This weekend’s NFL playoff games will be the first in which the league’s new postseason rules for overtime are eligible for use, and those on either side of the debate over the altered format admit they might not know how well it works until it’s implemented.
The new system, which owners approved by a 28-4 vote last March, eliminates the possibility of a team winning with a field goal on the opening possession of overtime.
The team that gets the ball first in overtime can win the game by scoring a touchdown. If that team gets a field goal, its opponent gets a possession with a chance to tie the score with a field goal or win it with a touchdown. If that team gets a tying field goal, the game proceeds on a sudden-death basis. If neither team scores on its first possession of overtime, the game is sudden death from there.