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First call: Would NFL be better off going with college overtime rules? |
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Would NFL be better off going with college overtime rules?

Tim Benz
| Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:44 a.m

“First Call” for Wednesday features Washington Capitals misery, an NFL overtime debate and a big night on The Bluff.

Who has a quarter?

A lot of football fans think that the NFL overtime rules are too reliant on who wins the coin toss.

In other words, too many games — particularly playoff games — are ending with the first team who touches the ball scoring a touchdown and not giving the other team a possession.

Gee, I can’t think of that ever affecting the Steelers in the postse … oh. Right.

That game is one of five times since the rule change went into effect in 2011 where an OT playoff game ended on the first possession.

Here’s an interesting note from ProFootballTalk, though. If the NFL were to adopt the college format of giving each team at least one possession from the 25-yard line, the percentages actually go up for who wins the coin toss.

“In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game at some point in overtime, according to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio. In college football, the team that wins the coin toss (and defers) wins 54.9 percent of the time.”

“If the rule is changed to assure both teams a possession, the team winning the coin toss still would have a huge advantage. It would defer so it could see what it had to match to stay in the game or what it had to do to win the game.”

Of course, the difference is there is game clock college football overtime, just the play clock.

So, I’d expect that number to diminish dramatically if the second team to touch the ball had to match the first team with a touchdown and less time remaining on the clock. They either could run out of time, or they’d score and still give the opposing offense time to get into field goal range with a third crack in the period.

Washington wild one

What a crazy night for the Washington Capitals. First off, they got a hat trick from Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 36 goals. But the Caps blew that 6-4 lead in the third period. San Jose’s Evander Kane forced overtime with this buzzer beater.

Then, Tomas Hertl won it in overtime.

So, the final was 7-6 Sharks behind a Hertl hatty, too. Washington has lost six in a row. What a bitter defeat. I feel sorry for the Caps. Truly, truly sorry for them. I’m not sure how they will ever get over it.

Maybe they won’t. What shame that would be. For all of us.

Is Jay-Z still in town?

Roc-Nation Sports was on hand for Pitt-Duke last night, watching the Zion Williamson show.

Maybe Jay-Z should stick around and go to Palumbo Center on Wednesday. Duquesne welcomes Saint Louis at 8 p.m. It’s a big game in the Atlantic 10.

The Billikens are atop the conference at 5-0. The Dukes are tied for third at 4-1.

If Duquesne wins, it’d be the first time since the 2010-11 season that a Dukes team would string together five straight conference victories.

Speaking of the Dukes

One roster note for Duquesne, Kellon Taylor will no longer be suiting up for the basketball team.

The two-sport star is going to concentrate specifically on football from now on. However, the receiver will continue practicing with the basketball club as a workout tool this offseason.

Taylor and his football teammates will be honored at halftime of the game Wednesday for winning the NEC this season and for grabbing the school’s first-ever playoff victory over Towson in the first round.

Young pups are barking

The Robert Morris hockey team has a crucial weekend coming up. They go out to Colorado for a series against Air Force.

The Falcons are second in Atlantic Hockey with 21 points. That’s four points in front of the Colonials, who are tied for sixth.

Four points are on the table over these two games.

The Colonials have a lot of freshmen on this year’s team. They are contributing. RMU’s first-year skaters have accounted for 31 percent of the team’s goals so far (20 of 65). That’s the sixth highest percentage of the 60 D-1 teams. Niagara is the only AHA team with a higher percentage.

Colonial winger Nick Lalonde had two goals and a program-record 12 shots in a 7-2 win on Friday over Canisius. He was named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for his effort. The Ontario product has a five-game point streak.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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