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Poll shows strong support for changing the overtime rule

A new overtime rule where both teams would have possession during the period is still under consideration as the NFL will meet again later in the month to decide whether or not it's something that should be implemented.

Whenever the possibility of adjusting overtime to guarantee the team that kicks off to start the process a chance to match or first-drive touchdown, plenty of fans shout, “Play defense!” They seem to be a vocal, but yet distinct, minority.

A poll posted Friday on Twitter, which drew 34,696 votes, had only 26-percent support for keeping the current rule in place. The other 74 percent want the guaranteed possession for the kicking team.

Here’s the surprise: More than 70 percent of the people who favor change want it for both the regular season and the postseason.

As made clear during the recent #PFTPM interview of Cowboys COO Stephen Jones (a member of the Competition Committee), momentum clearly exists for a change to the overtime rule, but it’s more likely that the revised rule would apply only to the playoffs. And there’s good reason for that. Regular season games already are long enough, and the reduced duration of overtime (two years ago, it was cut from 15 minutes to 10) would create a incentive for the team that wins the toss to chew the clock, scoring a touchdown with as little time as possible remaining for the kicking team to match.

Besides, the consequences of a single regular-season game pale in comparison to the consequences of a playoff game. Sudden death would be fine for a regular-season game. But when the outcome of overtime ends one team’s season and sends the other to the next round, a more fair process is required.

It looks like that more fair process is coming. And it looks like most of you would be OK with that.