NFL Rules Change Again, Overtime And Turnovers Affected

Partially overshadowed by the news about the 49ers signing Brandon Jacobs is the fact that the NFL introduced some new rule changes for the 2012 season, an event that's always scary for me and I'm assuming for most of us, given that we don't want this game we love to be changed too much. As it turns out, they appear to be good changes, though one definitely falls into the "duh" category.

For one, the league made the modified sudden death rules for overtime in the playoffs official for the regular season as well. That rule has yet to be exercised, though it came close last season when the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wildcard game. The rule states that both teams get a possession, unless the first team scores a touchdown on their possession. In short, it means no getting to the 30 yard-line and kicking a field goal to end it all.

I think it's really silly that the rule was "tried out" in the playoffs and not immediately applied to the regular season. When there's only 16 games in a season, every single one is important and one game can be just as important as a playoff game.

On top of that change, the league has now made it to where each play that results in a turnover is immediately reviewed. Last year, the league had it to where every scoring play was immediately reviewed and confirmed, though I do dislike how they implemented that due to some ... discrepancies with "confirmation" times. Anyway, providing it doesn't slow down the flow of the game a considerable amount, I think it's a good thing. Turnovers can be just as important to a game as scores.

So that will no longer require a coaching challenge. Some have asked what the coaching challenges are useful for now? I think this will lead to coaches using them more often on things like poor ball spots. I think that they're hesitant to use them in that situation, reserving them for "bigger plays" and things like that. I also think it may lead to the NFL re-evaluating what can and can't be challenged. Personally, I think many more things should be challenge-able. What do you think about the rule changes?

I mean, aside from the obviously glaring awful-ness of the fact that the kickoff spot wasn't moved back.

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