Playoff overtime rules now the norm for NFL

Tyler Whetstone Contributor
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The NFL has adopted the playoff overtime rules for the regular season, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Teams will not be able to win the game with a field goal on the first possession of overtime. But if either team scores a touchdown on their first possession, that team wins.

If the team who gets the ball first kicks a field goal, then the opposing team will also get a possession, and if they too kick a field goal, the game continues to sudden death. If the opposing team fails to kick a field goal on its first possession, that team loses. If that team score a touchdown on its first possession after the first team only kicked a field goal or failed to score at all, the opposing team wins.

In the past, NFL overtime was sudden death, with the winner of the overtime coin toss automatically put in the best position to win the game.

The new rules for the 2012-2013 season were passed by a 30-2 vote by NFL owners Wednesday according to the AP.

The last overtime games that NFL fans saw within the current playoff rules were historic.

Tim Tebow, then with the Denver Broncos, took the snap on the first play of overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers, stepped up in the pocket, and fired across the middle of the field to a wide open Demaryius Thomas, who outran the Steelers secondary for a one play, 80-yard touchdown drive to win the game.

And in the NFC championship game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, both teams exchanged several possessions before the Giants won.

Owners passed several other proposed changes, all of which will be enforced for the upcoming season.

Replay officials will now have the opportunity to review every turnover, just as they do for all scoring plays. Teams will now lose a down for illegally kicking a loose ball, while too many men on the field becomes a dead-ball foul. Also, players who deliver a crackback block — when a defender is blocked when blindsided by an offensive player in the course of play — will be penalized 15-yards.

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