Jeffrey Lurie is on the Correct Side of the NFL’s Overtime Rules Debate

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I always knew Jeffrey Lurie was a pragmatic type of guy.

Speaking on Tuesday at the NFL’s Annual Meeting in Arizona, the Eagles’ owner was asked straight-up if he would change the league’s overtime layout, a question that stems from the Kansas City Chiefs’ proposal to tweak the rules to allow both teams an offensive possession.

Said Lurie:

I would. I would like to change overtime. We talked a lot to the competition committee about changing overtime. There’s a lot of ways to do it. Personally, I don’t like the shortened overtime in the regular season because I think it gives even more value to the winner of the coin toss. So if you get the ball first, and you have a seven minute drive or nine minute drive, that’s taking up 70% to 90% of the time period of regular season overtime now. It makes no sense to me. Some day I hope we can get that changed.

There are a lot of ways, I think another possibility is try to avoid the coin toss and have other mechanisms (to determine possession). One of the ideas I floated was the team that scores the most touchdowns (in regulation) has the advantage of getting the ball first. Often it will be a tie, but those times when you score more touchdowns, we award that. You want to avoid a coin toss as best you can, I think.

100% correct. There’s absolutely zero reason why possession should be determined by a coin flip, when one team is capable of walking it off with a touchdown on the opening drive.

Complainers always say, “well the defense needs to make a stop,” which is a dumb argument because you’re assuming that both phases of the game are equal, when they are not.

I explained it this way a few months ago, after the jump:

The best way to illustrate what I’m talking about is to take the ridiculous NFL overtime rules and apply them to other sports.

Take tennis, for instance. Imagine Roger Federer wins a coin toss and elects to serve. Rafael Nadal doesn’t get to serve, Federer hits four aces, and the game is over.

Are you going to sit here and tell me that Nadal should have broken his serve? No, because breaking serve is measurably harder than holding serve. That’s why players alternate service in a tiebreaker. It’s the same thing in volleyball and ping pong. Are you gonna tell me that the serving team should be given a walk-off scenario? I hope not.

I could sit here and give you a million examples, but you get the point. If a coin flip is going to determine an offensive possession or service, then the fairest way to write the rules is to allow the opposing team an opportunity to matchInstead we’re rolling out tired defenses against elite quarterbacks in a sport where the offense is typically on the front foot, especially in the modern day NFL, where recent rule changes have proven advantageous to offensive units.

End of story. The most fair and reasonable way to do this is to allow both teams a possession or come up with a better way to determine possession than a simple coin flip. More than anything, I was bummed that Pat Mahomes sat on the bench the entirety of overtime in the AFC Championship Game. We didn’t even get to see him take the field in OT. Not only is it dumb from a rules standpoint, but also from a fan excitement and marketing standpoint as well.

Jeffrey Lurie understands this and will be on the right side of history when these changes are inevitably made. I find his “more touchdowns” idea intriguing, though he’s correct when he says a tie game is often going to have the same amount of TDs scored by each team. But theoretically you could have a 13-13 game where one team kicked two field goals and scored a touchdown with an extra point,, while the other team scored two touchdowns and failed a two-point conversion. In that case the more aggressive offensive team wins possession. It’s not the worst idea in the world and it would benefit teams like.. Lurie’s Eagles… who have an aggressive coach….

But Lurie is on the right path here and I hope we move this thing forward. For what it’s worth, Kansas City’s proposal was tabled until the owner meetings in May, so we’ll learn more then.

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14 Responses

  1. Streets of Rage 4 was just announced.

    Streets of Rage was the game that taught you not to take an offer from the Final Boss

    Mr. X = Lurie

  2. Shocker: Crossing Broad agrees with something someone in the Eagles organization says/does.

  3. both teams should get a possession. Coin toss can determine whether you want it first, or defer. Really simple

  4. Amazing, if Wentz puts it in the end zone against the Titans at either the end of the game or on that overtime drive, the Eagles win the division.

    If he scores that TD in overtime is Laurie still whining today about how the Titans got screwed out of a chance to tie by not getting the ball? I think not.

    The Eagles may not have a lot of playoff wins in their future, but they sure have a lot of excuses ready to go at a moment’s notice.

  5. So Kinker, are you banging this drum if Mahomes kept Brady on the sideline? Me thinks not.

    There are 3 phases to the game, if you want your offense to get the ball back, either win the toss, or do your frigging job and get a stop. Or you know what, don’t get a stop, just hold them to a field goal! And then your offense gets a chance.

    Both teams had 60 minutes to determine a winner, the OT period should be a full 15 minute quarter and if you score a TD, you win. If a team scores on the OT kickoff should we do away with that opening kickoff for fairness reasons?

  6. Oh cut the crap already. Who do you think you’re fooling? You’re pissed off that the Patriots won again.

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