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Overhaul

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  March 2, 2010 01:33 PM

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...That is what the NFL is considering doing to its overtime rules in the postseason, and I say it's overdue. The proposal the league will consider at its annual meeting later this month in Orlando is essentially what I proposed to Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher in September.

The idea is that unless the team that receives possession first scores a touchdown then the game will not be "sudden death." The other team will get an opportunity to receive the ball. 

This remedies the biggest complaint about the college overtime format, where each team gets the ball from the 20 -- the removal of special teams from the game -- and the biggest complaint about the pro format -- that games are decided by field goals.

I know some opponents have already come out and said it wouldn't work, citing an on-side kick recovery preventing a team from actually having a chance to match after a score or preventing the team that won the coin toss from getting the ball at all. 

But wasn't the most exciting play of this year's Super Bowl the Saints' risky on-side kick to start the second half? Risk-reward is a big part of the strategy of football the last time I checked, just ask the Patriots about fourth and 2 in Indy.

Also, if the team that got the ball first on offense fumbled or threw an interception for a touchdown it's still game over like before. That also happened in this year's playoffs, when Arizona's Karlos Dansby plucked an Aaron Rodgers fumble out of midair and returned it for a TD to give the Cardinals a pulsating 51-45 OT win over the Packers.

No overtime format is going to please everyone, but this one would be a vast improvement.
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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news

Dearth

...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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