FOX Sports analysts weigh in on OT rule change

BY foxsports • March 24, 2010

NFL on FOX analysts Jimmy Johnson, Daryl Johnston, Brian Billick and John Lynch offered their views on the National Football League’s playoff overtime rule change. League owners voted to accept a “modified sudden death” system in which the team that wins the coin toss can win the game with a touchdown on its first possession but not by kicking a field goal. This rule only applies to playoff games that go into overtime. These FOX Sports analysts all agree on one thing — it should be instituted for regular season games as well.

DARYL JOHNSTON: “An overtime loss in September on a first possession field goal that kept you out of the playoffs by one game has as much meaning as the potential of the same scenario happening in the playoffs so I think they should also extend it to the regular season. That being said, I would have been one of the four owners that voted to keep the rule the same. If you do not want to lose the game on a first possession field goal then make a play during regulation to prevent overtime. And if you are the team that executes a last second game tying field goal in regulation but loses the coin toss, make a defensive stop on the first possession. If you do not do either than you deserve to lose the game.”

BRIAN BILLICK: “The competition committee is consciously vigilant with regards to the numbers to see what is affecting the game. I’m disappointed that they didn’t include it in the regular season. It’s going to affect how coaches call games. Coaches are going to have to make that determination as to whether you’re going to go for a field goal or touchdown, where typically you’d kick the field goal. It’s one of those things that even if the statistics weren’t overwhelming, there’s a sense of fairness that each team should have a possession that I think has driven this.”

JOHN LYNCH: “This is an issue to which there is no perfect solution. I agree with the owners as I think this rule is an improvement. As a former captain in the NFL, there’s insurmountable pressure at the coin toss prior to overtime. As a defensive player, my job was to stop the other team or score ourselves to win the game. The statistics say it wasn't so silly to be nervous for a coin toss, as close to 60 percent of the teams that won the toss in overtime, won the game. As a former baseball player I always thought the baseball guys had it right with each team getting a chance. This seems closer to that and thus, I feel is a better system. My only change would be to make it uniform and do it all season long. Football is football, regular season or postseason, the stakes are high. Make the rules consistent and uniform.”

JIMMY JOHNSON: “In the last few years, statistics have gone the way of the team winning the toss because of all the great kickers. This rule will help even it out. It’s an improvement and I think they should extend it to the regular season as well.”

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