for why it’s better for all teams and fans. But if a guy doesn’t even know who was actually on the field for the coin toss, I don’t have a lot of confidence he can come up with a decent proposal. (Just FYI, Dimitroff, Matthew Slater called the coin toss for the Patriots. Co-captains Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower were also on the field.)

  33. lgw91s says:
    Mar 28, 2017 8:25 AM
    I’m against that proposal.
    I think it would actually benefit a team to defer and let the other team get first possession in OT. The team deferring will play all 4 downs on every series, if the other team has scored. And they know what they need – 3 to win or tie, or 7 to tie. The team with the ball first still has to punt on fourth down, basically anywhere outside the other teams 40.

    Excellent point whether you win or lose the coin flip there is a method to the madness on how to proceed. If you win it, take the ball and you are moving it but stall, you have to decide whether to take the more possible three or go for 6 to seal the deal. If you are on defense and you make the stop all you have to play for is field goal position, big difference.

    I have to believe if Tom won the toss or won the game his opinion may be different.

  34. The Super Bowl had the ultimate drama of a game ending on a touchdown. That is so much more compelling than ending it on a completion. If the Falcons did get one more chance and scored a TD, he’d be complaining if the Patriots if the Patriots kicked a field goal on their next possession. Seriously, how far do you want to go with this? When teams blow 25 point leads, their GMs should just shut up and not complain. That is such poor form. Dimitroff wouldn’t even have his current job if it weren’t for Tom Brady.

  35. kemp13 says:
    Mar 28, 2017 8:06 AM

    What a loser. STOP THE OTHER TEAM. Do the Falcons not play defense (spoiler alert: they don’t)?
    They also had 4 (or 5?) possessions after they went up 28-3. And on all those possessions they scored a total of…. 0.

    And they expected another chance in OT. Ell Oh to tha Lizzle.


  36. Cause to not get strip sacked, get a few 4th quarter stops, not commit stupid penalties allow 2point conversions and run the damn ball 3x to kick 35 yd FG close the game after you have a 25pt lead is way too hard.

  37. So what happens if both teams score on their first possession, and then the team that won the toss scores on the next possession and wins? How is that any more fair than the original sudden death overtime format?

    My point is that you CAN’T make overtime absolutely fair in all cases, unless you want to go to a college OT format, which completely eliminates the concept of field position (which isn’t real football).

  38. Maybe, instead of a Super Bowl championship, all teams should receive a Lombardi Participation Trophy and certificates for their refrigerators. Then, no one’s feelings would be hurt…smh

  39. So what if Atlanta got the ball after the Patriot touchdown and also scored a touchdown. Then the Patriots get the ball back and score a second OT touchdown. Then what, they have to give you another chance?

    What a pathetic loser!

  40. Apparently one thing he failed to learn during his stint in Foxboro is that Belichick NEVER EVER makes even a hint of an excuse.

    Even if you get out an out screwed, you don’t go there. And the Falcons weren’t screwed; they were beaten by a team with less talent but more guts and much better coaching.

  41. Time for the annual “Change a rule that helped the Patriots” game. And next BB and TB12 will find a new way to win.

    Soon, they’ll retire and then maybe these sore losers will try to keep a great game the way it is before it starts to no longer resemble the game that we’ve all grown to love. Let’s hope…

  42. If they put one in the end zone, you go home; if you hold them to a field goal, you get a whack at getting the win. Simple and fair. I like the proposed reduction to a 10 minute OT period, but the rest of the system works fine: no more tinkering.

  43. c’mon people, Dimitroff is a good dude, he isnt saying anything that alot of other NFL people havent said. I disagree with his point, but he doesnt come across as a whiner. Hell, he is from the Pats organization, he worked for Belichick years ago. He knows they lost fair and square. He is a good GM, and seems like a likeable guy.

  44. I don’t care about the Superbowl outcome. This is a GREAT idea!!!

    Both offenses start at the 35 and take turns backing up 10 yards after every possession until someone breaks the tie.

  45. Typical comment from the leadership of a losing franchise. Along with an idiot owner who couldn’t help himself by coming down onto the sidelines thinking the game was over. The game shouldn’t have gone into overtime in the first place……

  46. OT rule not perfect, but giving the team that gave up the TD a chance isn’t fair either… They would be in “4 down” mode to try to tie it knowing they have to score, whereas the team that scored the first TD in OT was in 3 Down mode, and would’ve punted or kicked FG and then would be at more of a disadvantage for the reward of scoring a TD first…

    If they changed it, you would ALWAYS elect to kick-off if you were going to get a chance regardless of what the team receiving the first possession in OT did with the ball…

    how about make OT an 8 minute period, and play the whole period out??? that way – winning the toss is helpful, but not the complete determining factor…

  47. LOL! THAT is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a looooong time!!!! Thank you for starting my day off with a laugh, Thomas!!

  48. I’m against that proposal.
    I think it would actually benefit a team to defer and let the other team get first possession in OT. The team deferring will play all 4 downs on every series, if the other team has scored. And they know what they need – 3 to win or tie, or 7 to tie. The team with the ball first still has to punt on fourth down, basically anywhere outside the other teams 40.

    For the few of us who actually watch college football, we already know this…..

  49. Stop messing with OT. If anything is changed, it should go back to pure sudden death. This “everyone needs a turn” stuff makes it less dramatic and fun to watch.

  50. Given the concern for player safety, I could see them coming up with a modified version of the college OT somewhere down the road, but for now it is what it is. The Falcons had their chance to win in regulation and didn’t seal the deal. They have nothing to complain about. If they add anymore rules, it won’t be football. They keep talking about getting rid of the kickoff, after that you’ll have to fair catch the punt and start for there… they’re wrecking the game with all of these new rules.

  51. The Harbaugh approach, Pats beat you, have the rules changed. Got it.
    Maybe if the Atlanta defense didn’t suck so bad, this would be a non-issue. The rules have been in place for many years now, everyone knows the rules. If you can’t keep a team from scoring a TD, you deserve to lose.

    That garbage D had the entire 4th quarter as well to stop the Pats once, just once, and it’s all moot. Why are we interested in creating a narrative that bails out a team that failed miserably to execute when it mattered? Oh, right, because it was the Pats that won.

  52. So if the Patriots scored a TD with 6 points do they go for the extra point or do they go for two anticipating what the Falcons might do? If the Patriots went for the extra point and the Falcons tried to one up using a two point conversion how is that fair to the Patriots? Then if it ties up again do you cry over them scoring again and you didn’t? There is a reason things are in place the way they are. 3 points on a field goal can be countered by another field goal, which is why the touchdown is unique in overtime. The rules are fine the way they are.

  53. You’re team proved they didn’t have any business being in the SB by having the most epic meltdown in sports history after having the game handed to them.

    All you had to do was was to either no allow 31 points or at least answer those with a single point and you would have won the game.

    Now you want more? Loser!!

  54. Rules Changed Because of Patriots:

    Tuck Rule – Eliminated (11 years later, Patriots and Washington Abstained and Steelers voted not to change the rule at all)

    Physical Coverage by Defensive Backs – Point of emphasis in March 2004 league meetings to call more PI and defensive holding (Bill Polian)

    Snow removal machines no longer allowed to clear space for field goal kicker (Ron Meyer/Don Shula)

    I would say, what’s next? but we know the Patriots have blocked a couple of kicks by leaping over the line (Collins and McLellan) and that will be eliminated.

  55. I’ve never understood that line of thinking, I was fine the original OT format. There are 3 phases of the game, and you have to be good at all 3 to win a title. If you don’t win the toss, then your defense has to do their job – they don’t even need to get a full stop, just keep them out of the end zone! This will probably happen eventually, because the league prefers offense over defense.

  56. End overtime and force these lazy teams into winning it in regulation; only have overtime in the playoffs and go back to the old way – win coin toss, win the ball, and force it down the other team’s throat.

    I am so sick of this “fairness” issue – if you can’t win a game in 60 minutes, you don’t deserve any more time.

  57. “No it’s totally better that a coin toss helps decide a super bowl or any game !”

    Except the toss doesn’t decide the game and that’s a very childish view of the situation.

    The offensive and defensive players on the field decide the game. If the D can’t stop the other team that’s what decides the game. If the offense can’t score and the other team’s offense does that decides the game.

    Not a coin toss.

  58. Baseball is more balanced in its design, which is really noticeable when a game is tied after regulation. Football has a lot of arbitrary parameters, the biggest being time and possession. Obviously you have some control, and 60 minutes to secure a win. But any game that’s based on a clock eventually has an element of luck that favors one of the competitors, and that’s never more apparent than in a championship that goes to overtime. With the momentum they had, I think everybody knew that when NE got the ball, the game was over.

  59. If you can’t get it done in regulation you deserve the tie. I don’t need to see an extra qtr of you not getting it done.

    Only the SB & playoff games should even have OT. And even then it should come down to penalty kicks from the 40 yd line.

  60. The other team does have a chance: it’s called forcing a stop or a FG. Not hard to do although it actually requires good coaching rather than just playing some silly prevent type D because you are afraid to give up a TD.

    I am so sick of people whining about overtime. It’s fine the way it is now.

  61. Let’s just award both teams a trophy and skip playing the game. Heck, it’s dangerous. In fact, end of the season, just give ALL 32 teams the Lombardi. Parity.

  62. Oh and you can probably guess this guy is a liberal since he has a liberal like mentality of not taking responsibility and instead trying to blame others for his (in this case the team) failures.

    A team that has a 25 point lead with 1.5 qtrs left shouldn’t even need to try and win in OT. They produced the biggest choke in pro sports history and that is why they lost, not because the Pats won a freaking coin toss or because of Brady.

  63. As painful as it when your team doesn’t get the ball in overtime, it’s fitting – teams shouldn’t be rewarded for going to overtime.

    We usually talk about overtime as just some extra time, but if we look at it as, “you guys couldn’t settle this in regulation, so now it gets more uncomfortable” it makes sense.

    When you go to overtime, your comfort zone goes away. There’s more risk, there’s a chance you could lose outright at any moment, and you don’t get as many chances. That is *fair* because you had your chances earlier.

    And you still get a chance. You just have to do everything right.

  64. Also, I’m guessing 31 other teams would leap at the “chance” to have a 25-point lead in the second half of the Super Bowl. That’s vastly more of a chance than most teams ever get.

    Say what you will about the Packers, Cowboys, or Giants, but I don’t see any of those teams blowing it the way Atlanta did. They might all have lost, but not this way.

  65. The Seahawks SB against the Patriots didn’t teach you anything?? Run the damn ball idiot!! Let’s keep changing the rules if we don’t know how to coach…

  66. Put the ball on the 50. Line up each team’s special teams in their respective endzones. Blow the whistle. Watch the ensuing carnage.

  67. The rule is fine. It is never going to satisfy everybody. You don’t want OT to be like hockey with a stupid shootout that is pointless. You might as well just flip a coin to see who wins then. If you give both teams a possession in OT, then the second team has the advantage of knowing if they only need a FG or a TD…and if they get a TD and tied it, what then? Then you will complain that 1 team got 2 possessions in OT and you only got 1. One possibility that I like is : there are no FG in OT….there is a coin toss. The winner decides offense or defense. Then the offense must score a TD, if not they lose. That way the coin toss winner decides if they think they have a better chance of scoring a TD or keeping the other team out of the end zone. Other than that, I like it the way it is now.

  68. So what are we going to do:

    Both teams score then sudden death? People will complain that it’s unfair then when a team scores the second TD.

    Football overtime is not and cannot be full fair. The current rule gives the defense a huge edge if they can force a field goal or punt. They either are able to win the game with a field goal or are able to plan to go 4 downs (with no rush for time) until they get into field goal range.

  69. The ole’ “Everybody gets a trophy logic,” if your defense cant stop a team from marching all the way down the field for a TD, you deserve to lose, it s a team game meaning offense/defense and special teams. In this case your defense and possible special teams failed you..

  70. The problem of going to a college style system where both teams get the ball no matter what, is that if you do it that way, then the team that gets the ball last has a HUGE advantage.

    The reason they have a huge advantage is because not only do they receive the ball knowing exactly what is required (a TD, FG, etc.), but they get it knowing that they have four downs to accomplish what their opponent did in only three.

    The current system is perfect because it confers advantages and disadvantages to both teams.

    The team that gets the ball first has the advantage of knowing that if they score a TD they win. However, the team that gets it last has the advantage of being able to win with ANY score, including a FG, if they manage to stop the other team;s office. And as mentioned previously, the team that gets the ball last also has the advantage (provided they can hold their opponent to a FG or nothing) of knowing exactly hat they need to do, and of having four downs every series.

    Plus, the team that gets the ball first is under a lot of pressure, because if they go three-and-out and have to punt, they give their opponent the ball in good field position, needing only a FG to win. And if heaven forbid, the team that receives the kickoff turns the bal over, then the gam is pretty much over, as all the other team needs is a chip shot FG to win.

    But let’s be honest here. If the Falcons had won that game instead of the Patriots, would anyone even be having this discussion? Of course not.

  71. balt88 says:
    Mar 28, 2017 11:26 AM
    You’re team proved they didn’t have any business being in the SB by having the most epic meltdown in sports history after having the game handed to them.
    Really? What was the other team that deserved to be there then? Don’t you deserve it if you make it through the playoffs and win your conference championship?

  72. My god Pats fans whine and b*tch even when they win! If ATL had won the toss and scored a TD they would be crying their eyes about this. Their on-field success is only surpassed by their persecution complex.

    About OT – I never hear a discussion about this solution = a sudden-death fifth quarter, where possession and field position stays the same as it was at the end of regulation. It eliminates the worst thing about the current system – the coin flip. It makes every late-game possession important – teams won’t run out the clock to get to OT anymore. It encourages teams to go for the win instead of the tie late in games – if you have to kickoff after a late-game score, you’d be more apt to go for 2 or for the winning touchdown rather than a tying FG. And its ultimately FAIR – everything proceeds as if regulation never stopped. Should it matter that a team ties the game with one minute left as opposed to one second? The first scenario means the scored upon team gets the ball with a chance to win, but the second does not. Not the case with a rollover overtime plan. This system also potentially decreases the amount of extra OT plays that everyone’s concerned about. Is there a flaw in this system that I’m missing?

  73. You don’t have to worry about “Sudden Death” if your OC didn’t have a “Sudden Choke” while calling plays and up 25 points……………..

  74. I’m no falcons fan, but the current OT rule is not balanced.

    The OT coin flip often has more influence on the outcome of the game than the teams do. It takes an entire team to win and lose a game, the advantage of a random coin flip should have no part of it.

  75. Dear Thomas

    Let’s look at it this way. In overtime, the end zone is your house. If you (the defense) can’t keep the bad guys out of your house, they deserve all the spoils that come with entering your house. In short, you lose and you lose everything in your house. Got it?

  76. I’d like to see a mercy rule where if a team gets a 25 point lead, they call the game because nobody can come back from 25 points down.

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