NFL Changes Review and Overtime Rules

The NFL has decided to adopt a pair of rule changes for the 2012 season. All turnovers will be reviewed now just as all scoring plays were in 2011, and the league's Playoff overtime rules will be in effect for regular season overtime games.

An overtime in the regular season now will end on a team's first possession only if it scores a touchdown or the defense forces a safety. If the team kicks a field goal on its first possession, the opposing team also will get a possession. If it also kicks a field goal, the extra period continues.

I cannot say I am a fan of either of these changes. The league had a perfectly fine mechanism to make sure turnover calls were correct. Coaches could challenge bad calls. The booth already had to review every play in the last 2:00 of a half or overtime so there was no chance of a game ending on a bad call. Requiring the booth to approve every single turnover just slows the game down.

I also find this overtime rule convoluted. The biggest critcism of the sudden death rule is that it did not guarantee both teams a chance with the ball. Neither does this rule. Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. This rule seems needlessly complicated. If you want fair, either play a full 15:00 extra period or just make sure the teams have an equal number of chances with the ball.

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