Poll shows strong support for changing the overtime rule

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Whenever the possibility of adjusting overtime to guarantee the team that kicks off to start the process a chance to match or first-drive touchdown, plenty of fans shout, “Play defense!” They seem to be a vocal, but yet distinct, minority.

A poll posted Friday on Twitter, which drew 34,696 votes, had only 26-percent support for keeping the current rule in place. The other 74 percent want the guaranteed possession for the kicking team.

Here’s the surprise: More than 70 percent of the people who favor change want it for both the regular season and the postseason.

As made clear during the recent #PFTPM interview of Cowboys COO Stephen Jones (a member of the Competition Committee), momentum clearly exists for a change to the overtime rule, but it’s more likely that the revised rule would apply only to the playoffs. And there’s good reason for that. Regular season games already are long enough, and the reduced duration of overtime (two years ago, it was cut from 15 minutes to 10) would create a incentive for the team that wins the toss to chew the clock, scoring a touchdown with as little time as possible remaining for the kicking team to match.

Besides, the consequences of a single regular-season game pale in comparison to the consequences of a playoff game. Sudden death would be fine for a regular-season game. But when the outcome of overtime ends one team’s season and sends the other to the next round, a more fair process is required.

It looks like that more fair process is coming. And it looks like most of you would be OK with that.

72 responses to “Poll shows strong support for changing the overtime rule

  1. I never once watched a nfl game and said…man this is awful. This game is way too long. I, for one, dont mind five more minutes of overtime.

  2. If the League decides to change the OT rules, OK, teams will adapt. But to say it’s being done for “fairness” is absurd. The team winning the coin toss in OT only wins the game slightly more than half of the time. What’s fairer than that?

    Just wait, whatever the new rule is, there will be unintended consequences. And if the “wrong” team wins, uh oh, all of a sudden there will be a drumbeat to change it again.

  3. The only annoying part about an overtime NFL game and I mean the only 1 thing out of the 10 other great parts to it…..is if your regional game you have waited to see all week doesn’t get switched to at kickoff…..then I just cuss at the tv as the whole 1st quarter ticks away while a game I could care less about drags on and on in OT.

  4. If you’re going to change it go back to the way it was at the start. Sudden death.

  5. After SB LI and this year’s AFC playoff game, the rule change the league really wants is to not allow Slater to call heads anymore.

  6. Falcons had a 28-3 lead very late in the 3rd quarter and the Patriots tied it in regulation.

    Chiefs gave up a bunch of 3rd and longs to let the Patriots tie and then win.

    GTFO with that “it’s not fair!” trash.

  7. Can anyone list the rules that have been changed because the Patriots won? Sounds like it happens all of the time. Must be dozens.

  8. billsrthefuture says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:36 pm
    Can anyone list the rules that have been changed because the Patriots won? Sounds like it happens all of the time. Must be dozens.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is incomplete but just off the top of my head:

    1. DBs playing physical against WRs
    2. Baltimore playoff game with non-eligible receiver acting as lineman.
    3. SB LI and this year’s AFC championship so now change OT rules.

  9. If this rule is put in place I hope the Patriots have an overtime playoff game where the kick off, other team scores TD, Patriots respond with TD and 2 point convert, Patriots win. NFL is then flooded with cries that it wasn’t fair the Patriots did that so it’s time to change the rule again.

    You know it’s true.

  10. Of course nobody’s talking about the incredible advantage the second team will get after the first team scores in OT. The second team can play 4 down football if needed when the first team can’t do so. That’s “fair”?

  11. This is just another attempt for the League to push offense over defense and make the game a sham. It is a ploy used by loser teams to punish those who win. There would be no call for this if KC had done the same thing. You know it. I know it, and so do the whiners and haters.

    But here’s a good question. How many drives, over the last 3 years that started from the 25 ended up as TD’s. My guess is less than 25%. If that is true then why change the rule. If both teams wind up with touches than the advantage goes to the team that has the ball last.

    But beyond the Patriot factor in all of this. This will lengthen the games, add more plays than the NFLPA will want, and increase injuries. It’s JUST not a good idea.

  12. Online polls are not scientific. The current rule is an improvement over the old rule already because a team can win by scoring a field goal and the other team did not even have a chance to score. I think it is best to allow overtime be time based. Do what World Cup Soccer do, by allowing teams to score as many times they can within a set time limit. INstead of having 2 halves, the NFL can instead have a single overtime period but shortens it to, say, 10 minutes. The team that scores the most points in that 10 minutes wins. If the game is tied after 10 minute in the regular season, then it remains a tie. In the playoffs, have as many ten minute periods as is needed for the game to be decided.

  13. On a non-related note, Rams were illegitimate participants in this last Superbowl. Never Forget!!

  14. Patriot fans are unbearable. Of course they think an overtime rule for the entire NFL is all about them.

    I hope to live long enough for this Tom Brady era to become ancient history. Regression to the mean is coming. Patriot fans need some humility.

    I’m not saying your confidence is’t deserved, it has been a hell of a run… but for the rest of us it is just getting really old listening to patriot fans say anything at all.

  15. Patsbrat – thank you for that list of exactly 2 rules that have actually been changed, one of which has been a huge benefit to Brady. And let’s not forget the actual “Brady rule,” another intended to benefit the Pats.

  16. A self-selecting poll is utterly meaningless, the only conclusion you can draw from this is that the type of people who would choose to answer a poll on twitter tend to favor the change.

  17. This is not about invalidating the outcome of the AFCCG. Everyone also knows that the Chiefs could have won had they held the Pats to a FG on any one of those 4th quarter drives (in addition to overtime). The Pats defense by contrast held the Chiefs to a FG on that final drive of the 4th Q when Mahomes had his chance to win it.

  18. What ever the rule is, it should be the rule period. In the season or the post season. I favor an overtime period of 7 and a half minutes (that’s half a period). If you control the ball for 7 minutes and 29 second and kick a field at the end you deserve the win. It’s the same thing driving down for a winning field goal in regulation time. In both cases the defense should have stop the offense. Basically it like replaying the last 7:30 of a game. A set overtime period is the way to go.

  19. How about in overtime the defensive starters play offense and the offensive starters play defense.

  20. billsrthefuture says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm
    Patsbrat – thank you for that list of exactly 2 rules that have actually been changed, one of which has been a huge benefit to Brady. And let’s not forget the actual “Brady rule,” another intended to benefit the Pats.
    ______________________

    You mean the Carson Palmer Rule that was in place before Brady got hit low to the knee? I am wondering if you are trying to say the Tuck Rule is named after Brady. That rule was in place before Brady was even in the NFL and abolished 10+ years after the call went in favor of the Pats. Jumping over the center on PATs was a rule change because the Pats were having some success with it. I think the NFL has instituted a Bills rule for which a team cannot lose 4 SB in a row. Rule is 25 years old now.

  21. vikinghooper says:
    May 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm
    For all the people who say play defense, why does the team that wins the coin flip always take the ball? ( Apologies to Morninwheg ).
    __________________

    Really? I am no Will Hunting but I bet having the offense on the field probably has a slightly better % of scoring a TD or a FG than the defense. Just my guess of course.

  22. If this rule change happens, then the move is to defer if you win the toss. AFC Championship 2019: Matthew Slater calls tails to lose the OT toss, Chiefs score touchdown and Pats respond with touchdown and 2pt conversion to go to 4th straight SB. All offseason everyone clammers to play an entire 5th quarter in OT, it’s only fair!

  23. Oooh – a zinger! Good one on the Bills losing SBs, Danny. Haven’t heard that over the years.

  24. Don’t worry, the moment the Patriots “should” have lost on the opening touchdown by the opposing team, but get to make a comeback thanks to a chance at the ball, the rule will change right back after a public outcry.

  25. styx630 says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm
    Once again, Pats fans proving they’re the sorest winners on the planet. This is why no one likes you.

    I think you meant to say Eagles fans. See Super Bowl 52 and how they behaved afterwards.

  26. Dear NFL: Please don’t make decisions based on a Twitter poll. Maybe instead you could contact season ticket holders, those who attend NFL games, people who buy NFL jerseys or – you know — actual fans?

  27. I get why they want to do this. It’s all about ad revenue. More overtime means more ads. It’s not rocket science nor is it anything to do with “fair”. It’s money, pure and simple.

  28. Strongly against

    Chiefs are spineless unwilling to accept responsibility for their own failures

  29. Another rule was changed because Steelers lost to the Pats in wk15 of 2017 (when the Jessie James almost-TD-catch was ruled no good) – this was the impetus for the March 2018 catch rule changes to allow a catch even if a guy can’t hold onto the ball, can’t completely control it, and it hits the ground – basically all the things a 5yr old would say means it wasn’t a catch.

  30. billsrthefuture says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Patsbrat – thank you for that list of exactly 2 rules that have actually been changed, one of which has been a huge benefit to Brady. And let’s not forget the actual “Brady rule,” another intended to benefit the Pats.

    —————————————————-

    Two? Oh much more than two… Can think of at least 8 rule changes off hand … im sure there are more…

    1. Tuck rule, removed from the game (from the 2001 AFCD vs Raiders)
    2. New rule implemented to check and report the psi of the footballs for each game (wonder why the league has never reported any of this data? hmmm…) (Deflategate)
    3. Emphasis on dbs leaving the wr’s alone after 5 yards (Ty Law, Rodney Harrison)
    4. Revised the carson palmer rule about defensive linemen going low at qb knees (Brady 2008)
    5. No more lining up eligible receivers in or near the tackle on the l.o.s. (the 2014 afcD ravens game)
    6. Addition of a medical spotter to the game (Julian Edelman, superbowl 49)
    7. no more leaping over the offensive line while blocking a kick (Shane McClellan)
    8. Implementation of defensive headsets (2008, Spygate)

  31. The reason the Patriot types respond the way they do to these articles is because it’s an indisputable fact had NE lost both OT championship level games no one would be concerned one iota about OT rules.

  32. Forget OT , if the game ends in a tie net yards should decide the outcome. That is a good accounting of which team had more control of the game .

  33. “Play defense!” is a valid argument made less so by the league’s increased focus on safety benefiting offense. QBs and receivers are better protected, scores and stats are up, playing good defense is harder. I prefer “play to win!”

  34. So the public wants a rule change all because old man Brees weak-armed the football and threw a pick? or is it because the Saints RT got tossed like a rag doll and let the defender crush Brees? Stop crying Saints fans. After the supposed “no call”, the Saints had multiple opportunities to win that game and choked.

  35. who cares what a plurality of mindless idiots thinks? there is one certified football genius available to decide on any rule change proposals, use him.

  36. Another article pushing a rule change on OT without mentioning the only relevant stat on that subject: The winner of the toss wins 53% of the time, loser 47%.
    There is no problem, only people looking to create some.

  37. They aren’t really going to implement this change are they? Obviously there will be a big advantage the the team with the second posession. They will know exactly what they need to do and will have up to 4 downs to do it. The college system is more fair and even then, teams want the second possession, not the first.

    Do not change this rule.

  38. “So the public wants a rule change all because old man Brees weak-armed the football and threw a pick? or is it because the Saints RT got tossed like a rag doll and let the defender crush Brees? Stop crying Saints fans. After the supposed “no call”, the Saints had multiple opportunities to win that game and choked.”

    ———————————-

    I know this is how you validate the outcome but everyone knows that is the not the most significant reason that the Rams won that game. There was a blatant missed holding call (amongst the many, some for each team) on that INT, by the way.

    You know why people are upset about it. You being upset that they’re upset doesn’t really changed what we saw happen.

  39. As the NFL breaks another all time revenue record, we’re going to sit up here in the peanut gallery and tell them everything they’re doing wrong?

  40. Here’s my unsolicited take on this. Why would you decide a playoff game by playing under a different set of rules than you played in regulation? It should be extra quarters(15 or possibly 10 mins) until somebody wins. Wanna know how many playoff games and SBowls have gone to OT since the merger in 1970? 28. In 49 yrs. It’s a rule that never should have been legislated. It’s gimmicky. Play under the same rules, the heck with the TV schedule. Keep the present rule for the regular season, it’s not that important.

  41. Ay defense would be a great call if all the rules went skewed for offense. Funny how everyone forgets that’s. Go back to real football and then go ahead and go back to d OT

  42. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm
    If this rule is put in place I hope the Patriots have an overtime playoff game where the kick off, other team scores TD, Patriots respond with TD and 2 point convert, Patriots win. NFL is then flooded with cries that it wasn’t fair the Patriots did that so it’s time to change the rule again.

    You know it’s true.
    ————
    They’ll be demands that the team getting a chance to score and tie the game shouldn’t be able to go for the two point conversion, they should only be allowed to tie the game not win it.

  43. What a lame way of trying to show there’s more support for this than there really is, I don’t know a single person that Tweets/Twits or whatever you call it!

    BTW isn’t it all kids that hang out on Twitter?

  44. Pathetic you know whats fair playing this sport like men the way it was intended! Not crying out for rule changes after the games outcome doesn’t go your way.

  45. What’s next with this everything has to be fair crowd, maybe next they’ll want liberal scoring?

    If Team A scores 34 points and Team B only scores 7 then Team A has to give Team B 17 of their points!

    Some people are outta’ their mind!

  46. vikinghooper says:
    May 4, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    For all the people who say play defense, why does the team that wins the coin flip always take the ball? ( Apologies to Morninwheg ).
    __________________________________________

    What does that have to do with anything?
    This game consists of playing both sides of the ball and if you can’t play one side of the ball you aren’t going very deep in the Playoffs, PERIOD! Only a team without a defense would cry about this rule, BOO-HOO!

    OH and I’ll bet you that if they do change the OT rule to allow both team a possession then teams will defer and give the ball to the other team first, it’s always better to know what you have to do than to be the first to try and do it!

  47. This is why Pats fans get a bad name. This rule has nothing to do with the Patriots, it’s about the NFL’s biggest games being decided in ot without 1 of the teams even getting possession of the ball

  48. OK say they change the rule, well what happens when the smart HC wins the coin-toss his team drives for the TD and he says “OK let’s go for two” and they make it. The opponent then can’t win the game even if they score and make a two so the game just goes on!

    And we all know it’s GOING TO HAPPEN!

    Will they then make a rule that the first team to score can only go for the extra point and the other team has to go for two? Well how is that fair?

    The purpose of OT is to determine a winner, NOT TO MAKE SURE THINGS ARE EVEN! And if we’re talking fair how is a coin-toss fair? It’s just luck there’s nothing fair about it!

    Just saying I think this rule change would open up an even bigger can of worms than what we have now!

    Coming to the NFL next “PARTICIPATION TROPHY’S”

  49. styx630 says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Once again, Pats fans proving they’re the sorest winners on the planet. This is why no one likes you.
    _________________
    Winners are always hated by envious losers like you, but losers like you are always loved by winners because without losers there could be no winners. Go Pats!

  50. I have to crack up a bit when NE fans pretend they’ve never been “haters.”

    This is, after all, the same fan base that still chants “Yankees suck” when they’re not even playing N.Y.

  51. A poll posted Friday on Twitter, which drew 34,696 votes, had only 26-percent support for keeping the current rule in place. The other 74 percent want the guaranteed possession for the kicking team.
    _____________________________________

    So Mike there are 17,180,000 NFL fans in the US and you want to change a rule based on what ONLY 25,675(74% of 34,696 polled) or <.0015% of the total of all fans think?

    Let me be the first to tell you HOW ______ STUPID THAT WOULD BE!!!!!!!

  52. Pats rule changes:
    Can no longer jump over the offensive line during field goals. (changed 2017)

    Medical spotters after the Julian hit in the SB

    Removed the tuck rule

    physical play on WR’s from DBs.(Thanks indy)Touching is now the same as holding…which I think every fan will agree sucks for the game.

    Lining up an ineligible receiver outside the tackle box (it was brilliant and used in lower level football, Thanks Ravens)and the eligible between the ineligible in the slot, and the linemen.

    Super crazy rules about footballs

    Injury time out changes. (the Willie McGinest/Vrabel rule)

    Headsets for defensive players-you’re welcome. It was far overdue.

    Catch rule was adjusted before the superbowl vs. Eagles because of the Steelers game–I guess that one worked for the league didn’t it?

    Hitting a QB below the knee–which is on Brady somehow, but really its the Carson Palmer rule, but I guess he isn’t as hated or something.

    As for the OT rule- it is almost a 50/50 split on who wins in OT.
    Except the Pats on the biggest stage..who are 3-0.
    Really the NFL just has to ban the Patriots.

  53. Steve Cunningham says:
    May 4, 2019 at 10:20 pm
    A poll posted Friday on Twitter, which drew 34,696 votes, had only 26-percent support for keeping the current rule in place. The other 74 percent want the guaranteed possession for the kicking team.
    _____________________________________

    So Mike there are 17,180,000 NFL fans in the US and you want to change a rule based on what ONLY 25,675(74% of 34,696 polled) or <.0015% of the total of all fans think?

    Let me be the first to tell you HOW ______ STUPID THAT WOULD BE!!!!!!!
    ————————————————–
    I second that. What a reality check!

  54. I think it would be better to remove the coin toss and give first possession to the team with the least fouls called on them in the game. Then nobody can whine that the coin toss gave an unfair advantage and each team would have a chance to earn first possession in overtime via their actions and play through regulation

  55. Pats fans are indeed the sorest winners. Imagine the outcry if KC won that game and Brady never had a chance to answer…. no overtime solution is perfect but I do like each team having a possession.

  56. cheek2vegas says:
    May 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    Pats fans are indeed the sorest winners. Imagine the outcry if KC won that game and Brady never had a chance to answer…. no overtime solution is perfect but I do like each team having a possession.

    —-
    No, we would accept the loss as things went our way in the Super Bowl overtime. That’s the way it goes.

    Instead it’s waaaah poor widdle Patty didn’t get the ball not fair!!111!!! 😭😭😭

  57. NFL overtime rules were poorly constructed right from their initial inception, so their amendment is long overdue.

  58. The fans are ridiculous, and allow their emotion to make them gigantic hypocrites based solely on allegiance to their team. All this whining about OT because the Patriots won and overtime playoff game.

    But when someone says, why not just have your team play defense these whining “children” (at least emotionally children) will give us brilliant statements like “the rules are so slanted to the offense that you can’t play defense anymore”. And yet, these SAME EXACT FANS whine and cry that this years Super Bowl sucked because it was only 13-3. So when teams play defense the games suck. But yet, teams aren’t allowed to play defense. So which is it??? Just admit everything about your childish hatred of the Pats and I can at least respect your honesty, but acting like these changes need to be made for the sake of the game and fairness and everything else, give me a break. No one believes except the other morons who are also trying to convince themselves that it’s not anti patriots emotion

  59. jmethane says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Patriot fans are unbearable. Of course they think an overtime rule for the entire NFL is all about them.
    ___________________________________________
    I’m no Pats fan but of course this is based on the Chiefs-Pats game you’re just kidding yourself if you think it’s not because:

    In the Rams-Saints the Saints won the coin-toss and lost the game, so it sure isn’t about them or that game! But then the Rams stepped up and played D and did what they had to do to win. There was only one other OT game during the Playoffs and there’s ONLY one team crying now.

    OHHHH OK I get what you’re saying now, it’s not about the Pats at all, it’s all for the cry-baby Chiefs, so the NFL is going to change a rule based on one team crying because that’s all it is the rest of the league is actually silent, there’s ONLY one team and fan base crying, that’s it just one!

    So you are realing saying is it’s “FOR” the Chiefs and not really “against” the Pats, well OK I’ll buy that!

  60. remizak says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    If the League decides to change the OT rules, OK, teams will adapt. But to say it’s being done for “fairness” is absurd. The team winning the coin toss in OT only wins the game slightly more than half of the time. What’s fairer than that?
    ——————
    50% is fair, both teams should get a possession. But I’m all for only doing it in the playoffs. It’s too simplistic to say, oh they just need to play defense. If 2 teams are built on offense, then that game is likely decided on a coin toss. And if there is a stud QB on both teams, I want to see them both go at it.

  61. Steve Cunningham says:
    May 5, 2019 at 9:16 pm
    jmethane says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Patriot fans are unbearable. Of course they think an overtime rule for the entire NFL is all about them.
    ___________________________________________
    I’m no Pats fan but of course this is based on the Chiefs-Pats game you’re just kidding yourself if you think it’s not because:

    In the Rams-Saints the Saints won the coin-toss and lost the game, so it sure isn’t about them or that game! But then the Rams stepped up and played D and did what they had to do to win. There was only one other OT game during the Playoffs and there’s ONLY one team crying now.

    OHHHH OK I get what you’re saying now, it’s not about the Pats at all, it’s all for the cry-baby Chiefs, so the NFL is going to change a rule based on one team crying because that’s all it is the rest of the league is actually silent, there’s ONLY one team and fan base crying, that’s it just one!

    So you are realing saying is it’s “FOR” the Chiefs and not really “against” the Pats, well OK I’ll buy that!
    ————–
    People have been calling for this since long before that game. Get over yourself.

  62. billsrthefuture says:
    May 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm
    Patsbrat – thank you for that list of exactly 2 rules that have actually been changed, one of which has been a huge benefit to Brady. And let’s not forget the actual “Brady rule,” another intended to benefit the Pats.
    —————————-
    Actually that was the “Carson Palmer Rule” because it was enacted after he got taken down in that manner.

  63. cheek2vegas says:
    May 5, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    Pats fans are indeed the sorest winners. Imagine the outcry if KC won that game and Brady never had a chance to answer…. no overtime solution is perfect but I do like each team having a possession.

    ——————–

    We don’t have to imagine the outcry with the Chiefs losing because we hear about it non-stop. It couldn’t possibly be any worse if the Patriots had lost because every minute of every day is already taken up by Chiefs fans whining about how they lost their big chance. You can’t pack more in.

    When the Patriots lose (small sample size, I know), how often do you hear Patriots fans screaming for the rules to be changed to “fix” the problem? NEVER.

    The league has a couple of darling owners:
    Rooneys
    Hunts
    Maras
    Blank

    and Kraft isn’t one of them.

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