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Another word on overtime in the NFL

I disagree with C. Trent that overtime in the NFL is fair. Sourcing a Time Magazine article, he writes that 44% of the teams that win the overtime coin toss, go out and win the game without allowing the opposition an opportunity to touch the ball. Nearly half of the time the other team doesn't touch the ball, and that's fair? That's the argument against overtime in the NFL; give the other team a shot on offense, that's the only thing being asked. Want to have a regulation format (kickoff, return, punt)? Fine.

Once Team A gets rid of the ball (either through scoring or punting or turnover), then Team B gets a shot. After that, if the score is tied, it's sudden death. Next score wins. Drop that 44% to zero. The clock starts on the very first possession, and still applies like it does now. Luck for actions that are not performed by the players should never be in the equation of who wins. Ever.

I don't believe in suggesting that the NFL should suddenly become college football's format either; rules applied and enforced exactly as they're written. Though I tend to find myself enjoying college overtimes a hell of a lot more than the NFL's version. But why can't there be some effort at refining the existing format? Give the other team a shot. If Team A doesn't score on their first possession, then it doesn't matter; sudden death applies anyway.

Comparing general overtime regulations to the Bengals tie Sunday doesn't make sense either. Ties are so rare, that before Sunday, no one talked about them and a frightening revelation was learned when a high-profile player didn't even realize they existed. One tie since 2002 isn't a problem; it's an aberration between two teams that aren't going to the playoffs anyway. Though I do agree, if the NFL is going to change the format anyway, discover ways to eliminate rules in which allows a tied final score. But to react to this game? Nah. No big deal.

Based on watching Sunday's game, I don't think either team would have scored in a second overtime anyway. Once you play 75 minutes worth of football, something needs to be decided. These players can't play for that long, they are not conditioned to do so, and for the Bengals, they only have three days to rest before Thursday night's game against the Steelers.