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Proposing A Modified Version of College Overtime Rules that could work in the NFL

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We know what happened in the game on Saturday between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. After Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed his second Hail Mary of the season with no time left, the two teams went to overtime to decide who goes to the NFC Championship Game. That’s when things got controversial, I guess. The Packers, being the road team, got to chose heads or tails. They chose tails, but the coin didn’t flip and landed on heads. The referee decided to reflip, and the coin again landed on heads, giving the Cardinals the football.

As we all know, the Cardinals won on a pitch play to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. But, many questions have been asked about the NFL’s overtime rules. What if Rodgers was able to get a possession in overtime? How are these rules “fair”? Why is possesion determined on who wins a coin flip/toss? Well, I’m going to propose a modified version of college football overtime rules that may work in the National Football League. Remember, this is just my own opinion and this topic is 100% up for debate.

Deciding Posession

This is where our first, albeit minor, modification occurs. There will be no coin toss in this overtime rule-set. The visiting team will decide what they want to do. Why? They decide heads or tails, so why not? Also, with today’s overtime rules in the NFL, teams want the ball. However, as you’ll see, this isn’t about one possession to win it all. It’s about red-zone offense. Both teams will get a chance to get the ball. This means that the road team will not be inclined to go one way or another. Road teams with a high powered offense will want the ball, whereas teams that don’t have a great offense but a reliable defense will trust that defense and give the ball to the home team.


The rules are pretty straightforward. The offensive team, Team A, will set up shop at the opponents 25 yard line. They will get the usual four downs to score a touchdown or field goal. Once the offensive team scores or is stopped, the ball will go to the defensive team, Team B, and they’ll get the same, four down opportunity that Team A had. There will be a 20 second play clock, so teams don’t try to possible manipulate the fact that there’s no game clock. Now, we can’t go all night in the regular season. So, if the game is still tied after six overtimes, the game will end in a tie. Teams will be allowed two timeouts in each of the first three overtimes and one in each of the last three. The only modification here is teams do not have to try for two points after two overtimes.

Why It Works

This will give each team a chance at the football. There won’t be any more “did the coin flip, did it not flip?” controversy that isn’t worth .0000000001% of the press that it’s getting. Also, think of how exciting it could be. Team A scored and Team B has the ball at the one on fourth down. We’d be on the edge of our seats!

So, there you have it. I honestly thought I’d have more modifications to this format. Apologies to those who were expecting big changes. Tell me what you think.

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