The Problem with the NFL Overtime System is that there is No Problem
The Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in overtime yesterday, and the immediate criticism of the NFL overtime system blew up. The criticism? Peyton Manning didn't touch the ball. So what?
Back a few years ago the overtime rules in the NFL were simple. First team to score would win the game. Most people debated that the game came down to a coin toss. NFL teams still had to play the entire field and the game would usually end on a 30-35 yard field goal.
The rules were then instituted to where both teams would have the opportunity to touch the football, pending the first team didn't go down the field and score a touchdown.
Fair enough? Well not for those that hate the Seattle "bad guys" and love the Peyton Manning "good guys."
Manning and company DID have the opportunity to take the ball down the field and win. They only had about 60 minutes, four quarters, and 14 drives to work with during the game.
Their defense also had the opportunity to stop Seattle in overtime. Seattle had to play for a touchdown to win, and not just a field goal. If the Seahawks would have kicked a field goal, Denver would have had the opportunity to go down the field to try and get the touchdown for the win.
Instead, Seattle took the ball and drove 80 yards for the game winning score. Denver allowed five first downs on the drive. Seattle beat Denver, and it wasn't just on a field goal after getting the ball and moving 40 yards.
It's a tough pill to swallow. I get it. What's amazing though is how much different the tweets, and conversation, would have been if Peyton did the same thing the Seahawks did. Can't always have it both ways. Holding the Seahawks to a punt or field goal would have put the game into the hands of Manning. Defensively, they just couldn't hold.
If you can't stop them from going 80 yards or over the course of five first downs, you don't deserve to win. What we did get out of it? The entertaining game that we were hoping from the Super Bowl last February.