16 January 2012
The Packers have been upset by Eli Manning and the Giant's D. The Tebow time clock has struck midnight. Arian Foster gashed the Ravens defense in a losing effort. The lead changed four times in the last four minutes of the Saints 49ers game. The NFL playoffs have a lot of excitement to offer, but I believe they have two fundamental issues with their current format.
The first issues that I see with the NFL is their new overtime rules. They claim that it is no longer a sudden death format, which I suppose is true unless the first team scores a touchdown. Wait, hold on a second, does that mean if a team scores a touchdown on their first possession then the other team does not get a chance with the ball? Yes, that is exactly what the NFL playoff overtime rules state.
Some people may overlook this as just part of the game, but in my opinion it is exactly not part of the game. Football is unique for many reasons and a big one is that the same players do not play offense and defense like most other sports. So, how can the NFL legitimize its decision to eliminate essentially half of the sport. If the league does not allow both offenses to have a possession then they ruin football. Some teams base their identity off of just offense or defense, so to not allow one of those sides to play is like taking away the three point shot for some teams in a basketball overtime. The NFL may have changed their rules a little, but they have only come half way. The Broncos Steelers game was a tragedy to football because Big Ben did not even get a chance to give his team a victory in overtime.
Overtime is one issue, but it does not come up in every game. An aspect of the game that is a real issue during every NFL game is video review. Why can the officials only review plays during the last two minutes of a half. If a play is wrong, then a team should receive the correct call without having to risk a timeout on it. Also, the fact that they only review plays that are called a touchdown is a good rule, but why do they not also review plays that are close to a touchdown but are ruled down at the one yards line. This rule only benefits the defense. Why should a team lose a touchdown because of a review, but not have the chance to gain one unless they challenge the call themselves. The rule is once again half way.
The NFL is about halfway to having rules that make sense, but until then we will have to deal with poor rules. All I can say is that the NFL should just adopt the college overtime and official review rules.
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