News broke Wednesday that the NFL Competition Committee, which is co-chaired by Falcons President Rich McKay, will present a proposal to owners for a change in overtime rules.
Seemingly every offseason some form of overtime change is discussed. As it stands, if a game is tied at the end of four quarters, there’s another coin toss and another quarter begins.
First team to score, wins.
Is it fair?
In reality, the team that takes the ball wins on a field goal on the first drive about 50 percent of the time. In 2008, according to McKay, 63 percent of sudden death games were won by teams that won the coin toss. Most of those victories (43 percent) came on the opening possession.
Something about teams not having equal chances at possession has always been a point of contention.
“In this case, we just try to make a statistical argument that the time has maybe come to innovate when it comes to overtime,” McKay told the AJC. “There is a reason statistically to do so.”
The Falcons lost the only overtime game they appeared in last season, 34-31 against the Giants.
The proposed changes would allow a team to win the game on the first possession of overtime with a touchdown. A field goal would be followed by the other team on offense with a chance to tie the game or win with a touchdown. If the second team kicks a field goal to tie the contest again, sudden-death rules apply.
It would definitely be a change in strategy.
Defensive players likely embrace the pressure of stopping an opponent on the first series of overtime. After all, they’re paid to play the game, too. However, under the proposed rule, offenses can’t go vanilla and play just for the field goal.
It would also allow a defense to take the field in a more game-like situation.
Fans have long clamored for a college-style overtime where each team is guaranteed at least one chance to score.
Does this proposal fit the bill? Does it need to change at all?