As is customary in the offseason, the NFL has started to review some changes to the rule book ahead of the 2021 league year. Among the hotly contested topics will be debates about allowing replay review for roughing the passer calls and allowing an alternative option to onside kicks.
But nothing will worry more fans than to hear that the NFL is considering going back to the highly unpopular true sudden-death overtime.
According to Judy Battista of NFL Media, the league’s owners will deliberate about about reverting back to the pre-2010 method. In that system, whatever team scored first, no matter the amount of points, won the game. The NFL moved away from that set of overtime rules due to an outpouring of criticism.
In the league’s current modified sudden-death system, if the team that possesses the ball first in overtime kicks a field goal, their opponent gets a chance to match on the ensuing drive. If the team that wins the coin toss drives down the field and scores a touchdown, the game is over. Even this system has caught flack over the year, as many fans feel that each team should be given a chance to score
At this point, the conversations about going back true sudden-death rules are in the early stages, but already the discussion is being questioned.
After 12 years, the NFL reportedly will consider reverting to true sudden-death overtime. One possible reason for necessarily shortening games is outlined here: https://t.co/uxla1R7fPC
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 4, 2021
It’s also interesting to think about why the NFL would take what many consider to be a step in the wrong direction. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio gave one hypothesis after the news broke on Wednesday.
“Given that the league already has reduced overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in the regular season in order to prevent a team from, for example, playing 75 minutes on Sunday and another 75 minutes four days later, the move to re-embrace true sudden-death overtime could (emphasis, could) be part of laying the foundation for more short-week games.”
Whatever the reasoning might be, the league office could find itself in hot water if the owner’s approve the change and go back to the unpopular sudden-death overtime.