New NFL Overtime Playoff Rules

By Marc A. Greenberg

In case you forgot, there are new Overtime rules that will take effect Saturday for the NFL Playoffs.

If the team that wins the toss scores a field goal on the opening possession, it will then kick off to the other team. A touchdown would end the game at any point. And the game would become sudden-death if the teams trade field goals on opening possessions.

Got it?

That means that if the Jets get to overtime against the Colts, and win the coin toss, Rex Ryan may decide to kick off to Peyton Manning and try to hold the Colts to a FG or less.   Then the Jets would get the ball and can play ‘all-out’ to score a TD or FG to tie the game.  Picture how many 4th down chances a team will get knowing that they have to keep going for it.  The odds of scoring a TD must be greater for the team that kicks off to start overtime.

Apparently, NFL owners decided to change the rule because during the last 16 seasons, the coin-flip winner prevailed in 59.8% of games.

In the 2010 regular season, both teams had possession of the ball in overtime in 17 of the 19 games that went to an extra frame.