NFL needs to change its overtime rules already

Movie quote of the day:

“Say hello to my little friend!”

– Tony Montana, “Scarface” (1983)

James White scores the game-winning touchdown in overtime in Super Bowl LI.
James White scores the game-winning touchdown in overtime in Super Bowl LI.

We witnessed history last night, folks. It was the first time EVER that a Super Bowl went into overtime. However, due to NFL overtime rules, I found it incredibly anti-climactic. We never got a chance to see an answer from NFL-MVP Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Atlanta was essentially punished because its defense – which was absolutely gassed at the end of the game, by the way – couldn’t get off the field and New England got the lucky bounce on a coin toss. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought that the game was over after the Patriots won the coin toss before the start of overtime.

I just feel like the Falcons deserved a chance to try to tie the game. Now, fans could make an argument that Atlanta didn’t deserve a chance after blowing a 25-point lead. While I understand that argument, I still think it’s ridiculous. The Super Bowl is the biggest moment in professional sports. The fact that that game ended with one team not receiving a single offensive possession in overtime is wrong on so many levels. Atlanta worked just as hard to put its team in that game situation (granted, it was in the first two-and-a-half quarters), but the Falcons still deserved a shot to respond.

New England running back LeGarrette Blount (left) celebrates with teammate James White after White scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl LI.
New England running back LeGarrette Blount (left) celebrates with teammate James White after White scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl LI.

I’ve been watching the NFL since I was nine years old, and my views on NFL overtime rules have remained the same since then: It’s atrocious. In my opinion, there is nothing more anti-climactic than a sudden-death overtime. College football overtime rules are perfect, in my opinion. Why? Because it’s fair and gives both teams a chance to score to keep the game going. To me, that is far more entertaining than sudden death.

In these last 15 years of watching professional football, I thought for sure the NFL would’ve changed its overtime rules by now. I thought we were heading in the right direction a few years ago when the NFL changed the rules to a team had to score a touchdown instead of a field goal to win it on the first possession of overtime, but the rules have remained the same. I don’t expect the rules to change, but I just want to get it out there that I’m fed up with it. In my opinion, it kills the entertainment aspect of overtime. Roger Goodell hasn’t shied away from changing the rules of the game in the past to make the games more entertaining. I pray he makes the right decision this offseason and changes the rules of NFL overtime to where both teams are guaranteed an offensive possession, or let it play out like a regular quarter and play a full 15 minutes. That’s all I ask for.

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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