With this being the first year that NFL games will be decided by the new NFL Overtime rule, I feel that there should be some immediate changes instilled for this upcoming season before we have a very controversial 2012 season on our hands.
For those of you who are not familiar with the new NFL OT rule, League owners have voted to change Overtime rules for the whole 2012 season. The postseason overtime rules that were implemented in 2010 will now be used all year. Instant sudden death is out.
Each team must possess or have the opportunity to possess the ball unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on its initial possession, (as the Denver Broncos did in their 2012 playoff win in Pittsburgh). If that doesn’t happen then regular play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown).
The major issue I have with the new system is that a coin toss is really still deciding the game. The team the wins the toss still has a distinct advantage because they can go deep on their first series and take a shot at a game winning long TD pass as Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas showed in the AFC wild-card game, this is a distinct advantage gained with receiving the ball first in sudden death.
My solution is to eliminate the coin toss altogether, have the team that wins important in game statistics possess the ball first in Overtime. Those statistics should be: (1) Time of Possession, (2) Total Yards Gained, (3) Total First Downs, (4) 3rd Down Conversion %, (5) Forced Turnovers. Then that team gains a reward for their play during the game, the coaching stafg gets to decide whether to receive the OT kickoff and then play a regular much less confusing and traditional OT period that all NFL fans have become accustomed to.
Just think, If Donavan McNabb re-enters the league, he may hurt himself trying to figure out that yes there still is an NFL Overtime period after an NFL game, and that it now contains even more confusing new possession rules. Does the NFL really want to be responsible for confusing the Ex-Eagles QB even more then he was in November2008 after the Bengals game, in addition to having its 2012 season games debated forever, I hope the answer is a resounding No Toss.