NFL Makes Right Decision to Use Modified Overtime Rules in Regular Season

If it's good enough for the playoffs, it should be good enough for the regular season.

NFL owners voted Wednesday in favor of extending the modified overtime rules into the regular season to keep everything uniform throughout the year.

This means the team that receives the opening possession of overtime can't win the game by kicking a field goal on that initial possession. The receiving team can win the game by scoring a touchdown on that opening possession, though. If the receiving team kicks a field goal, the kicking team has a chance to answer it with its own possession.

If the receiving team doesn't score on its initial possession, the game reverts to a sudden death format.

Analysis: Whether this is a good move or not depends on your opinion of the NFL's imperfect overtime format. But it's much fairer than the sudden death model. The bottom line, really, is that uniformity of the rule makes the most sense. There's no point in having teams prepare for two separate types of overtime when they report for training camp.

What to Watch: While the modified overtime rules are easy to understand, they're a pain in the neck to explain because of all of the scenarios they involve — safeties, blocked punts, extended possessions, defensive touchdowns, and so on and so forth — and that made for some quality television during the Broncos' overtime victory against the Steelers in the playoffs. Poor Ron Winter.

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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