In what feels like a bit of an upset, NFL owners today approved a proposal recommended by the league’s competition committee that will change the structure of overtime in postseason games. Click here to view a vikings.com video from NFL Network that outlines the changes.
Rather than a true sudden death period, the new overtime structure says that if a team wins the coin toss and then kicks a FG, the other team gets the ball with a chance to tie the game (with a FG) or win it with a TD.
Essentially, it’s is “first to 6″ format that awards victory to the first team to score 6 points.
If both teams kick FGs on their 1st OT possessions, then the game continues under sudden-death rules. If the team that wins the toss scores a TD right away, then the game is over. If none of this happens and the overtime period expires, then the game is tied.
In addition to all of that, remember that this new overtime structure only applies to playoff games.
The measure passed easily, with 28 NFL owners voting for it and only 4 teams voting against it. NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that the 4 teams to vote against the changes were Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and the Vikings.
Had this measure been in place last season, the Vikings would’ve gotten a chance to have the ball in overtime of the NFC Championship Game. Had they scored a TD on their drive – right after the Saints kicked a FG on their 1st possession – the Vikings would’ve won the game and represented the NFC in Super Bowl XLIV.
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