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NFL owners approve new system for playoff overtime

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By Scott Brown
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. — NFL owners have approved a change that will make it harder for teams to win playoff games on the first possession of overtime.

Starting in 2010, the team that wins the coin toss in overtime has to score a touchdown to end the game.

If a team scores a field goal on the opening possession of overtime its opponent gets the ball instead of the game ending. If that team kicks a tying field goal the game is then decided by a sudden death format.

The change only applies to postseason games, and it passed by a vote of 28-4 after much discussion about tweaking overtime.

Steelers president Art Rooney II had said he was opposed to the proposed change for overtime but he voted in favor of it today. Commissioner Roger Goodell lobbied for a change to overtime Monday.

Overtime in the postseason became an issue after the New Orleans Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings, 31-28 in overtime in last season's NFC Championship game.

The Vikings never got the ball as the Saints won the coin toss put together a drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal.

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