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NFL Overtime Rule Change - Does It Make Sense?

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As you know, the NFL's annual owners meetings are taking place this week in Orlando, Florida and one of the pressing topics is a proposal for an overtime rule change in the playoffs.

In recent history, the team that wins the coin toss in overtime stands a better chance at winning the game. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, since 1994, the team that won the coin toss has won the game 60% of the time.

It's a touchy subject considering most critics of the rule change believe it would change the game as we know it.

But at what price does the team at the losing end of the coin toss need to pay? There's a 50/50 chance of winning the toss but according to the numbers, the team that loses the toss only has a 40% chance to win the game.

Somers also brings up an interesting point declaring that the league should move the kickoff to start overtime from the 30-yard line back up to the 35-yard line - a position change that was originally done nearly 16 years ago - a move that was also made before kickers developed the big legs that they have now.

Personally, I don't prefer the overtime rules as they are now. Most will argue that the team that loses the coin toss - and the game at that - should not have put themselves in that position in the first place. But in reality, all teams make mistakes in games and put themselves in unfortunately situations. Both teams have the right to battle for a full four quarters, so who's to say that only one team has a chance to win the game in overtime? Is the coin the deciding factor?

The potential rule change is a one year proposal, and it would provide both teams with a chance to score and win the game. Here's how it would go down: The team that wins the coin toss still has "lady luck" on their side considering they can still win the game without the opposing team ever touching the ball. The only catch is that they must score a touchdown to win. If they settle for a field goal, the other team will get an opportunity to win via touchdown, or tie the game again with a matching field goal. At that point, the remainder of overtime would revert to the old "sudden death" rules.

But should I really be for change? After all, it was the Cardinals have proved, in the playoffs, that winning the coin toss doesn't always mean the game as well. In an offensive slug fest with the Green Bay Packers last season, in which neither defense could get a stop, the Cardinals scored a defensive touchdown to end regulation and also proved that their defense still could win the game in overtime. Our very own Cardinals proved that this rule change isn't necessary, that change isn't needed to make things fair for both teams.

Those in favor of the change aren't looking at the Cardinals/Packers game however, they have their sights set on the NFC Championship game, in which the Saints kicked their way into the Super Bowl on a 40-yard prayer(above) in overtime. The boot ended the Vikings season, and any chances of them responding to the field goal were left on the field that night. Could the Vikings have marched down the field in response and ended overtime with a touchdown? Wouldn't that have been fair? Certainly we can play the what if game, and as the NFL owners meet and discuss the change, we could be seeing a significant change to the postseason next year.