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NFL modifies overtime rules for playoff games
March 23, 2010 / 8:41 PM / 8 years ago

NFL modifies overtime rules for playoff games

ORLANDO (Reuters) - The NFL has changed the rules governing its overtime playoff games, eliminating the chance for a team to win with a field goal on their first possession, a league spokesman said on Tuesday.

Starting next season, the team with the first possession in overtime would have to score a touchdown to end the game. But if they only manage a field goal then the opposing team will get a chance to end the game by scoring a touchdown.

If both teams score field goals on their first possession, or fail to score, then classic sudden-death rules would come into effect, with the next team to score winning the game.

Last season, the New Orleans Saints advanced to the NFL’s championship game after winning the coin toss in overtime and nailing a 40-yard field goal on their first drive, ending the Minnesota Vikings’ season.

NFL owners voted 28-4 in favor of the proposal, according to the league's website. (

In the college version of American football, both teams are allowed at least one possession in overtime.

Editing by Frank Pingue

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