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Old 01-04-2011, 08:49 AM  
Stinger Stinger is offline
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I Forgot About This. No More Sudden Death In Overtime For The Playoffs

So long, sudden death: Playoffs offer new overtime approach

Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith is glad his top-seeded NFC team got a first-round playoff bye -- and not for the usual reasons of players getting healthy, getting more time to game plan, etc.

The added few days allow Smith, and every other team with a bye, to prepare for new overtime rules that were implemented this offseason but not put into effect until the playoffs. The eight teams involved in this weekend's wild-card games have to cram in order to be ready for the chance they get to overtime.

"This can influence decision making, especially how you play the last couple minutes of a ball game, in terms of playing for the tie or win in regulation," Smith said. "There are a lot of situations that you have to coach differently in overtime."

Beginning Saturday, sudden-death as we know it, is history -- until next regular season.

Unlike regular-season overtime rules that have been in place for years, both teams could have the chance to score in overtime, even if the first team with the ball kicks a field goal. Normally, the team to score first, regardless of how, wins. Not necessarily in the postseason.

If a field goal is made by the team in the first possession in overtime, the other team gains possession. If that team scores a touchdown, game over. If it kicks a field goal to tie, then the next team to score wins. The only way the game ends on the first possession is if that team scores a touchdown or if the defense forces a safety or returns a turnover for a score.

The changes didn't sit well with coaches, especially since the first time they could encounter them could be with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Teams now have to add another layer of preparation to their practices, in the film room and on the field because of the variety of uncharted scenarios that could present themselves.

The possibilities have had coaches trying to sort out every circumstance possible -- and there are plenty. For example ...
The kicking game

If a kickoff is booted deep into the end zone, a player could be coached to take the touchback rather than try and bring it out and risk a fumble or a penalty that could give them awful field position and result in a punt close to or from the end zone. Both could give the opposition ideal field position.

If the team has to punt on its first possession, does the return team double team the gunners? By having additional bodies blocking near where the ball could land, it could increase the risk of the ball touching a player on the return team. If that were to happen, the punting team would regain possession in good field position and possibly win with a field goal since the turnover is considered a possession.

Look for teams to stack the box with eight or nine defenders to force max protection and reduce traffic coming off the edges near the return man, a league source said.
On defense

Players could be coached that if they intercept the ball in the end zone on the first possession to take the touchback. Should they return it and fumble in the process, it could give the opposing team possession in field goal range. The fumble of an interception would mean that each team has had a possession and now a field goal wins the game.
On offense

Teams who get the ball first could be more aggressive trying to score touchdowns (one of the reasons the rule change was applied) so the other team won't get the ball back.

If you trail by a field goal and are getting the ball with a chance to tie or win, every possession is a four-down possession, so play-calling on both sides of the ball could be different.

http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story/0...approach-to-ot


Mark Humphrey / Associated Press
The Saints' victory in the NFC Championship last season was just one of three playoff games that ended with a field goal on the opening possession of overtime. The winners of two of those games went on to claim the Super Bowl title.

OT playoff games won with FG on first possession:

2009 NFC Championship
Saints 31, Vikings 28

2002 AFC Divisional playoff
Titans 34, Steelers 31

2001 AFC Divisional playoff
Patriots 16, Raiders 13
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
baitism baitism is offline
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I really think they are overstating how complicated it is to plan for this format. Coaches need to stop complaining and earn their paychecks.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
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I really think they are overstating how complicated it is to plan for this format. Coaches need to stop complaining and earn their paychecks.
Exactly. I like it. It will force you to be more aggressive. That said, it will probably screw us where it hurts this weekend. But overall, I like the rule.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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I'd forgotten about this.

I think they're missing the most obvious scenario plan. If I win the coin toss in overtime now, I might elect to kick off (or take the wind - whatever). The reason? All I have to do is stop a touchdown now, because a field goal isn't fatal. So the outcomes if I kick off are:

- they get a touchdown, which means I'm screwed but it probably doesn't happen.
- they get a field goal, which then means I get the ball and know exactly what I need to do to tie or win.
- my defense stops them (or even gets a turnover), which likely means I have much better field position, and now my field goal wins the game, whereas if I got the ball first it didn't necessarily mean that.

I think Point #3 is huge, which means I want the other team to get the ball first.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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I dislike it, strongly. When fans, coaches, players say "Our team never got the ball in OT," I always say to myself, "Sure they did. They had 60 minutes before the OT period."

I just think people use that as an excuse because they lost. I liked sudden death, personally.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:53 AM   #6
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I just remembered something..

What if a team makes a FG, and recovers an unexpected onside kick? Not that it would be a wise thing to do, but wouldn't surprise me a whole lot if Todd Haley did that. I never remember that being discussed when the rule came out, but I guess the team who made the field goal wins, as long as they recover the ball.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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I don't have this years OT stats in front of me but I think what happened in OT games this years shows taht this was a dumb rules change. I don't think the games were won on the first possession in half the games.


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Old 01-04-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farzin View Post
I just remembered something..

What if a team makes a FG, and recovers an unexpected onside kick? Not that it would be a wise thing to do, but wouldn't surprise me a whole lot if Todd Haley did that. I never remember that being discussed when the rule came out, but I guess the team who made the field goal wins, as long as they recover the ball.
I think both teams have to have possession of the ball.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Farzin View Post
I dislike it, strongly. When fans, coaches, players say "Our team never got the ball in OT," I always say to myself, "Sure they did. They had 60 minutes before the OT period."

I just think people use that as an excuse because they lost. I liked sudden death, personally.
Well then why not just flip a coin to determine the winner in OT? I mean both teams had 60 minutes to win. So the loser can't complain, right?
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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Please tell me what's wrong with the college format? It's the perfect overtime scenario. Each team is forced to succeed on Offense and Defense if they want to win.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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Football is made up of three phases: offense, defense, and special teams. If you lose the coin toss and your team gives up a big runback or a big opening drive, **** you, you weren't good enough to win. This rule change is stupid, and all the things mentioned here (onsides kick, kicking off first, etc.,.) will just confuse and cloud and screw it up more. I hope they kill this rule quickly.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
Well then why not just flip a coin to determine the winner in OT? I mean both teams had 60 minutes to win, so the loser can't complain, right?
I'm not saying flip a coin. I'm saying play defense. If a defense cannot stop the offense, then people just need to accept that their team got beat.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
Football is made up of three phases: offense, defense, and special teams. If you lose the coin toss and your team gives up a big runback or a big opening drive, **** you, you weren't good enough to win. This rule change is stupid, and all the things mentioned here (onsides kick, kicking off first, etc.,.) will just confuse and cloud and screw it up more. I hope they kill this rule quickly.
Exactly.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:01 AM   #15
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Please tell me what's wrong with the college format? It's the perfect overtime scenario. Each team is forced to succeed on Offense and Defense if they want to win.
Starting at the 25 doesn't force you to play much defense.
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