30 March 2010

Tuesday Football: By about a field goal

By a 28-4 rule, the NFL has modified its playoff tiebreaking rules.  A field goal scored on the fist possession in overtime no longer wins the game.  If that first field goal does happen, or the first possession ends with no score, the old sudden-death rules return into force.

This is a little like giving people ordinary flu shots, then telling them that they've been vaccinated against H1N1.  The treatment won't work, because either the underlying diagnosis is wrong, or the doctor is just lying about it.  The trouble with NFL overtime periods isn't that too many of them end with field goals; it's that too many end after only one possession.  Even if it did fix the problem, the new rule currently applies only to playoff games.  In May, the owners may extend the revision to regular-season games, which would be a small improvement.  Either way, this won't make the NFL overtime rules fair; it will just render them less unfair.

By about a field goal.


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