clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wednesday open thread: Did the NFL get the overtime rule right?

Both teams are now guaranteed a possession in the postseason.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The NFL is officially set to change overtime rules following years of debate surrounding how fair the rules are for both teams. The new rules would guarantee at least one offensive possession to each team, but the change only applies to postseason games.

Question of the day: Did the NFL get the overtime rule right?

My answer: There’s still room for improvement, but I think it’s a big step in the right direction.

It’s a really curious situation, since now the strategy of overtime has been flipped on its head. Is it now advantageous to not get the ball first? If the other team gets the ball first, you know exactly what you have to do to match or top it. If they score a touchdown, they’re faced with the dilemma of going for one or two with the risk of the team with second possession outdoing them.

On the flipside, if the teams match each other on the first overtime possessions, the team with the ball first would then have the first crack when the game shifts to sudden death. If a team gets the ball first and doesn’t score, then the opponent doesn’t score, the first team can win with any score, and that’s certainly a good position to be in. It seems like a decent strategy, but we’ll have to see a big enough sample size of it in action before making a decisive statement.

There’s also the aspect of the rule change only taking place in the playoffs. At first glance, I didn’t like that it only applied to the postseason, but thinking about it further, I think I agree with that decision. Guaranteeing a possession to each team eliminates the “touchdown wins it” aspect of overtime as it stands right now, and we don’t need any more ties in the NFL. The rule change only guarantees possessions in games that can’t end in a tie, and games in which a loss would throw away an entire season’s work, not just a week’s.

All things considered, I think this was the right move by the NFL. Do you? Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts.


Did the NFL get the new overtime rule right?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (227 votes)
  • 36%
    (129 votes)
356 votes total Vote Now

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.