AOL News has a new home! The Huffington Post.

Click here to visit the new home of AOL News!

Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Could NFC Title Game Lead to Change in OT Rules?

Jan 25, 2010 – 12:30 AM
Text Size
JJ Cooper

JJ Cooper %BloggerTitle%

Garrett HartleyIf the NFL does decide to change its overtime rules, we may remember Sunday's game as the reason a change was made.

The NFL has been reluctant to modify its sudden death format whenever an alternative is proposed. But the cries for a change will be heard louder now that a Super Bowl berth has been determined in a large part by a coin toss. Minnesota never touched the ball in overtime after New Orleans won the toss.

That's not to take anything away from the Saints' game-winning drive, and it doesn't absolve the Vikings for committing five turnovers, but with two offenses that combined for over 700 yards, getting the ball first in overtime was an incredible advantage.Every year the NFL tweaks the rules a little bit more to ensure that the game gets more and more wide open (just watch the Packers-Cardinals playoff game for an example of what we've come to these days). That's all fine, but it does mean that sudden death doesn't mean the same thing as it did in the 1950s, when the current rules were adopted. Back then field goals were a hit-or-miss proposition (field goal kickers were usually an offensive guard with a turned up shoe) and scoring drives relied on a whole lot of three-yards and a glob of mud.

Now Drew Brees, Kurt Warner or Brett Favre can eat up 50 yards in a couple of plays and a 40-yard field goal is considered a gimme. Add it all up and it seems more fair to tweak the rules. If the NFL doesn't want to adopt the college system of giving each team a possession at the 25, it would make sense to at least pass a rule that each team gets one possession in overtime before going into sudden death. If the game is still tied after those two possessions, then no one can argue that they didn't have a chance.

But most importantly, it would ensure that the overtime coin toss is no longer the most important moment in overtime.
Filed under: Sports