Every NFL offseason, the league and its teams propose changes to the game’s rules.
More often than not, they’re relatively minor changes that the casual football fan would likely never notice.
This offseason, though, the Baltimore Ravens have made a proposal that could be the most revolutionary rule change in NFL history.
One of the biggest complaints NFL fans have about today’s game is the league’s overtime rules.
While college football has employed an exciting overtime format for years that leaves fans on the edge of their seats more often than not, the NFL’s overtime rules leave a lot to be desired.
Currently, the NFL employs a “modified sudden death” overtime format in which each team will have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in the extra 15-minute period, unless the team that receives the overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession.
These rules have often allowed a random coin toss to ultimately play a major role in determining the outcome of the game, and regular season games ending in a tie, as the rules for those games only allow for a single 15-minute overtime period.
That could all change; though, if the NFL does the right thing and adopts the Baltimore Ravens’ latest proposal.
According to ProFootballTalk, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have indicated that the Ravens will propose a pair of changes to the overtime rules based on the concept of “spot and choose.”
In short, one team would pick the spot of the ball for the initial overtime drive, and the other team would then pick whether they wanted to start on offense or defense.
The team who wins the coin toss would get the first pick, and the NFL would return to a true sudden death overtime.
For example, say team one wins the toss, and then chooses to spot the ball at the offense’s one yard line.
Team two would then have to choose between playing offense and marching the ball 99-yards down the field, or opting to play the field position battle by playing defense.
Quite frankly, it’s the exact type of shakeup the NFL’s overtime rules desperately need.
The added layer of strategy, and elimination of the randomness the current format allows for, would be must-see TV every Sunday it occurs.
Team’s analytics departments would have to work overtime to find advantages, and coaches would have to alter their approach each week based on the team they’re facing.
The “spot and choose” overtime format would undoubtedly be a major hit with fans, and give the NFL the extra excitement they always seem to be searching for in rule changes.
However, this rule change is such a no-brainer for fans that it will likely never happen.
The NFL rarely, if ever, makes such sweeping changes, and has never seemed to be interested in giving fans exactly what they want.
But that doesn’t mean that fans can’t dream, and hope for a day when this can become a reality.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date with this ongoing story.