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What are the new changes to overtime in the NFL?

NFL team owners have approved a rule modification proposal that will guarantee both teams a possession in overtime, but only during playoff games.

NFL team owners have approved a proposal that will guarantee both teams a possession in overtime, but only during the playoffs.

NFL team owners have listened to public clamor and approved a rule change that will guarantee that both teams will receive possession in overtime.

However, this modification will only apply to playoff games. The old guideline will continue to be implemented in regular-season games.

The Indiana Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles put forward the proposal, which received a 29-3 vote during the NFL’s annual league meeting.

Determined by the toss of a coin

The previous rule states that if the team that first received possession scored a touchdown, then they would win the game.

The old rule has statistically favored the team winning the overtime coin toss since the format was implemented in 2010. Ten out of 12 times, the coin-toss winners have prevailed in such situations.

With the new postseason rule, the two teams will now have a chance to get the ball at least once. If the score is still tied after both teams have had possession, the game would be decided by sudden death.

Other NFL stories:

Calls for rule change after Chief vs. Bills showdown

Momentum had been building up for this revision following last season’s epic face-off between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round.

The Bills had to play defense first and did not get to touch the ball in overtime, because Kansas City scored a touchdown after winning the coin toss. Buffalo lost the divisional playoff 42-36.

There are some expectations that the rule change will some day apply to the regular season as well.

Other resolutions passed during the NFL meeting include making permanent a health and safety change to onside kicks, and allowing teams to stop other franchises from poaching their personnel before the NFL draft was completed.


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