NFL Overtime Rules: Complete Look at New Format for OT

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 9, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 9: Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates the game tying field goal with holder Chris Kluwe #5 and lineman Charlie Johnson #74 against the Jacksonville Jaguars during NFL opening day September 9, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

Were you watching another game where you saw the Minnesota Vikings score in overtime against the Jacksonville Jaguars?

When you saw the score on the ticker but still saw time remaining in the overtime period, it could have caused some confusion.

Let me remind or inform you that the NFL has a new overtime structure.

The days of the sudden death extra period is over. Starting this season, per Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, "The team that loses the overtime coin toss is now guaranteed a possession provided the club that won the toss doesn't score a touchdown on its opening drive."

That explains why Blair Walsh's field goal in overtime against the Jaguars didn't win the game; Walsh made four field goals in the game total.

The Vikings subsequently won the game after stopping the Jags' attempt to tie or go ahead. The loser of the coin-toss now has some pressure if they don't stop the other team.

However, all is not lost if the defense initially buckles.

This is basically an appropriate mixture of the old NFL overtime system and the college structure. It doesn't elongate the game or drastically skew statistics like the college overtime setup does.

The games that had a final score of 27-27 at the end of regulation seemed ridiculous when they ended with a final score of 51-48.

This is an excellent rule change. It adds more excitement, and it removes the advantage provided to a team for simply winning the coin-toss.

In overtime, each team should at least have an opportunity with the ball. Without both sides of the ball taking the field, it was never truly an extra session.

Rarely are there rule changes that are welcomed by most, if not all fans, but this is one of them. 


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