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Story Archives: Overtime rules...
I just read over the new overtime rules for the playoffs approved by NFL commissioners.
I just have one question — WHAT?????
OK, I have more than one question, but I was just trying to figure out the new rule in the simplest way possible. Check back with me when the playoffs begin.
My other question is if the NFL's ego is too big to simply copy what college football is doing, which seems so simple and so fair to me.
The new NFL rule for the playoffs allows a team that loses the coin toss and gives up a field goal on the first series to then get a possession.The change was proposed only for the postseason by the competition committee and was passed 28-4 Tuesday.
OK, let me try this - starting next season, the team with the first possession in overtime would have to score a touchdown to end the game. But if they only manage a field goal then the opposing team will get a chance to end the game by scoring a touchdown.If both teams score field goals on their first possession, or fail to score, then classic sudden-death rules would come into effect, with the next team to score winning the game.
Owners will meet again in May to discuss using the new overtime rule for the regular season.
I can hear Morley Safer, Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Bob Simon and Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes now - "Great, now we'll be on at midnight."
Maybe one of the owners in the back will raise his hand and mention something about how the colleges handle overtime. And then maybe he can raise his hand later from the corner and ask them to at least think about it.
It is kind of ridiculous to use one set of rules for the regular season and another set for the postseason.
I knew once the Saints won the Super Bowl all heck would break out.
The meeting did have a few productive moments. The NFL certainly needs to do more about player safety, especially regarding concussions.
The key rules change for player safety bars a defenseless player from being hit in the head or neck area by an opponent who launches himself and uses his helmet, shoulder or forearm to make contact. Previously, those kinds of tackles were banned against receivers who couldn't protect themselves, but now it will apply to everyone. NFL rules also now will echo those in college when a player running with the ball loses his helmet.
The whistle will blow immediately and the ball will be placed at the "progress spot" where the helmet came off. See, it wasn't that hard copying the college rule, was it.
The umpire will be stationed behind the offensive backfield rather than in the linebackers area, after the competition committee saw "a hundred" examples of umpires being run over. Other new rules include:
• During a field goal or extra point attempt, the defensive team can't position any player on the line directly across from the snapper. Previously, a player needed to have his helmet outside the snapper's shoulder pads.
• A dead ball personal foul on the final play of the second or fourth quarters will cause a 15-yard penalty on the second half or overtime kickoff. Previously in those situations, no penalty was enforced, although players subsequently could be fined by Goodell.
• If a punt returner makes a fair catch signal and muffs the ball, he is entitled to "reasonable opportunity" to catch the muff before it hits the ground without interference from the coverage team. The ball will be awarded at the spot of the interference, but there will be no penalty yardage marked off.
• When a ball strikes a videoboard (Vince Lombardi would have loved that one), guide wire or sky cam, the play is whistled dead and replayed.
The game clock is reset to when that play started. The replay judge will be allowed to initiate a review if he believes there was some sort of interference with the ball.
This is the only case outside of the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters and overtime that the booth can order a replay. Coaches also can challenge whether there was interference with the ball.
• If the clock is stopped in the final minute of either half for a replay review, but would not have stopped without the review, officials will run off 10 seconds before resuming play. Either team could take a timeout to void the 10-second runoff.
Those changes seem reasonable and player safety needs to be top priority.
Now if we can just do something about that new overtime rule. I mean, Andy Rooney can stay up just so long.