The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

OT's For Postseason

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There's one really good way to eliminate the overtime controversy in the regular season: Eliminate regular-season overtime altogether. You play sixty minutes, and if it's all even, that's it. You had your chance, and it's a tie. From 1974 (when the current overtime rule was implemented) through 2008, 53.7 percent of teams that won the overtime toss won the game. 42.4 percent of teams that loss the toss won the game, and 3.9 percent of ties stayed that way. A 10 percent swing on the luck of a coin is pretty drastic for a league and a sport that prides itself on equal competition.

Obviously, in the playoffs, you can't leave ties alone. This is when I would use the rules that are currently being used in high school, college and the Canadian Football League. The team that wins the coin toss gets the ball first, and if they score, the other team gets a chance to tie again. Neither team is given an unfair advantage for a particularly dynamic offense, and neither defense kills the game without that team's offense being given a chance for redemption. The single best football game I've ever seen, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma, was decided in this fashion.

The best way to even out the overtime inequities is to blow it out in the regular season, and add a new dramatic height in the postseason. It will be more fair to each team, and the game, both ways.

By Doug Farrar  |  March 20, 2009; 1:29 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This is a great idea! It eliminates playing for a tie and allows teams with injuries to settle things in the alloted time.

Posted by: acorvelli2 | March 24, 2009 1:34 PM

Disagree. A tie is like kissing your sister.

Go to the college OT system.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | March 24, 2009 2:07 PM

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