Let's Fix The NFL Overtime System - KMOV.com

Let's Fix The NFL Overtime System

It is time for the NFL to fix its outdated overtime format. I'm not saying that because the Rams lost to the Jaguars on the first possession of overtime. The Rams were dominated in the second half. If not for two great plays, one by Leonard Little and another by Steven Jackson, the Rams would have lost in regulation.

Here's all you need to know about overtime in the NFL. 43 percent of all overtime games last season were won on the first possession by the team winning the coin toss. In the 35 years since the NFL has had the current overtime system in place (not including the '09 season), 141 regular-season games have gone to overtime and ended with only one team having a possession. So, on average, four times per year, a coin flip plays a major role in the outcome of an NFL game

Even before the league moved kickoffs back to the 30 yard line, nearly 30 percent of all overtime games were won on the first possession by the team receiving the kickoff.

Not only that, most of these games end on a field goal. The average length of overtime field goals is 37 yards. So the ball is placed down at the 27 and hiked from the 20. That means the winning team barely reached the red zone.

This is clearly unfair for the teams and a rip-off of the fans. As a fan you spend how many hundreds or thousands of dollars on tickets, parking, food and drink, sit cheering your vocal cords raw, only to have a coin flip 3 hours later decide your team's fate? Your QB never throws one pass or makes one handoff in OT? Let's get real.

There are several good alternatives. If one team scores on the first possession require that team to kickoff. If the second team ties the score on its possession then go to sudden death.
You could adopt the college system. That's pretty exciting.
Or how about eliminate field goals and extra points in overtime. That idea has been kicked around the News 4 Sports office. First of all it stops a team from taking the kickoff, driving 40 yards, and kicking a game winner. Require them to get in the end zone. If you say both teams get at least one possession, then make that team go for the two point conversion.

If you don't like those ideas, I am sure there are others out there that would work. What doesn't work is one possession and done.

Brian Barthold

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