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NFL Rule Changes: Playoff Overtime Rules For Regular Season, Turnovers Subject To Automatic Review

NFL owners voted to add some rules for the upcoming 2012 season, including a change to the overtime rules in the regular season and replay rules regarding turnovers.

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It must be late March, because the NFL is changing some more rules, though the latest change probably won't inspire any kind of outward rage like some of the changes in recent years (looking at you, new kickoff rules). The latest change has to do with the change outlined in March 2010, when the NFL owners voted to change the overtime rules to allow both teams a possession of the football, providing the first team didn't score a touchdown.

Most importantly, this meant that you couldn't simply win the coin toss, make it to the 30 yard-line and kick a field goal to win a game. While many will argue as to whether or not that's fair, it's certainly more interesting the new way. What's puzzling is the fact that the rule was implemented just for the NFL Playoffs, and "tried out" there. That is to say, the rule was given a trial run in the most important games of the NFL season.

Now, the NFL has passed a new change which makes the rules apply to the regular season on top of the playoffs, as announced by ESPN's Adam Schefter on Twitter. Most thought it didn't make much sense that the rules only applied to the playoffs, and now it's equal across all playing fields. The first time we saw overtime in the playoffs following the change of rules occurred during the 2011 playoffs, but they didn't get much of a chance to be implemented, as Demaryius Thomas caught a touchdown pass on the first play, giving the Denver Broncos a quick win in overtime.

On top of those changes, Schefter also Tweeted that all turnovers are now subject to immediate review, and a coaching challenge is no longer required. The previous rule made it to where all scoring players are automatically reviewed, and it has been well-received. Since turnovers can be just as good - or bad - for a team as a scoring play, it's probably a good rule, providing it doesn't make the game run for an extremely long amount of time.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.