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NFL to ponder changes to OT rules

The NFL's competition committee has come out with a proposal that will be debated by owners at their annual spring meetings March 21-24 in Orlando, Fla.

Here's how the proposal would work, according to a person with knowledge of the competition committee's deliberations: 

* If the receiving team scores a touchdown, the game would be over.

* If they don't score and the opposing team kicks a field goal or scores a touchdown, that team wins.

* If the receiving team gets a field goal on its first possession, the kicking team would then get a possession. If they don't score, the game would be over.

Will it answer all the questions about overtime, which has been criticized in recent years because it gives the team that wins the coin toss an advantage? Perhaps. Then again, it would take away the notion of "sudden death overtime." More like "eventual death overtime," because the outcome might not be known until both teams have the ball.

Our take? We like OT just the way it is. Sure, there are times when the team that wins the toss wins. But it's not to the point where losing the coin toss is a guarantee of losing the game. Case in point: The most exciting game of the 2009 playoffs was an overtime affair. After battling to a 45-45 tie against the Packers in regulation, the Cardinals lost the coin toss.

But then they won the game when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (pictured) fumbled on his first possession and the ball was returned for the winning score in Arizona's 51-45 victory.

Will the owners make the change? Remains to be seen, but don't forget what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said about any changes to OT when he gave his state-of-the-league address two days before Super Bowl XLIV: 

"We’ve looked at tweaking it in trying to make it better. But in discussions with clubs and players, we haven’t found a better solution. The players and coaches support the system. We saw overtime twice in the postseason, and they were maybe two of the most exciting games we’ve ever had (Cardinals-Packers and Saints-Vikings). The rule has served the league well, but we’ll continue to look for a solution. But I wouldn’t hold your breath for that solution.” 

New York Sports