2012 NFL Rule Changes: Overtime and Replays

San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner answers questions form reporters during the AFC head coaches media breakfast at the Breakers Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

As everyone expected, the first time the NFL's new overtime rule (previously used only in the playoffs) resulted in a more exciting overtime, it would be voted in to use in the regular season. Now that it's official, get used to these rules for every NFL game:

  • Each team gets at least 1 possession, unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown.
This means the days of "The team that wins the coin-toss receives the ball, drives 40 yards and kicks a FG to win" is over. That team will now have to score a TD or they'll see their defense on the field to defend their overtime lead.

Also, in an effort to make Head Coaching the easiest job in the world, the owners have voted to have every turnover reviewed by a replay official in the booth, the same way every scoring play is reviewed. This means that coaches now have no reason to ever challenge a play except for:
  1. If they think they scored and the officials did not see it that way during the live play.
  2. If either coach thinks the spot of the ball (and whether or not it should result in a first down) is wrong.
Basically, don't expect to see many coaches' challenge flags.
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