I don't know about you, but I'm thrilled with the new OT change. Art Rooney II also voted in favor of it...begrudgingly because he felt it didn't go far enough. But regardless if you agree with this change or not, I'm sure you're interested in how some of the finer points of the new rule work.One thing is for certain, this rule is slightly more complex than the "first score wins" OT rule. Since you all are a well informed group of football fans I'll try not to bore you with the basic rule and focus on unique situations. We all know the basic rule change is the team not receiving first (team B) is guaranteed a possession if team A (who received first) only scores a field goal with their first possession. If team B ties the score with a field goal, then it goes to sudden death.
So what counts as a "possession?"
It counts as a lost possession if you turnover the ball on offense (interception/fumble), punt, turnover on downs, safety, fail to prevent an onsides kick, or fumble during the kickoff.
Onsides kick counts?
The receiving team's possession begins once the kicker's foot touches the ball, so if the receiving team doesn't recover the kickoff then that counts as their "possession." If Team A scores a field goal on their first possession and recovers an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff, Team B loses their possession and Team A wins the game. If Team B recovers an onsides kick at the beginning of OT, then it's sudden death because that was Team A's possession. I'm curious if other teams will try an onsides kick to start OT to rob teams of their possession.
What happens if there is a safety?
The team getting the safety wins the game. It counts as a possession for the team being tackled in its own endzone and it's points for the other team. It results in a win for the team scoring the safety in any situation...except if the team getting the safety is down by 3 points.
A 3-2 OT score?
Team A scores a field goal with the first possession of OT. Team B drives the whole way down the field and is close to scoring a TD to win the game, but they throw an interception. The defender runs the ball into the endzone by accident and is tackled for a safety. Team A wins because that was Team B's possession.
What happens if a team turns over the ball and during that same play the defender who got the ball fumbles it back to the offense?
If that happens during regulation, the offense gets a 1st & 10 regardless where on the field it occurs because the ball changed possession twice during the same play. During overtime it counts as a possession for the offense...even though they still end up with the ball. So if it's Team A with the first possession of OT, then OT is now sudden death. If it's Team B with their first possession (and Team A scored a field goal) then the game is over. Team B didn't score on their possession opportunity.
What if the offense scores on that weird 2-turnovers-on-the-same-play? Something like this.
That team wins the game. If it was Team A with the first possession of OT, not only did they score a TD but also they did it when OT was sudden death. If it's Team B who pulls a Meachem when they were down by 3 during their first possession, they win because they'll be up 6-3.
But I thought you said they lost their possession when they turned over the ball, even if they got it back?
They do BUT the game isn't over until the play is over. So their only chance to win the game is if they score on that same play. I hope the Steelers educate the players to fall down if they get a turn over and the Steelers are already up in OT.
An aside note for you gamblers out there: it is possible that a team can win by 9 points if it goes to OT. Team A scores a field goal with their first possession and then scores a defensive TD off a turnover. That might help win a barroom bet.
What do you think of the new OT rule: