Commentary

12 things: The new NFL OT rule

Outtakes from interviews with the people responsible for making the change

Originally Published: December 17, 2010
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Roger GoodellAndrew Weber/US PresswireRoger Goodell and the Competition Committee pushed through a new overtime rule.

In the case of the NFL's new overtime rule, never has such a small, simple -- but much needed -- change taken so much time and caused so much debate. I found that out for myself recently while reporting my story in the current New Year New Rules issue of ESPN The Magazine on the process of how an idea becomes a rule in the conservative, and sometime convoluted, inner-workings of the NFL.

Starting on Jan. 8 in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, instead of ending an overtime game, a field goal on the opening possession of OT will merely extend the contest. Although a touchdown by either team, at any time, wins the game, if the teams trade field goals, then the next team to score wins.

Confused?

Wait until Bill Belichick follows a field goal in overtime in the AFC Championship Game by recovering an onside kick. (Game over.)

Anyway, while I was reporting for my story in The Mag, I spent hours interviewing folks on different sides of the Rule 16 debate.

Here are 12 outtakes from those discussions:


To read more about how the new NFL overtime rule came to pass, how it will affect the players and the debates that surrounded it, you must be an ESPN Insider.