An Open Letter To NFL Fans: Don't We Deserve a Better Overtime System?

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An Open Letter To NFL Fans: Don't We Deserve a Better Overtime System?
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Is it just me, or is the NFL and its overtime system due for a major overhaul?

First, I will acknowledge that I am a die hard Falcons fan. I am a season ticket holder, and have been for many years. So yes, I am still bitter over the Falcons bitter defeat this past Sunday.

But let me also say that over the years I have repeatedly voiced my distaste for a system that in some cases never allows one team a chance to score a point.

Just to compare, let's think about baseball and extra innings. Both teams get to bat in each inning, correct? What if the game ended in the top of the 10th when the visiting team scored?

In hockey's exciting shoot out sessions, do both teams not get an equal number of attempts to put one in the net?

Even in college football, each team is allowed a possession in each over time session. You may not like the fact that each team starts at the 25-yard line, but at least they both get a chance to score.

Many have said that the college overtime setup is not "real football." Argue that point if you want to, but to me the NFL system is even less so.

Case in point...the Falcons trail the Giants by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan leads his team to two scores in the final minutes to tie the game. The Falcons have all the momentum, the crowd is silent as the Giants are on the brink of blowing another win.

Time expires in regulation, so now we move to "sudden death." Sounds real exciting doesn't it?

The captains meet at the 50-yard line for the coin toss. Matt Ryan calls tails...the referee tells us, it's heads. This now becomes the worst decision Ryan made all day.

So on a day when the Falcons rally from 14 points down to force overtime, they are rewarded with a system that gives them no chance to touch the ball?

Our buddy Daniel Cox lays out the reasoning the NFL uses for this system, and the stats for overtime winners and losers in his weekly column. Check it out by clicking this link .

But did you know that since 1994, when kickoffs were moved back to the 35-yard line, the coin toss winner has won 60 percent of the time?

There are many disadvantages to overcome in any football game. Home field and a raucous crowd to name a couple. But should a coin flip go that far to determine the outcome of a game.

I have always heard that if you are going to complain about something, you should always have a suggestion to make it better.

So here are my thoughts.


1) Give both teams a chance to score

If one team drives down and kicks a FG...the other must match that or better yet score a touchdown for the win. Alternate possessions until you get a winner.


2) Give each team the ball at the 50-yard line

Alternating possessions from the 50 till someone scores and stops the other team.


3) Adopt the college system

I know it would be a hard pill for the mighty NFL to swallow, but maybe the college system is better.

Anything would be better than what is in place now. To lose a game in overtime is heart breaking for any team, and their fans. But to lose without even getting a chance to touch the ball is a joke.

Am I preaching to the choir or do I have a valid point?

In my opinion, it's time for the system to change.

NFL fans let your voices be heard!

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