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NFL Inserts New Overtime Rule Into Regular Season

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

NFL owners agreed today to insert a new overtime rule to the regular season. The new overtime rule is the same rule applied to the NFL’s last two postseasons.

The OT rule reads as follows: “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. 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 downside of the new overtime rule is well documented by Chris Chase of the Yahoo! sports blog Shutdown Corner.

The receiving team kicks a field goal, the other team gets the ball back, converts a do-or-die fourth down on the next possession and goes on to win the game with a touchdown. The inherent advantage of going second, and getting four downs to stay in a game, is an advantage on par with receiving the ball first in sudden death.

Shutdown Corner

A great point by Chase that I’d never thought of. With everyone focused on debating the fairness of instant sudden death, many supporters of the rule change forget about the inherent advantage of going second.

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