NFL To Discuss Overtime Rules for Playoffs

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NFL To Discuss Overtime Rules for Playoffs
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Succumbing to popular demand, the NFL's Competition Committee will propose a plan to change the rules of overtime in the playoffs.

The plan would allow both NFL teams to have a possession in overtime, rather than not giving the ball to the team that loses the coin flip if the first team scores.

According to an inside source, the overtime rules would go like this:

If the OT receiving team scores a touchdown, the game is over. If the receiving team does not score and the opposing team kicks a field goal or scores a touchdown, the game is over. If the receiving team kicks a field goal on its first possession, the opposing team gets a possession. If that team does not score, the game is over.

Under current rules, the first team to score wins. The 2009 NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings went to overtime. The Saints won the coin toss, had a 10-play, 39-yard drive, and won the game with a 40-yard field goal. The Vikings offense never saw the ball.

A 2008 playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts ended in the same fashion. After Nate Kaeding tied the game with a field goal with 1:15 left, the game went into overtime. The Chargers won the coin toss and drove 75 yards for a game-winning touchdown. The Colts offense never saw the ball.

Many analysts disapprove of the proposition, saying that both teams deserve at least one offensive possession. But they agree that changing the overtime rules is a step in the right direction.

The committee will discuss the rule change during the spring owners' meetings March 21-24. The vote would need two-thirds to pass.

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