Should the NFL reconsider the way it stages overtime?

February 01, 2010

Kickoffs get the boot
Bill Kline

The Morning Call

In the catalog of things that are unfair - right up there with broken NBC promises and oil cartels and Wendy's scrapping its salad bar - is the outdated NFL overtime rule. The team that wins the coin flip and returns the kickoff often needs only two or three first downs to get into field goal range. Game over.

Solution: Retain sudden death, but abandon the kickoff. The team that wins the coin flip can start on offense but must do so on its own 15-yard line. Or it can choose to go on defense and give the bad guys the ball on their 15. Game on.

Any team that drives 60 yards and kicks a 45-yard field goal in a nail-nibbling situation deserves to win.

wkline@tribune.com

Try to be creative
Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

I understand that defensive players are paid millions of dollars to stop drives, and if they can't do that in overtime, their team doesn't deserve to win.

But the NFL needs to do something about the common overtime scenarios in which one team never gets a chance to touch the ball.

There's got to be a creative and equitable solution, and it might involve giving each team at least one possession or ruling out the ability to win with a field goal.

Regardless, the league needs to open its mind to the possibilities.

sfarmer@tribune.com

Give them a chance
Harvey Fialkov

Sun Sentinel

Last season, Santonio Holmes' toes were the difference between crowning the Steelers NFL champions in regulation over the Cardinals or being a field goal away from sending the first Super Bowl into overtime, where a coin toss could have decided the outcome.

Does Commissioner Roger Goodell really want this week's worldwide showcase to come down to a "Heads I win, tails you lose" Three Stooges routine?

Ask the Vikings if they had an equal chance in their 31-28 overtime loss to the Saints, who won the toss and marched down the field before Garrett Hartley booted a 40-yarder to determine the NFC champion.

In 124 overtime games from 2000 to 2007, 37 teams lost without touching the ball on offense. One is too many!

C'mon Commish, give both teams at least one possession before resorting to sudden death.

hfialkov@tribune.com

The problem? Whiners
Brad Biggs

Chicago Tribune

The team that wins the coin toss wins in overtime only 54 percent of the time. It's an issue now because the Vikings lost the flip and the game in New Orleans.

The subject also was brought up when the Chargers beat the Colts on an opening-drive touchdown in overtime a year ago. Drop it. Who says a team can't score on defense? Whoever wins the coin toss is going to have some type of edge.

Minnesota apologists have many other things to bemoan - Brett Favre's interception at the end of regulation most of all.

bmbiggs@tribune.com


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