Coin toss would remain important if OT rule is tweaked

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If the NFL tweaks its overtime rule, guaranteeing both teams a possession, the coin toss would remain as important, if not more important.

As it stands now, the team winning the overtime coin toss has an obvious advantage. Score a touchdown, and the game is over without the other team ever seeing the ball in overtime.

As Michael David Smith wrote earlier today, since the overtime rule was changed for the 2011 postseason, eight playoff games have gone into overtime. Five were decided with a touchdown on the opening drive.

If the rule is changed to assure both teams a possession, the team winning the coin toss still would have a huge advantage. It would defer so it could see what it had to match to stay in the game or what it had to do to win the game.

It’s what college teams do in overtime when they win the coin toss, though the college overtime format obviously is different than the NFL’s.

In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime, according to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio. In college football, the team that wins the coin toss (and defers) wins 54.9 percent of the time.

If the overtime rules had guaranteed both teams a possession Sunday, the Patriots would have deferred after winning the coin toss. If the Chiefs had scored a touchdown and kicked an extra point, the Patriots would have had the option of going for two to win the game. Or they could have kicked the PAT to send the game to sudden death overtime.

So a rules change wouldn’t change the importance of the coin toss.

The bottom line is: No overtime format is perfect. Nor will everyone agree on the best one. That’s why the NFL’s competition committee might choose to do nothing when it discusses its overtime rules.

166 responses to “Coin toss would remain important if OT rule is tweaked

  1. No matter what they do it will never be perfect. I say just keep it the same or give them a full 10 minute quarter in the playoffs.

    If it is still tied, have penalty-kick style alternating field goals. Start at the 20 yard line and move back 5 yards each time until one kicker makes it and the other misses. Would be fun.

  2. I have no issue with the existing system but if it were to change…

    Each team gets a possession starting from the same spot on the field (midfield). No field goals allowed, just touchdowns. Go back and forth until a winner.

  3. The rule is good as is. It was originally changed to end the sudden death situation where the winner of the toss could finish the game with a field goal. That was viewed as unfair because kicking accuracy at distance had vastly improved.

    Having to prevent a touchdown is a reasonable requirement to prevent a loss.

  4. The second team has a huge advantage, knowing that they will go for it on 4th down.

    A rule change to force both offenses to have the ball would still be unfair, so whats the point of making the change? It would just lead to more ties, and more injuries to tired players. It would put teams at a disadvantage going into the next week, if they are playing the Thursday game.

  5. The only reason this is even being brought up is because NE won the AFCCG in overtime and fans are tired of the Patriots’ dominance. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the old “sudden death” format from years ago. There was never a big disparity no matter who won the coin toss. It was something like the team who won the toss won 56% of the time, the team that lost was 40% and the rest ended in ties. The rule changes to the current format were unnecessary. Now the team that wins the coin toss wins the game about 55% of the time. Stop messing with the rules simply as a reaction to the Patriots!

  6. billzbubb said:”
    The rule is good as is. It was originally changed to end the sudden death situation where the winner of the toss could finish the game with a field goal. That was viewed as unfair because kicking accuracy at distance had vastly improved.

    Having to prevent a touchdown is a reasonable requirement to prevent a loss.”

    —-

    If both teams have a fantastic offense and a horrible defense, then the coin flip would indeed determine the outcome of the game.

  7. aj226 says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:00 pm
    No matter what they do it will never be perfect. I say just keep it the same or give them a full 10 minute quarter in the playoffs.

    If it is still tied, have penalty-kick style alternating field goals. Start at the 20 yard line and move back 5 yards each time until one kicker makes it and the other misses. Would be fun.

    And then the Pats pull 9-10 minute drive ending in a field goal… and everyone will moan how unfair it is.

  8. What a joke, Patriots made the plays and I’m pretty sure the chiefs defensive players get paid millions to play football. If KC won the game no one would be saying anything about this!!! Get over it people the better team won!!! Stop with the lame excuses it makes you look pathetic and sad while you suck on you participation award orange slices, bunch of silly soccer moms with your ten cent thinking…..

  9. You want the rule to give a 50-50 outcome over time. The winner of the OT coin toss in the NFL, as you mentioned, wins the game 52.7 percent of the time. The i really only an advantage, for some reason, if the home team wins the toss:

    RECORD FOR TEAMS THAT WIN COIN TOSS IN OT, SINCE 2012:
    22-28-3 (.443) on road
    33-22-4 (.593) at home
    56-50-7 (.527) overall

    It’s hard to get closer to 50-50 than the current rule.

    Plus…The game is called “football.” It is not called “offense.” It is not called “quarterbacking.” It is called football. Sometimes you have to rely on your unit that is not your best to carry the day. If they can’t, you should have built your team better.

  10. Leave it alone. All the alternatives are WAY worse.

    Game ends on a TD. That’s the way it should be.

  11. Is this the NFL postseason? Or is it silly season? Suppose the Chiefs instead won the overtime coin toss and drove the length of the field for a touchdown. How many now clamoring for yet another change to the league’s overtime rules would be demanding that Tom Brady likewise be given a chance to “touch the football” in overtime? Not many, I suspect. The Chiefs’ powerhouse offense had more than enough time to win, but could only manage to “lay an egg” as of halftime.
    No further change to the NFL’s overtime rules is warranted.

  12. “As it stands now, the team winning the overtime coin toss has an obvious advantage

    In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime”

    That works out to 5.4%, not exactly dramatic, but a small advantage.

    I see no reason why that should be changed. Win the game in regular time or play D if you lose the toss. We don’t need a both sides touch the ball OT. For that matter the TV contracts are structured now for the shorter OTs of regular season. Its the big leagues, NFL should not adopt minor leagues / college rules.

  13. The rule as it currently stands encourages teams to go for a TD and end the game on a high note rather than forcing a defeated team to then drag itself out there for a desultory 3-and-out after giving up a morale shattering TD in overtime. For example, who really would have wanted to drag the poor Falcons out there at the end of OT in SBLI after White scored just so they could finish collapsing into bowls of tapioca with a couple of awful throws to nowhere? Nobody, it’s stupid, anti-climactic, and most importantly bad television. This whole “let’s change the rules just because the Patriots beat the league’s anointed golden boy again” nonsense should have retired right alongside its patron saint, Peyton Manning. I mean, if you change it to give both teams a possession, what happens when the Patriots lose an OT toss, give up a TD, and then use their possession to tie it up again before later winning? I think we all know that suddenly the new rule will magically be unfair again.

  14. billzbubb says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    The rule is good as is. It was originally changed to end the sudden death situation where the winner of the toss could finish the game with a field goal. That was viewed as unfair because kicking accuracy at distance had vastly improved.
    —-
    Yes there’s a big difference between the Patriots ending the game having to go from the 35 to the Chief 30 and Gostkowski kicking the FG… and a 65 yard methodical TD drive. I agree with this change. It needs to be left at that.

  15. I will say the same thing I was saying 9 years agowhen they tweaked the rule the first time…keep sudden death, I like knowing the game can end on any single play. First team to score in any way wins the game. Eliminate the coin toss. Home team gets the ball first, make having the ball first in OT an inherent advantage of being at home, similar to having last ups being an inherent to home field advantage in baseball.

    In football, you have 8 home and road teams, so that’s even. You don’t like it in the playoffs? Win more to make sure you play the game at home.

  16. I would make it so the team that possesses the ball first can win the game ONLY by scoring a touchdown AND converting a two point conversion. If they score a TD and kick the extra point the other team gets a chance to tie.

  17. New England won the coin toss in all 3 of their overtime playoff games since 2001. It must be rigged.

  18. WHAT?! WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I dispute this entire article. In no way would the new rule make the coin toss “more important”. Win or lose the coin toss, you CANNOT lose on the other teams first possession! How in the world does the writer of this article even make this argument? A rules change 100% makes the coin toss not as important.

  19. It was called ‘ Sudden Death’ for a reason , first to score wins ; they should go back to that .
    IF not then whoever has the most net yds. at the end of regulation wins ; if net yds are tied then visitors win , having overcome ‘ Home Field Advantage’ ( every snap counts )

  20. weepingjebus says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:10 pm
    The rule as it currently stands encourages teams to go for a TD and end the game on a high note rather than forcing a defeated team to then drag itself out there for a desultory 3-and-out
    /////////
    So, in your scenario and mind, after a team loses the coin toss, and gives up a TD, they are going to punt after 3 downs on offense and then go home with a loss?

  21. So let’s say you change the rule to guarantee both teams a possession, even if a TD is scored by the first team. If the second team also scores a TD, what happens next? Sudden death, right? How long until people are complaining that it’s unfair the first team gets the ball a second time without the second team also getting a second possession? This is all becoming needlessly complicated. Either adopt a full college-style format where teams alternate possessions until a winner is determined, or you leave the current system as is.

  22. harrisonhits2 says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I see no reason why that should be changed. Win the game in regular time or play D if you lose the toss. We don’t need a both sides touch the ball OT. For that matter the TV contracts are structured now for the shorter OTs of regular season.
    //////////
    Let’s pretend you didn’t talk about tv contracts, because that might be the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard.

    Now, about your other argument. Then why don’t we just let games end in ties, because teams had all of regular time to win? In the playoffs, they should just return the next day and play a another game, but only to regulation. No OT’s ever then!

  23. I propose both teams get a possession. If the first team scores a TD and XP, the 2nd team will have to score a TD and decide to go for 2 or kick the XP and put it in the hands of the defense because next score wins no matter what it is. At that point turn the game clock off.

    It is too arbitrary right now to give so much advantage to the team winning the toss.

  24. I’m not sure that I agree that teams would defer. There is currently a benefit to being on offense first, because not only do you have a chance to end the game with a touchdown, but you also get the first sudden death possession in the event that both teams score field goals or that neither team scores at all. In this past weekend’s game, it would have been beneficial to the Patriots to still take the ball first. Assuming that both teams would stay hot and score touchdowns, the Patriots would then receive the ball in a 38-38 ballgame needing only a field goal to win.

  25. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:08 pm
    Is this the NFL postseason? Or is it silly season? Suppose the Chiefs instead won the overtime coin toss and drove the length of the field for a touchdown.
    //////////
    This isn’t a conspiracy against the Patriots. People have been saying both teams should get the ball in OT pretty much since this rule was passed. And most still think that’s the case.

  26. The only change I would support is playing a 5th period, with all the same rules as the rest of the game. MAYBE shorten the period to 12 minutes.

    Seriously, all these other little things are gimmicks, and tweaking them just makes it less like the sport we are there to see

  27. “In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime, according to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio. In college football, the team that wins the coin toss (and defers) wins 54.9 percent of the time.”

    So I am confused…. shouldn’t the object be to use the system that diminishes the importance of the coin toss. So the NFL way leads to 52.7% of coin toss winners, winning the game and the College method leads to 54.9%….. why chose a way that puts MORE emphasis on winning a coin toss???

  28. conormacleod said:

    WHAT?! WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I dispute this entire article. In no way would the new rule make the coin toss “more important”.
    —-

    If the team winning the toss has a better than 52.7% chance of winning, under whatever the new rules are, then indeed the coin toss would be more important. It is, as a matter of record, more important under the college rules (54.9% chance of winning, if you won the toss).

    It’s one thing to argue for a change, but you also need to consider the ramifications of what you are changing it to! It can be worse. It’s pretty good now, in fact.

  29. Let’s just come up with a pseudo software button push that gives the ball to whomever the NFL front office wants it to go to.

  30. I think it’s more of the fans and media that needs fixing than the game needs fixing.

    Mirror check.

  31. truthprofessor says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Plus…The game is called “football.” It is not called “offense.” It is not called “quarterbacking.” It is called football.
    //////////////
    So, it’s also not called “defense”? Your argument doesn’t hold up. If anything, it shows that both teams should get the ball at least once. In the playoffs, under these rules, the team winning the coin toss has won 62.5% of the time on their first possession.

  32. This will only be seen as fair if the Patriots never get the 1st possession in OT and if the opposing team just gets the ball across the 50 then the Patriots lose.

  33. “In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime”

    So, what you are saying is, about half the time one team wins, and half the time the other team wins?

    That is some cutting edge journalism right there

  34. Isn’t it a shame that try as they will, this is still a game and we fail to remember it as such.

    Because it didn’t play out as some wanted it or a call was made or wasn’t made. We have forgotten it is a game where the outcome is based on talent, luck and drive… all of which is un-measurable…

    So now they want to change the game… it is a shame…

  35. NHL Playoff OT format is just fine, and probably the best overtime period(s) in all of sports.

  36. Each team gets a possession from their opponents 40 yard line. Like college, but further back. Winner of coin toss chooses to go first or second, and it flips for each subsequent OT.

    Teams have to go for two points after TD every time.

    This eliminates the kickoff in OT, which the NFL rules committee should like.
    It gives each team a possession.
    It would eliminate the clock in OT.
    The two point conversion aspect would make it less likely for continuing OT’s.
    Still gives an advantage in first OT to the team winning coin toss. But not the advantage of today.

  37. What a weak league where you let haters, gsmblers and the media determine your rules. The replay started with the lie just this one thing. Now it has a life of it’s own. Way to screw up a great sport.

  38. I think the only fair solution is this:

    Put all 11 guys on each 30 yard line.
    Put Roger Goodell in the center of the field on the 50 yard line.
    First team to bury him into the sod – winner!

    Sounds better than a lot of the other participation award suggestions, don’t you think?

  39. Eliminate all coin tosses. The home team kicks off to start the game. The visiting team kicks off to start the second half. If a team tied the game with a placekick, they kickoff to start overtime. If a team tied the game with a safety or a two point conversion, they receive to start overtime.

  40. truthprofessor says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    conormacleod said:

    WHAT?! WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I dispute this entire article. In no way would the new rule make the coin toss “more important”.
    —-

    If the team winning the toss has a better than 52.7% chance of winning, under whatever the new rules are, then indeed the coin toss would be more important. It is, as a matter of record, more important under the college rules (54.9% chance of winning, if you won the toss).

    It’s one thing to argue for a change, but you also need to consider the ramifications of what you are changing it to! It can be worse. It’s pretty good now, in fact.
    //////////
    You cannot compare college to NFL though. They are two completely separate rules. Taking an NFL coin flip, and then using the college rules for chances of winning doesn’t extrapolate over.

  41. Here’s another aspect.

    The Pats won in OT even with the crowd screaming their brains out making it more difficult for the Pats offense to function properly. If KC had won the crowd would have been relatively quiet allowing the home team that advantage in their attempt to score.

    Even if you found a way to make it 50-50 or let both teams have the ball, the home team still has the advantage of crowd noise in their favor. Will you then not allow the home team’s crowd to scream and cheer because it wouldn’t be a true 50-50 at that point?

    There will always be something that makes it tougher for one side or the other to win in OT. Unless you want to cut out the crowds and have the teams play in an empty stadium then you can’t change that.

  42. If only, “52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game”, that is a negligible difference. Not much of an advantage as we have been led to believe it is over the last couple of days by Chief fans. But look for the rule to be changed b/c it “benefited” the Patriots. If the Chiefs had won the game the reaction would have been, “those are the rules you agreed to play by Patriots, tough bleep, the rules stay the same”.

  43. It’s what college teams do in overtime when they win the coin toss, though the college overtime format obviously is different than the NFL’s.

    In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime, according to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio. In college football, the team that wins the coin toss (and defers) wins 54.9 percent of the time.
    //////////////
    They are two completely different sets of rules. That’s the point I’m trying to make. You cannot use the college percent of winning the coin toss and simply extrapolate it over to the NFL, unless you have the exact same rules and format for OT.

    The author simply states; “well, if the Chiefs would have scored a TD and kicked the extra point, then the Patriots could simply go for two points”. Well, let’s see. First, the Chiefs would have to drive 75 yards for a TD, and make the extra point. Then, the Patriots would have to drive 75 yards, and then decide to go for double OT, or go for two.

    Waaaaay different than college teams both starting at their opponents 25 yard line. Besides, the college game is so much more wide open with such a wide range of talent. The NFL teams, especially in the playoffs, are much more even.

  44. Not sure you are right they would defer. If round 2 of OT is still sudden death, then there would still be an advantage to going first, because if both teams score a TD, then you can walk off with a field goal on the 3rd possession, so the 1st and 2nd possession are similar value, but the 3rd possession is bank if it occurs. There would need to be a second coin flip for the 3rd possession or a guaranteed 4th possession to make defer the obvious pick.

    What would be very exciting is if OT gave each team 3 plays, 3 plays, back and forth, with no punts allowed and no first downs, and see who reaches the endzone first.

  45. My plan… treat OT like a change in quarter not a change in half. Possession, down, distance and field position remain the same and it goes to sudden death.

    If it is 3rd and 17 on your own 5 yard line then too bad. If you’re 2nd and 1 at your opponent’s 30, good for you, you can try getting a little closer. The end of regulation scenario is earned by both teams, they each got one free kick off return, it’s fair.

    Oh yeah… I would also say you have the same amount of time outs as you ended regulation with.

  46. heard a proposal on the OT that was interesting in that if the team winning the coin toss scores a TD, the other team also gets the ball and the opportunity to score TD, however would have to get a 2 point conversion to win.

  47. If the team that wins the coin toss wins 52.7% of the time and that’s not fair enough, then the only true method of even odds would lie in the coin flip. So from now on there won’t be any football played, they’ll just flip the coin and the winner wins the game. Then you have true 50/50 odds.

  48. Patriots win again, whiners look for another rule change to prevent it from happening next time.

    Brief recap:

    Eliminated the Tuck Rule (which was correctly and consistently called) because Pats beat Raiders.

    Eliminated DB’s ability to press receivers within 5 yards of line because Pats beat Rams and won SB 36 and beat Colts in AFCCG 2004.

    Eliminated formations w/ ineligible receivers because Pats beat Ravens in playoffs.

    Eliminated leaping to block field goals and extra points because Pats consistently excelled at it.

    Change the “what is a catch rule” during the Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018.

    Now they want to change the OT rules. Guess what. Pats will still find a way to win. #stillhere.

    E

  49. With no system eliminating an advantage, maybe they can come up with a way to randomly assign the advantage to one of the teams, perhaps by, how do you call it, FLIPPING A COIN!

  50. I have a great idea..

    Let’s have each team line up their 53 active players and do two laps around the stadium.

    Last person to cross finish line team loses.

  51. The coin toss would remain VERY important for a reason not mentioned i the article. For a reason not many people ever mention. That reason is that OT time was changed form 15 minutes to 10 minutes. I’m sure we all have seen the team winning the OT coin toss go for a VERY time consuming drive. even if that team kicks a FG I have seen the other team left with less than 3 minutes to do the same. So even though they get the ball, it is hardly on the same terms the first team did. So if you win the flip you have the advantage of more time inmost cases.

  52. I think that both teams should get a chance on offense. I think they should eliminate the coin toss and let the home team get the ball second. It is a slight advantage to know whether you absolutely need to score, so make that a part of the home field advantage if a game goes to OT. Baseball has the same thing every single game with the home team getting the last ABs.

  53. If, as you say, the percentage of “coin flip winning teams” winning the game in overtime is 52.7 percent…

    I’d say the current system apparently works pretty darn well and we should all shut up about it. How much closer to 50/50 do you think we can get? Sheesh.

  54. Again the rules are fine as is. Have a problem with it then, your team needs to handle their business. THE END.

  55. Overtime in the NFL Playoffs is 15 minutes not 10.

    It’s not broken folks.

    Score more points during the game or stop the other team from scoring the exact same amount of points than you.

    The home teams already have home field advantage.

  56. Instead of a coin flip for the first possession why not place the ball at the 50 yard line, both teams special units squads start at their own 20. Whistle is blown and both teams scramble for the ball, whoever comes up with possession gets the ball first. Would be helluva lot more entertaining to watch and fair.

  57. Doesn’t matter what the NFL does….someone will always cry, whine and complain. It’s what our society has devolved into.

    Everything is unfair.

  58. these rules are great. dont change them

    It’s already complex enough that explaining the rules to a non-regular football watcher is kind of painful

  59. Easy fix. Offense only gets 3 downs to make a first down. That would restore more balance back to the defense to get the opening stop.

    Stopping a high powered offense is nearly as impossible as breaking a fastball server in tennis.

  60. With no system eliminating an advantage, maybe they can come up with a way to randomly assign the advantage to one of the teams, perhaps by, how do you call it, FLIPPING A COIN!
    —————————————————————
    This made me laugh out loud. Well done!

  61. “No matter what they do it will never be perfect. I say just keep it the same or give them a full 10 minute quarter in the playoffs”

    ———–

    This idea makes sense. To all those who counter with “win in regulation,” I would say that this actually encourages that more. No coach wants to play an extra, unplanned quarter. Today, most coaches will play for the tie and try to win in OT by winning the coin toss. If they had to play a 10 minute quarter, OT seems like more of a punishment. There will be fewer conservative calls and more 2PT conversions and other risks being taken so they CAN win in regulation.

  62. Chiefs fired their defensive coordinator today. Says it all concerning OT rules that get questioned immediately after Brady takes his team on another game winning OT drive. Sad but true.

  63. Why? Does Florio not know math? 52.7 percent vs 50 percent for a whopping 2.7 percent of the time more that the team winning the toss goes on to win the game? I would say that’s statistically INsignificant.

  64. How about something more radical? GET RID OF THE COIN TOSS.

    Play continues on from the 4th quarter until the winner is decided. Make it a true “extra time” by allowing whoever had the ball to keep going.

  65. akira1971 says: “Play continues on from the 4th quarter until the winner is decided. Make it a true “extra time” by allowing whoever had the ball to keep going.”
    =========================

    Forgot to add that everything else is a gimmick that takes away the essence of football. By continuing on from the fourth quarter, overtime just becomes an extension of the current game without resetting for a coin flip.

  66. Goodellmustgoblog wrote:

    Patriots win again, whiners look for another rule change to prevent it from happening next time.

    Brief recap:

    Eliminated the Tuck Rule (which was correctly and consistently called) because Pats beat Raiders.

    Eliminated DB’s ability to press receivers within 5 yards of line because Pats beat Rams and won SB 36 and beat Colts in AFCCG 2004.

    Eliminated formations w/ ineligible receivers because Pats beat Ravens in playoffs.

    Eliminated leaping to block field goals and extra points because Pats consistently excelled at it.

    Change the “what is a catch rule” during the Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018.

    Now they want to change the OT rules. Guess what. Pats will still find a way to win. #stillhere

    This. I think the only way to fix the OT rules is: Any team playing the New England Patriots in OT automatically gets 7 points, and then we flip the coin, so the Patriots have to play from behind.

  67. In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime, according to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio. In college football, the team that wins the coin toss (and defers) wins 54.9 percent of the time.

    52%??? That shows you there’s nothing wrong with the current system…

    And why on earth would you defer??? So you give up a TD and allow the defense to get pumped up to pull out the win, while you play desperate and take chances that you wouldn’t without the pressure of knowing you have to get in the endzone???

  68. 52.7% means the advantage of winning the coin toss is slight. In the case of the Chiefs, it’s different because they have Patrick Mahomes and a lousy defense. You don’t change rules because they don’t seem fair to a particular team. If the Chiefs had the Bears defense, something tells me they would have stopped one of those 3rd and 10s. The Chiefs FAILED on all three and had to pay the ultimate price.

  69. packerbacker says:
    January 22, 2019 at 3:11 pm
    Do the same as college. Give both teams a reasonable opportunity to win the game.

    Do the same as Pee Wee, everyone gets a trophy. This is the pros. Used to be any score wins. How far are you willing to dumb this down?

  70. akira1971 says:
    January 22, 2019 at 4:15 pm
    How about something more radical? GET RID OF THE COIN TOSS.

    Play continues on from the 4th quarter until the winner is decided. Make it a true “extra time” by allowing whoever had the ball to keep going.

    At first I was with you but that would affect end of game time management since the team in possession no longer has to worry about the clock.

  71. On Sunday there were two OT games, of the two teams that won the coin flip, one team lost the game and one team won the game. The team that lost the game that won a coin flip was even a home team. Seems to me that the league couldn’t come up with a more fair system than the what was used Sunday. This is just KC media and fans griping b/c “their” team didn’t get a chance with the ball. Tough. Maybe next year the Chiefs will focus more on the defensive side of the ball. The Colts of the early 2000’s learned this lesson, that scoring very quickly or going 3 and out several times a game, is a detriment to the defense, b/c they end up playing 97 snaps in a game and by the end of the game couldn’t stop a high school offense from scoring.

  72. The real advantage of deferring would be if a team scores on the first position, the deffering team can go for ever 4th down til they the desired field poistion (for a FG attempt) or TD.

  73. The bottom line is: No overtime format is perfect. Nor will everyone agree on the best one. That’s why the NFL’s competition committee might choose to do nothing when it discusses its overtime rules.

    Wait for the horse to get out of the barn again….

  74. A huge advantage associated with getting the ball second is that you can go for it on fourth down if you’re behind. If you get the ball first, you would play it straight and punt the ball away or kick a field goal when you get to fourth down. If you know you need a touchdown or you lose, you have four downs to get a first down.

  75. Two options for me.

    Keep it as is or
    (playoffs only) do a full quarter using 4th quarter timing rules and if the game remains tied it goes to sudden death with Q6 starting off at the end point of Q5

  76. With tongue firmly in cheek, I offer this idea to all the Patriot haters. Should the Patriots win the coin toss then they, the Patriots, can only use 6 platers and have only three downs to go 15 yards for a first down. If the Patriots drive and score a TD than they get the ball on the other teams 10-yard line and have to score for one point only. Then the opposing team will get the ball on the 50-yard line and only have to go 5 yards for a first down and they will have 5 downs to make that first down. If the opposing team scores a TD the will get 8 points for that. This should keep the haters happy.
    Of course, should the Patriots still win the game we will have to revisit the OT rules again

  77. Am I missing something or did the Saints not win the coin toss and lose the game? If KC had pick 6’d Brady we wouldn’t be having this conversation and no one would care about what’s fair, until their team loses.

  78. Simpler solution is to go to the College OT:

    Modify it for the NFL by having each team start on the opponent’s 40 yard line.

    Staring with the second OT, teams MUST go for two after a TD.

    Most college games that get to OT only go one period. Sure, occasionally you get a seven-OT classic like LSU-Texas A&M, but those are rare.

    That’s the most fair way to do it.

  79. I just cant stop feeling like this is mire sore losers crying than something that needs to be fixed. I honestly belueve if the Patriots had lost the toss and the game on a Mahomes drive not a word of this would have been said. I even cant help think its like the losing side in the election wanting to do away with the Electoral college. In both cases its short sighted thinking based on nothing more than not liking the outcome. Changing the rules over being mad they did not work out to a conclusion you wanted is foolish. Because lets say you change them, and then next time things swing the other way and you lose again. You will just be mad again and want to change the rules again.

    The thing that makes the rules fair, even some that I do think could use work, is that whatever those rules are its still one set that applies to both teams as they enter the contest, from there things can go any which way, working out for somone or not working out. You will never develop a perfect set of rules, thats a fools errand. But as long as its one set of rules applying to both teams its fair.

  80. Get rid of the coin toss. Make home field advantage more relevant by the home team getting to decide if they want to kick or receive at the beginning of the game and overtime. COIN TOSS IS A THING OF CHANCE AND A WASTE OF TIME TO WATCH.

  81. It seems like most people on here agree that the current rule is fine as is, which I don’t understand. Most of you must be Patriots fans, having your team benefit from this unfair rule, allowing them to walk off with a win in Super Bowl LI and again on Sunday. Ask yourselves this, Patriots fans: If Atlanta and Kansas City win their respective coin tosses, and their offenses march down and score a touchdown, would you be crying out for the rule to be changed to give Brady a fair chance to match instead of being glued unfairly to the sideline? Most reasonable people would agree that yes, you surely would be.

    To the people saying ‘well, if your defense isn’t good enough to stop the offense from scoring a touchdown, then your team doesn’t deserve to win’: again, how is that a valid argument? Why doesn’t the other team have to have their defense be put in the same position to stop the offense just because they got lucky and won a coin toss? To use a basketball analogy, suppose the team that gets the tip and makes a three on their first possession and under similar rules to NFL overtime, that team then wins the game. How in the world is that fair to the other team?

    It’s game 7 of the World Series, top of the 10th inning. The first batter swings at the first pitch and belts a home run. Game over.

    Manager from opposing team to the league office: ‘wait, the game is over? Both teams don’t get a chance to score on offense?’

    League office: ‘yes, that is correct. Your pitcher should’ve thrown a better ball and your outfielders should’ve robbed the home run. Since you did neither of those things, your team deserves to lose and had a fair chance to win.’

    Opposing manager: ‘Uhhhhh…Okay?’

  82. If the league is so concerned with safety they can award the ball to the team with the least personal fouls in the game. If it is a tie it goes to back as many games as necessary to break the tie.

  83. a2zb3y says:
    January 22, 2019 at 4:08 pm
    Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense can’t make a stop?

    Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense doesn’t even have to attempt to make a stop?

  84. suissecheese says:
    January 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm
    It seems like most people on here agree that the current rule is fine as is, which I don’t understand. Most of you must be Patriots fans, having your team benefit from this unfair rule, allowing them to walk off with a win in Super Bowl LI and again on Sunday. Ask yourselves this, Patriots fans: If Atlanta and Kansas City win their respective coin tosses, and their offenses march down and score a touchdown, would you be crying out for the rule to be changed to give Brady a fair chance to match instead of being glued unfairly to the sideline? Most reasonable people would agree that yes, you surely would be.

    ———————-
    I hate the cheaters, I think most here know how much from my history. But this whole post lost me right at the top. The cheaters are the most hated team in the league. The reason most are ok with leaving the rule alone is definintly not because most people are Pats fans. Its because they know that it will hurt the game if we start wanting to change rules just because they didn’t break our way. Im not happy with that game outcome at all. I’ve been walking around in a rage for two days now because I know they cheated somehow because they always do and are getting away with it. I would love to see the NFL catch them and strip them of this game and their past titles. But I dont want to see that rule change because it could have favored anyone, its just this time it was the cheaters. If I ever argued for a rule change and got it, and then next time the rule change favored the cheaters that would make me crazy. So leave it. The rest of your post was just a lot if words to say jyou are raging mad like me and I could not agree with you more. But leave the rule. Lets go be Rams fans together.

  85. The NFL is a disgrace…watch how super bowl viewership plummets in 10 days. It’s going to be very telling. My guess is down at least 20% from last year.

  86. Do the OT coin toss at the start of the game right after the opening coin toss. Both teams know all game who won the toss and can plan accordingly during the first 60 to win the game if they feel the OT coin toss isn’t in their favor.

    For a superior defense if they knew they lost the toss they may still play for OT, but for a superior offense if they knew they lost the toss they may take more chances during regulation.

  87. boisestatewhodat says:
    January 22, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    The NFL is a disgrace…watch how super bowl viewership plummets in 10 days. It’s going to be very telling. My guess is down at least 20% from last year.

    —————-

    You may think that, but people either love the Patriots or love to hate the Patriots. Everyone will be tuned in.

  88. Do not see why you would defer just to see what you need to get. If both teams score on their first possession (both FG’s or TD’s) then the team that went first gets to go again, but this time it is sudden death. Not sure I would give that up just to see if I need a TD or FG. Sorry, changing the rule is the only fair thing to do, especially since all of the rules favor the offense and it takes one big penalty to put you in position to score a TD.

  89. aarons444 says:
    January 22, 2019 at 5:53 pm
    suissecheese says:
    January 22, 2019 at 5:28 pm
    It seems like most people on here agree that the current rule is fine as is, which I don’t understand. Most of you must be Patriots fans, having your team benefit from this unfair rule, allowing them to walk off with a win in Super Bowl LI and again on Sunday. Ask yourselves this, Patriots fans: If Atlanta and Kansas City win their respective coin tosses, and their offenses march down and score a touchdown, would you be crying out for the rule to be changed to give Brady a fair chance to match instead of being glued unfairly to the sideline? Most reasonable people would agree that yes, you surely would be.

    ———————-
    I hate the cheaters, I think most here know how much from my history. But this whole post lost me right at the top. The cheaters are the most hated team in the league. The reason most are ok with leaving the rule alone is definintly not because most people are Pats fans. Its because they know that it will hurt the game if we start wanting to change rules just because they didn’t break our way. Im not happy with that game outcome at all. I’ve been walking around in a rage for two days now because I know they cheated somehow because they always do and are getting away with it. I would love to see the NFL catch them and strip them of this game and their past titles. But I dont want to see that rule change because it could have favored anyone, its just this time it was the cheaters. If I ever argued for a rule change and got it, and then next time the rule change favored the cheaters that would make me crazy. So leave it. The rest of your post was just a lot if words to say jyou are raging mad like me and I could not agree with you more. But leave the rule. Lets go be Rams fans together.

    —————–

    That’s funny.

  90. 1mge says:
    January 22, 2019 at 5:36 pm
    a2zb3y says:
    January 22, 2019 at 4:08 pm
    Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense can’t make a stop?

    Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense doesn’t even have to attempt to make a stop?

    —————

    OT is just an arbitrary thing because football players can’t play forever. Has to go to sudden death at some point. Both teams had chances to score or stop the other team for 60 min. If you make it two more guaranteed possessions it’s still going to be sudden death after that and it will be perceived as unfair. It’s just part of it. If you don’t want it to happen be more aggressive in regulation.

  91. Let’s get serious here folks. If it was the PATS who hadn’t got the ball the only complainers would be from NE. Since the PATS won, the entire nation is up in arms. Crazy. The game has to end somehow.

    If they are going to change the rule then make it simple:

    Each team gets to take the ball on their own 25. One shot each. No kickoff. The coin toss is simply to see who goes first. Done.

  92. The Saint won the toss in OT and lost the game. The Patriots won the toss and won.

    As stated, the team winning the toss is only winning 52.7% of the games, which sounds extremely fair to me – at least as fair as any of the ridiculous ideas I have heard over the last few days.

  93. How about 5 different players from each team try to kick a FG from the 35 … the teams that makes the most … wins.
    Seriously if your defense cannot stop a team from scoring in OT on the first drive you won’t go far in the playoffs and don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

  94. kingpel says:
    January 22, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    It’s hilarious watching fan bases meltdown when their teams lose in the playoffs.

    ————

    Fan bases? I’m pretty sure I saw Andy shed a tear!

  95. One tweak that most haters would approve of is when playing the Patriots the other keeps getting the ball until they win.

  96. Can go back to sudden death for all I care. It’s not about “fair”. It’s not snowflake time.

  97. Easy fixing this………

    Just abolish OT altogether.

    If the scores are tied at the end of regulation, then the road team gets the first sudden-death xp try on an untimed down…..

    Simple

  98. Wait – it’s a lower % chance to win the game after winning the coin toss by the NFL OT rules than college and you want to change it to college rules? Uh, just leave it alone. Stop the other team from scoring a TD on the opening drive of OT. If you can’t, you deserve to lose.

  99. Godell should put on a toga and give a thumbs up or down to the home team to decide the winner. If he isn’t at the game… there are large screen TVs at the game where he can do it remotely. Hail Caesar!

  100. Both teams are guaranteed possession for 60 minutes. If that’s not enough for a team to win outright, they don’t deserve any more guarantees.

    OT as it is now has an appropriate level of drama, danger, and punishment (for not winning earlier).

    This is a case where the NFL has tweaked the rule until they get it right. It’s right. No need to change it.

  101. bullcharger says:
    January 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Do the OT coin toss at the start of the game right after the opening coin toss. Both teams know all game who won the toss and can plan accordingly during the first 60 to win the game if they feel the OT coin toss isn’t in their favor.

    ============

    This is clever! I’ve never heard this idea before.

    Personally, I like the inherent “oh crap” quality about going into overtime not knowing what to expect – it’s a suitable punishment for not winning sooner. But your idea is interesting.

  102. Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense can’t make a stop?

    Does a team really deserve to advance if the defense doesn’t even have to attempt to make a stop?

    —————

    OT is just an arbitrary thing because football players can’t play forever. Has to go to sudden death at some point. Both teams had chances to score or stop the other team for 60 min. If you make it two more guaranteed possessions it’s still going to be sudden death after that and it will be perceived as unfair. It’s just part of it. If you don’t want it to happen be more aggressive in regulation.

    **Regulation has nothing to do with OT. OT is basically a completely separate game in which EACH team SHOULD have an equal opportunity to win REGARDLESS of which team wins a coin toss. It’s actually simple logic… If each team’s offense doesn’t get one chance to score than each team did not have an equal chance to win the game, and the point of OT should be equality not a lucky coin toss call.

  103. Think about it.

    Patriots gets ball first, Chiefs stop them with interception, fumble, offensive penalties, no defensive penalties, etc.

    Chiefs get ball knowing they only need a FG. Trip to the Super Bowl, which they earn the hard way. Defense.

    That’s football.

    The key is to STOP the Patriots. Getting TDs are hard, they have to go down practically the entire length of field.

    If you can’t stop them from scoring TD, you rightfully should lose. It is the AFC Championship Game. It isn’t supposed to be easy.

    Patriots getting that TD wasn’t easy.

  104. Leave OT rules the way they are for regular season games. For playoff games and Super Bowl, go a full 15 minute OT. That way, regular game strategy remains intact! Both teams will get the ball on offense, defense, and special teams. In the playoffs, the 3 hour time window the league strives for, is not as important. It is much better to have the better team advance than to worry about time frame. It’s better to take longer, but get it right.

  105. This is getting embarrassing. How is this league a multi billion dollar league? There so many rule changes each year to make ‘everyone great’ and give everyone a chance it’s pathetic. This is like my FF league buddies talking about rule changes except this is rea ice pro sport. Embarrassing people

  106. 1mge says:
    January 22, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    OT is basically a completely separate game in which EACH team SHOULD have an equal opportunity to win REGARDLESS of which team wins a coin toss.

    the point of OT should be equality not a lucky coin toss call.

    =================

    Should? Why? Why should the reward for failing to win in regulation be a prolonged chance to win in OT? That incentivizes not winning in regulation, which seems like a bad idea.

    I don’t want teams to play for overtime knowing they’ll get an extended chance to win or even counting on getting the ball. I want teams to do everything they can to avoid overtime because they know they will start to lose control of the outcome.

    They way OT played out in both games last weekend feels perfectly fair to me. This is the playoffs – you deliver or you go home. Not the time for extra chances.

  107. There clearly needs to be a higher level of concern with the rule when it comes to the 2nd level of playoffs. Wild card games if you wish.
    Each team deserves a possession. You could alter the NCAA version by giving each team a possession at the 50. If they match FG’s, then the next team to score wins. That puts a great emphasis on the coin toss.

  108. I say dump the OT coin toss. The team that scored the last to tie will kick off to the other team. There is a 8-10 minute OT period, team that is ahead wins. If still tied, go to another period, just like now. This will be just like what happens at the end of a quarter; team that has possession keeps possession. They switch ends and play. So when the game was tied with time to go, KC had to kick off anyway. The Pats took a knee to end it. But without a coin toss, they would just continue playing for the OT period. 8-10 min would either have many possessions, or one team could try to eat the entire OT period; I saw that in one of the OT games in the regular season. The team that won the toss took the entire 10min OT to do their drive, but it seems to me to be an outlier.

  109. KC could have secured a win with a safety, interception, or fumble recovery. Or make a freaking stop on just one of the 3rd and longs.

  110. KC could have secured a win with a safety, interception, or fumble recovery. Or make a freaking stop on just one of the 3rd and longs.

  111. The numbers cited in this article are a bit deceptive because they ignore the full picture. Yes, it’s true that 52.7 percent of the time teams that win the toss win the game. But it’s not true that 47.3 percent of the time teams that lose the toss win the game. Remember, games that go to overtime end in ties about 11 percent of the time. So the true advantage is approximately 52.7 percent to 36.3 percent, give or take a few tens of a percent. That represents a pretty massive 16 percent margin of victory for teams that win the toss.

  112. Rams won on the OT and nobody cared. But the Patriots won and now they have to change the rule. Why am I not surprised?

  113. I think you should eliminate the OT coin flip and kickoff to the last team that was winning the game, so if a team comes back in the last minute to kick a game tying field goal, well because they were the last team technically losing, they would then have to kickoff in OT. Every team would understand the rules and nobody would have any room to complain about this method, everything else about OT would stay the same, just no coin flip…problem solved.

  114. No other major sport has an overtime where a team can win without the other team having a chance to be on offense. That’s why the NFL’s version of OT is wrong. Is there any perfect overtime…probably not. And offense is now king, and the Chiefs were pretty much as unstoppable as the Patriots at the end of the game. At least the Saints had a chance to win on offense in OT. Perhaps the best QB in the NFL and most likely the league’s MVP did not get a chance to even touch the ball in OT. It’s wrong and bad for business. What if the NBA or MLB or hockey or soccer was the same way…oh it isn’t. The NFL prides itself on adjusting its rules better than any other sport. Well until they adjust OT in the playoffs they will be far behind in fairness than any other major sport.

  115. At least 1 possession for each team is the only logical thing. The TD caveat was just a dumb concession and has no logical place in the process. Stats and coin toss be damned, just give both teams a chance with the ball in OT.

  116. Since the entire game gives the edge to the home team (crowd noise, etc) then IF the home team cant win in regulation, and its tied — give the first possession to the AWAY team. IE: They earned it! That “feels” fairest

  117. Want a 50/50 chance to determine the winner? Just use the coin flip to determine the winner. Can still waste a time out to ice the ref

  118. The only logical change to the current rule would be to just make OT an additional timed period (maybe 10 minutes?) but IMO the current rules are good enough.

  119. bullcharger says:
    January 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Do the OT coin toss at the start of the game right after the opening coin toss. Both teams know all game who won the toss and can plan accordingly during the first 60 to win the game if they feel the OT coin toss isn’t in their favor.
    ———————————————
    I tried to post a similar idea the other day. Just have one coin toss, whoever got the ball to start the 1st quarter gets the ball to start overtime. This probably eliminates the receive or defer strategy to start the game but there will be no more whining about a second coin toss. Both teams will know from the beginning who gets the ball to start OT and have no excuse for not planning accordingly.

  120. This tune is getting old. Every time a team looses in OT and did not get a chance to possess the there is this out cry (usually from supporters of the loosing team).

    Simple answer. KC should have stopped the Pats. That is what good teams do.

  121. My God I have never seen so much whining. Why was this not an issue before the Patriots jammed it down Kc’s throat? Would this be an issue if KC got the ball first and scored? I think not.

    Here is an idea. If you want the ball, stop the other team or take it away. Just like the Rams did to the Saints.

  122. This will be another tuck rule moment. Yes it was legal when it happened, because it was the rule. But the NFL saw it was a bad one and it was gone. No different here. In an offense friendly league (which I do NOT like, talk about varsity setting league records playing the freshman team) it only makes sense for both teams to touch the ball in OT. Especially in playoffs I like someone else’s previous suggestion…just play out a quarter, like they do in every other major sport.

  123. Overtime should go back to the old way. Play for 15 minutes of sudden death. The team that gets the most points at the end of 15 minutes wins.

  124. What’s next? If the Rams score at the end of regulation, do we give New England one more possession? No. Stop it. Play defense. You had 60 minutes already and all these attempts to give everyone an overtime participation trophy take away the importance of regulation time. Leave overtime alone.

    If anything gets changed, do what someone suggested yesterday: Have the overtime coin flip at the beginning so everyone knows who gets the ball first.

    Doing that would make the end of regulation more exciting. A coach who knew the other team was getting the ball first could play more aggressively and try to win it all in regulation.

  125. CP says:
    January 23, 2019 at 10:48 am
    What’s next? If the Rams score at the end of regulation, do we give New England one more possession? No. Stop it. Play defense. You had 60 minutes already and all these attempts to give everyone an overtime participation trophy take away the importance of regulation time. Leave overtime alone.

    —————————-
    The fastest way to kill this whole thing would be if the SB goes to OT and the Rams win the flip then get a TD on their first drive, and folks suddenly realize they dont have to now endure another Tom Brady show. I think at that point the relief that he doesn’t get the ball put back in his hands to take their hopes away would make everyone reconsider how they should be careful what they wish for.

  126. SWFLAINC: I’ve been saying overtime is nothing more than an extension of the game – play the 4th quarter just like the 1st and or 3rd ….. no coin toss / no stupid rule changes…. I mean they are still playing the same game ….. correct ??……This nonsense should have been corrected in the 70’s or 80’s – however: the OT playoff games back then never ended in one drive …….

  127. 1uniquemonique says:
    January 23, 2019 at 10:15 am
    Overtime should go back to the old way. Play for 15 minutes of sudden death. The team that gets the most points at the end of 15 minutes wins.
    ——————————————————-
    You obviously don’t know what “sudden death” means. It means that OT ends when one team scores, now a TD, formerly a FG, not 15 full minutes with both teams scoring repeatedly. By the way, people on other threads are whining about sudden death because the Patriots scored a TD instead of a FG, which ended the game right there without the Chiefs offense ever getting on the field. Although I realize most of that is anti-Patriots bias, you can’t have it both ways.

  128. So this argument assumes Brady is automatic to go down to score (because otherwise there is not an advantage worth worrying about). So he does. Then Mahomes gets the ball. Since the assumption is Mahomes would scire too lets say he does. Now its tied and both teams have possesed the ball and had a chance to scire. Niw Brady gets the ball again. And being automatic he scores again, or in this case he just needs to fet it into FG range. And then there is the win. Same difference except a bunch of players that were beat up already are now that much more beat up.

    The bottom line is if the team that loses the toss is so much unable to stop the team that wins the toss that its deemed ”unfair” then that first team is going to win either way.

  129. Or they could have kicked the PAT to send the game to sudden death overtime.

    So you both get a possession because that is fair, but after that, sudden death is ok? Never have I ever understood people who say this.

  130. Another idea of tweaking overtime rule is that after the first team scores a TD, the opposing team gets to answer back with a touchdown AND 2-point conversion to win. If they can’t convert, game over.

  131. Another idea of tweaking overtime rule is that after the first team scores a TD, the opposing team MUST answer back with a touchdown AND 2-point conversion to win. If they can’t convert, game over.

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