The NFL has approved a new overtime rule for the playoffs. Each team will now get at least one overtime possession unless the team winning the coin flip scores a touchdown on the opening drive.
In 1994, the spot of the kickoff was moved to the 30-yard line from the 35, allowing for longer returns that put the receiving team into field-goal range with just a few plays or a long penalty. Since then, the team that won the toss won 59.8 percent of the time, because even if it did not win on the first possession, it often controlled field position. The team that lost the toss won just 38.4 percent of the time. And before the kickoff was moved, teams won with a field goal on the opening possession just 17.9 percent of the time. After the kickoff moved, it rose to 26.8 percent of the time.
I’m pretty happy about this. Like I said after the Saints/Vikings game in January:
Congrats to the Saints, but the coin-toss sudden death OT thing has to be the worst rule in sports.