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New NFL Playoff Overtime Rule

When watching the NFL playoffs this weekend, there is a new rule concerning overtime.  Just when you think your team will win and advance, think again.

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

The N.F.L. approved a new overtime rule for the playoffs that will give each team at least one possession in the extra period unless the team that wins the overtime coin toss scores a touchdown on its first possession.

The crux of the rule is to make overtime outcomes less dependent on the coin flip. If the team that has possession of the ball first scores a touchdown, the game is over. But if it kicks a field goal, the other team would get a possession and would win with a touchdown. If nobody scores on the first drives, or if both teams kick field goals, the game will revert to sudden death.

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