web analytics
Your Independent Alternative!

NFL Owners Could Vote Wednesday on Overtime Change

ORLANDO - Here's another stat to fuel the NFL's overtime debate: 3-for-11.

Of 11 playoff games decided by OT since 2000, three were won with a first-possession field goal after a team won the coin toss.

"Eleven games is not a statistical model that you want to pay attention to," said Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian, a member of the competition committee pushing for a change in the overtime system for postseason games. "If this is passed, it will take four or five years to get a model that will tell you whether or not it's totally the right thing."

NFL owners could vote Wednesday to modify the sudden-death rule to dictate that both teams get chances for possessions in OT if the team that had the ball first doesn't score a touchdown. It takes 24 votes to pass.

Proponents argue that, as field goal accuracy has improved, teams that won the toss have a 59.8 percent winning clip in regular-season games since 1994, when kickoffs were moved back to the 30-yard line.

Coaches lament the potential for more decisions.

"I kind of like leaving it alone, if I had my preference," Carolina Panthers coach John Fox said. "If it's fourth-and-short at the 28-yard line, in the past it would be a no-brainer to kick a field goal, because you win the game. Now . . . you give the opponent another chance."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell favors a switch, but two of the eight competition committee members - Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome - are against it.

Said Lewis, "I think there's a lot of sentiment from coaches not to change it."

Polian is encouraged that there is debate.

"This is not going to hurt the game," Polian said. "If anything, it's going to make it more exciting. I don't see any downside. And I'm a traditionalist."

Comments are closed.