One of the best NFL playoff games I ever saw Sunday night ended just the way I feared.
It was basically decided by a coin toss.
That's right. The winner of the coin toss in overtime of the New Orleans/Minnesota slugfest -- you just knew that team would win the game, didn't you? I had no dog in this hunt, but I still wanted badly to see both teams to get the ball at least once in the overtime.
Instead, New Orleans won the toss and drove for a field goal and a 31-28 victory over the Vikings. A game with 8 TDs and dozens of huge plays was decided by a flip of a coin and a field-goal kicker.
That's so wrong. The NFL likes its sudden-death overtime policy well enough that it has never varied -- first team to score wins, and no exceptions. I have never liked it, much preferring the college method (both teams get the ball an equal number of times from the opponents' 25) or the high school method (in most states, starting at the opponents' 10 and getting four downs to score). That is a much fairer way to decide things.
It wasn't fair to take the ball completely out of Brett Favre's hands in OT, just like it wouldn't have been fair to take it completely out of Drew Brees' hands. And teams should be going for TDs in OT, as they do at other levels of football, not just trying to get in position for former soccer players to win the game.
I know not all NFL overtime games end in one possession, but too many of them do. It's just not the right way to do it.
Other than that, it was a fantastic game, and I'm happy for the Saints, who after all had gone their entire existence without ever making a Super Bowl.
I just don't like the rule that helped to get them there.
4 weeks ago