Is NFL overtime fair?

TSN has an interesting write-up about the NFL overtime format. It really is unique when you think about it...

If Minnesota would have got the ball back and scored, this article would never have been written. I understand what he is saying but come on. He makes it sound like it is an automatic win at the coin toss, even though he does say it is more than that(he is not really making a strong case here). I think it probably should be changed but that is just my opinion. If Minnesota didn't want to go home, then make a stop. They had their chance on 4th and inches and didn't come up with a big play when they needed it. Also, a 40 yarder (especially this year in the playoffs) is not automatic. Hartley's season high was only 38 yards. Although I believe he only attempted 11 FG's all year. Still, it is a part of their game and asking whether it is fair or not is not really a fair question IMO.

"So why is it that, IF you can get the ball within about 45 yards or so of the opposing team's uprights in the NFL on the very first drive of overtime, you can win the game or, in the most recent case, full-on end a team's season just like that?"

Well IF AP doesn't fumble the ball so much, this wouldn't be an issue. IF Minnesota didn't have too many men...If if if...

I don't really like the NFL's format but yes it is fair. How is it not?

"To be clear, this is not to say that the Saints didn't deserve the victory or that the Vikings definitely would have stormed back the other way and thrown for a miraculous and heroic Hail Mary touchdown. But some fans argue that just for the principle of the thing, didn't they deserve the chance to at least try?"

They had a whole game to "try". It just bugs me when people focus on something that really doesn't determine the outcome of a game. He is fairly hypocritical within the article and never does give his opinion which is odd when you are writing something critical. As far as the "less-dramatic" comment...for an NFL game, this was very dramatic.

It's fair, it's the way it is, both teams know it. Some teams don't take possesion of the ball even when they win the coin toss to start the game. That being said, I still don't like the fact that a coin toss in overtime is so crucial, this doesn't seem right to me.

Rider, the teams are irrelevant. It could've been the Cowboys and the Packers, or the Cardinals and the Eagles. And the two teams could've played a flawless game, and still ended up tied at the end of regulation.

The point is whether or not having a sudden death OT format for football is fair.

No matter what they do for overtime, people will complain its not fair -- unless their team is the one that won the game.

For instance, you can say NCAA isn't ENTIRELY fair because the team with the ball second has the advantage of knowing what they have to get to win the game or prolong it. Thus, they may be more motivated to punch it in for a touchdown than the team that goes first.

I actually like the idea of a 10 minute additional quarter where teams have the chance to get the ball as much as they can and if we are still tied after that, go into sudden death.

I actually like that idea, as well.

If they want to keep the sudden death for the regular season, like how hockey has the SO (which I hate), then I'd be fine with that. But come playoff time, I'd prefer the 10 or 15 minute OT period.

The nfl overtime system is better then the one in college. BTW, how do we do overtime in CFL? I never found that in the rulebook.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong...

Both teams are given an opportunity to score. The first team starts at the opponent's 35-yard line, and they have to work from there to score a FG or a TD. If the first team goes two-and-out or scores, then the second team takes over, and the same rules apply. If the game is still tied after each team's first possession, then the teams get a second possession each. If the game is still tied, then the final result is a tie.

And if its a playoff game then it just keeps on going back and forth?

Yes, although I think the longest OT was only two possessions each.

The CFL system is more fair but I'd also like an extra quarter to be played in OT. Good idea.

as i have stated before, i much perfer the CFL style(or american college) to the sudden death. but i think they team should start at the 55 yard line in the CFL. The 35 is too close for me.

According to this:

[url=] ... in_the_NFL[/url]

the coin toss in overtime is a huge determiner of who wins the game. Since 1994, 60% of teams winning the coin toss have won the game. Over that long a time frame, any winning percentage by the coin flip winning team that's not almost exactly 50% indicates a bias towards teams winning the coin toss. Here's another good article about it:

Because it seems therefore that teams that win the coin toss have a biased advantage, what they could do is say if you win the toss and elect to receive, the other team gets to kick off from a closer 10 yards than where it’s done during the game, can’t remember what yard line they kick off from. If effect it would mean no return and you get the ball at the 20 and they could actually say you only get it at the 10 in OT if it goes through the end zone on a kick off or the returner puts a knee down in the end zone.

If there is a bias, then this should be looked at by the NFL.

As commented separately and won't explain it all again now, no way is it fair in the NFL either because the team winning possession via a coin flip need only play for a field goal not a touchdown. The latter is the case for the team winning the same coin flip at the start of any regular season game with equal implications for win and loss for both teams. Please note that such a conclusion does not apply to many a late regular season game in which a team already in the playoffs puts in their second team to rest the starters because they do not want to risk injury versus nothing to gain otherwise.

Anything done in OT for any type of football game, CFL, NFL, NCAA, rugby union, soccer, etc. should be the same as in regulation or it's not the same game any more.

I doubt there is a perfect solution, but in a separate post I have posted what I think is the fairest solution that does not compromise the play of the game for otherwise equal teams that game before overtime starts.

Scrimmaging back-and-forth without special teams, or playing for a field goal (or single only in the CFL in some cases), is not real football and disproportionately favours the offence in the NFL for sure.

IMO in both the NFL and CFL they should have a field goal shoot out, team A kicks first, whatever happens , Team B then has its turn, until one team has a lead after equal # of tries! no flip of the coin advantage, no fatigued Offences and Defences at risk of injury.

maybe they should just play rugby till someone scores.

I like my idea better, a field goal shoot out. :cowboy:

or, how about a QB shootout, throwing a ball through a tire swung under the goal posts

or howabout kick return contest. Each side starts with 10 players on the field, if neither team scores a td, then do it again with 9, players, then 8 players, etc, till one side finally scores and the other doesnt.