The proposal to change the NFL's overtime rules for playoff games was passed yesterday. The vote on the proposal resulted in a 28-4 margin in favor making the change, which will now require the team that gets the ball first in overtime during the playoffs to score a touchdown to immediately win the game. Simply kicking a field goal will give the other team a chance to get the ball and win the game. If another field goal is kicked to re-tie the game, then the next team to score will win.
"I think it's a system that is responsive to a lot of different concerns that have been raised over the years," Lions president Tom Lewand said. "A lot of the arguments that were made for this, particularly a lot of the statistical arguments that the team that wins the coin flip winning the game more than 60 percent of the time, (were) compelling."
Personally I still don't understand why this proposal didn't include the regular season as well as the playoffs. In that regard I'm on the side of the Bengals and Vikings. Both of those teams voted against the proposal but would vote for it if a poll was taken on whether or not to change the overtime rules for the regular season as well.
It sounds like the issue involving rules for overtime in the regular season will be discussed in May, so perhaps a change to adopt the new overtime system for the entire season could happen then. Based on the fact that the option to adopt the new overtime rules for both the regular season and playoffs received the most votes in the poll included in my initial post about the matter, it seems likely that most football fans would rather see a consistent rules change, not one simply for the playoffs.
UPDATE: Jim Schwartz would also like to see the new overtime rules applied to the regular season. As I brought up last month, coaches would probably like to gain experience with the new system before the playoffs, and Schwartz really summed up that concern best:
"I think if the rule's good for overtime (in the playoffs), it's good for the regular season also. I know they've left open the possibility that we could go to that system this year,'' Schwartz said. "The only thing that concerns me about the playoffs is that the first time this system may be used, it might be the Super Bowl. There might not be an overtime in the playoffs and the very first time it's used is the Super Bowl. That's your biggest stage and your biggest game. To me, to have something untouched that's broken out then might be a little bit interesting.''