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NFL considers expanding playoff OT rules, reviewing all turnovers

March 26, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow hugs Coach John Fox after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime of their NFL playoff game in January.
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow hugs Coach John Fox after beating… (Jack Dempsey / Associated…)

Reporting from Palm Beach, Fla. — Should the NFL expand its modified playoff overtime rules to include the regular season?

That's among the proposals that will be put to owners by the competition committee during the league's annual meetings this week at the Breakers Hotel here.

Unlike during the regular season, the playoff rules preclude a team from winning with a field goal on the opening possession of overtime. Unless a team opens with a touchdown, both teams get a chance to touch the ball.

Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, there were a couple of reasons why the league only adopted the new rules for the postseason when it made its overtime changes two years ago.

First, it was the only way some teams were comfortable making the change -- and any such change requires a three-quarters vote of the 32 teams. Second, the win-or-go-home finality of the playoffs prompted the league to make every effort to ensure both teams get a fair chance to touch the ball in overtime.

"The argument we made is it's just inherently more fair," McKay said. "We just felt that with the way the statistics were going, the coin flip was having too much of an impact on winners."

Another proposal being considered during the meetings would have every turnover being reviewed by a replay official in the booth. The league tried that with every scoring play last season, and found that adding those reviews only tacked one second on to the average game time.

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NFL considers expanding playoff OT rules, reviewing all turnovers

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