Owners passed the postseason overtime rule, which allows the team winning the coin toss to win the game only with a touchdown. A field goal now necessitates a kickoff, and a chance for the opposition to tie the game with a field goal or to win the game with a touchdown.
The vote was a surprising 28-4 with the Bengals, Ravens, Vikings and Bills voting against the proposal.
At the May meetings in Dallas, owners will discuss the modified sudden-death rule for the regular season.
“It needed to be changed,” said Falcons president Rich McKay, the co-chairman of the competition committee. “[Sudden death] wasn’t producing the fairest results based on field-goal accuracy, field-goal distance and the drive start.”
Since 1994, when the kickoff was moved back 5 yards to the 30-yard line, teams winning the coin toss won 59.8 percent of overtime games. Teams winning the coin toss won 34.4 percent of those 244 overtime games on their first possession (64 FGs, 20 TDs).
From 1974-93, teams won in overtime with a first-possession field goal only 17.9 percent of the time. In those 20 season, the team winning the coin toss won only 46.8 percent of the time, the same percentage as the team losing the coin toss.
-- Charean Williams