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NFL overtime rules should not be changed

No, Matt Ryan never touched the ball in overtime of the Super Bowl, but maybe the Falcons defense should be to blame for that instead of the league’s rules.

The NFL’s modified sudden death overtime rule is absolutely perfect and by no means should be changed. After the Patriots won the coin flip of the first-ever Super Bowl overtime, they went down the field and in three minutes and 58 seconds won their first championship. Atlanta never had an offensive possession.

Ever since the NFL adopted the modified sudden death overtime in 2010 there has been a call for a move to the college football rules of alternating possessions until one team outdoes the other. The change was needed when in the NFC Championship game the season before the Saints went only 39 yards and kicked a 40-yard field goal to win the game without the Vikings even having a chance to touch the ball.

The Saints did nothing to actually win that game, but a coin flip gave them the ball first and won them the game. Those who claim the Patriots simply had the luck of a coin flip simply forget that there is more to a football game than offense.

The Vikings held a high-powered Saints offense to only 39 yards in that overtime. The Patriots drove 75 yards and scored a touchdown and the Falcons failed to stop them.

The NFL’s current overtime rules hold defenses accountable. Tom Brady completed five-straight passes to start overtime. Then James White was pushed out of bounds after a 10-yard run and he ended the drive a few plays later with a two-yard run into the end zone. The Falcons defense might as well not have been on the field.

Today’s NFL values offense. Rule changes have led to explosive passing games and teams have adjusted how they construct their teams in order to take advantage. All year long the Falcons have struggled defensively. They were a flawed team and their flaws cost them. Their defense should have been held accountable in overtime, and it was. A change to alternating possessions would no longer hold defenses accountable. The league can’t continue to forget about defense, and the overtime rules shouldn’t either.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.
2 Responses to “NFL overtime rules should not be changed”
  1. Josh Clark says:

    The only problem is it’s the first team to score. Thats the offenses job to a couple score not defense. So unless both offenses get a chamce, then the coin toss loser is at a major disadvantage. It’s a fact that the team that wins coin toss is at close to a 10℅ advantage in winning. Tell me how giving a team an advantage is fair.

    • Corey Johns says:

      I understand the argument again the current format, but the league simply is giving up on defense. This rule puts defenses on notice, be better. Holding a team to a field goal is a job well done. Giving up a touchdown is a job poorly done. Teams know this is the rule and it’s possible they lose a coin flip, they should build their teams with that in mind.