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Old 01-22-2019, 12:04 AM
Steven Estes Steven Estes is offline
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NFL Overtime: Some questions

If the team that gets the ball first in an overtime scores a field goal, the team that gets the ball second gets four downs to score.

QUESTION1: If the team that gets the ball first doesnít score and the team that gets the ball second scores a field goal, does the team that got the ball first get four downs to
score or did it have its chance?

QUESTION 2: If the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown, the other team doesnít get four downs to tie (as it would if the first team had scored a field goal instead of a touchdown). Whatís the logic behind the second team not having a chance to match the first teamís touchdown?

QUESTION 3: If the first team scores a field goal and the second team scores a touchdown with their four downs, is the game over and the second team wins 6 (or 7) to 3?
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:18 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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First of all, it's not correct to say that the other team gets "four downs to score". They get to possess the ball as long as need be to score; giving up possession ends the game if the opponents scored a field goal.

The logic behind the rule is as follows:

If a team scores a touchdown with the first possession in overtime, then the defense had the chance to stop them, and failed. Failing to stop the offense from scoring a touchdown becomes a fatal failure. But if the team with first possession only scores a field goal, then the defense did it's job (mostly), and now their offense should get to see what it can do.

The way to think of it is this way:

The overtime is sudden victory. Whoever scores first, wins.

There is one simple exception to this rule: if the first possession of the ball ends in a field goal by the team possessing it, then the other team gets a crack at trying to tie-up or win the game. At that point, the game proceeds normally. If they fail to score, game over, they lose. If they score a field goal, game continues until someone scores again. If the score a TD, they win at once (no extra point is attempted).
  #3  
Old 01-22-2019, 12:48 AM
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kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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It should be noted that overtime in the NFL is "sudden death" -- the way that it was originally designed was purely "the first team to score in overtime wins." This meant that, if the team which received the opening kickoff of overtime scored by any method (including a field goal), that team won, and the team which kicked off to start overtime never got a shot at possessing the ball.

The NFL adjusted the rule several years ago, as they saw that the team which received the opening kickoff of overtime was winning the large majority of overtime games. They were usually winning via field goals, and the fact that kickers have gotten substantially more accurate (and from further out) over the past few decades was undoubtedly a factor in that.

So, the rule was changed, to more-or-less what you quote. As DSYoungEsq notes, it's not that the second team gets "four downs." The way to think about it is this: under the current overtime rules, both teams are guaranteed to get at least one possession in overtime, *unless* the team which gains the initial possession in overtime scores a touchdown on that possession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Estes View Post
QUESTION 3: If the first team scores a field goal and the second team scores a touchdown with their four downs, is the game over and the second team wins 6 (or 7) to 3?
Those details aren't quite right (the "four downs," as noted above, and the score doesn't get reset to 0-0 at the start of overtime), but yes, that's the basic idea. If the first team with possession during overtime scores a field goal, and the second team scores a touchdown, then the second team does win.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-22-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:14 AM
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One other thing. In the regular season, if no one has scored or if each team made a field goal on their first possession and there is no other scoring, and the period ends, the game is tied. In the playoffs, they will start a new period as many times as needed until someone finally scores.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:22 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Also, to be complete, a safety would end the game, as well.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:37 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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Another recent change is that during the regular season, overtime has been reduced from 15 to 10 minutes and if the score is still tied, its a tie/draw. As pointed out before, in the playoffs overtime is 15:00, but if the game is still tied, the clock is reset and the game played in 15:00 quarters until the score is resolved.
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:34 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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Why don't they just have a truncated period of play, like say a 10 minute quarter or two halves of 7.5 minutes? Like in Soccer.
Whoever is ahead after that time, wins.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:25 AM
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Because sudden death is more exciting and football is too exhausting to play tired.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Because sudden death is more exciting and football is too exhausting to play tired.
I'd argue that soccer is just as exhausting (maybe more so, as there no platoons), and I like the idea of a fixed OT with whoever is ahead at the end winning the game.

BTW, has an overtime ever ended on a safety?
  #10  
Old 01-22-2019, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
I'd argue that soccer is just as exhausting (maybe more so, as there no platoons), and I like the idea of a fixed OT with whoever is ahead at the end winning the game.

BTW, has an overtime ever ended on a safety?
From Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record...es_in_football

Under NFL overtime rules first adopted in 1974, the first team to possess the ball in overtime wins immediately if they score a touchdown, and the team that kicks off to them at the beginning of overtime wins immediately if they score a safety. There have been only three walkoff safety wins in overtime in NFL history:

Minnesota Vikings 23, Los Angeles Rams 21 (November 5, 1989)

Chicago Bears 19, Tennessee Titans 17 (November 14, 2004)

Miami Dolphins 22, Cincinnati Bengals 20 (November 1, 2013)
  #11  
Old 01-22-2019, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
I'd argue that soccer is just as exhausting (maybe more so, as there no platoons), and I like the idea of a fixed OT with whoever is ahead at the end winning the game.
I probably should have said that chances of injury from exhausted players would skyrocket.
  #12  
Old 01-22-2019, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
From Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record...es_in_football

Under NFL overtime rules first adopted in 1974, the first team to possess the ball in overtime wins immediately if they score a touchdown, and the team that kicks off to them at the beginning of overtime wins immediately if they score a safety. There have been only three walkoff safety wins in overtime in NFL history:

Minnesota Vikings 23, Los Angeles Rams 21 (November 5, 1989)

Chicago Bears 19, Tennessee Titans 17 (November 14, 2004)

Miami Dolphins 22, Cincinnati Bengals 20 (November 1, 2013)
That's three more than I would have expected. Thanks!
  #13  
Old 01-22-2019, 11:04 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I probably should have said that chances of injury from exhausted players would skyrocket.
Nonsense. There's no indication that such happens when overtime goes the full allowed period, or, in the playoffs, goes longer than the normal period. Americans just prefer sudden victory in football for reasons of excitement.
  #14  
Old 01-22-2019, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
So, the rule was changed, to more-or-less what you quote. As DSYoungEsq notes, it's not that the second team gets "four downs." The way to think about it is this: under the current overtime rules, both teams are guaranteed to get at least one possession in overtime, *unless* the team which gains the initial possession in overtime scores a touchdown on that possession.
Some nitpickery - during the regular season, if the team which first possessed the ball scores a field goal just as the 10 minute clock elapses, the 2nd team does not get a possession. And if the first team scores a field goal, and the 2nd team gets the ball but the clock expires during their possession, the first team wins.

During the playoffs, if the first team gets a field goal, the second team gets a full possession, even if the 15 minute clock expires. The game doesn't end until/unless the second team scores a TD, has a turnover, or loses possession on downs.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:28 PM
garygnu garygnu is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
I'd argue that soccer is just as exhausting (maybe more so, as there no platoons), ...
Not in a billion years.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2019, 03:17 PM
Dahu Dahu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Why don't they just have a truncated period of play, like say a 10 minute quarter or two halves of 7.5 minutes? Like in Soccer.
Whoever is ahead after that time, wins.
You could equally ask why doesn't soccer have sudden death in extra time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_goal#Abolition
  #17  
Old 01-22-2019, 03:20 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
Another recent change is that during the regular season, overtime has been reduced from 15 to 10 minutes and if the score is still tied, its a tie/draw. As pointed out before, in the playoffs overtime is 15:00, but if the game is still tied, the clock is reset and the game played in 15:00 quarters until the score is resolved.
Another clarification: in the regular season, the overtime period is treated like the fourth quarter, including a 2-minute warning, except that each team has 2 timeouts. In the postseason, it is as if the game has started over; each team has 3 timeouts over the length of the first two OT periods, and there is no 2-minute warning in the first OT period, although, if the game lasts that long, there is one in the second OT period.
  #18  
Old 01-22-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
Another clarification: in the regular season, the overtime period is treated like the fourth quarter, including a 2-minute warning, except that each team has 2 timeouts. In the postseason, it is as if the game has started over; each team has 3 timeouts over the length of the first two OT periods, and there is no 2-minute warning in the first OT period, although, if the game lasts that long, there is one in the second OT period.
There's also a new kickoff to start the 3rd overtime period (and I assume the 5th, 7th, etc)
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:05 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Nonsense. There's no indication that such happens when overtime goes the full allowed period, or, in the playoffs, goes longer than the normal period. Americans just prefer sudden victory in football for reasons of excitement.

With all due respect to soccer (BIG fan) there is an average of 7 injuries per NFL game v 2.2 for soccer; even when adjusted for roster sizes when you consider NFL players wear helmets, pads and only play 16 games a year it’s easily a much more dangerous sport. A soccer style overtime would be disastrous in American football.


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Old 01-23-2019, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
With all due respect to soccer (BIG fan) there is an average of 7 injuries per NFL game v 2.2 for soccer; even when adjusted for roster sizes when you consider NFL players wear helmets, pads and only play 16 games a year itís easily a much more dangerous sport. A soccer style overtime would be disastrous in American football.


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Both codes of Rugby use a "soccer style" extra time. Of its still even, then they have attempted trys (Union) or sudden death (League).
Plus, the point is that it would be employed for stuff like knock out games or Finals (which would be Playoffs and the Super Bowl I would guess).
  #21  
Old 01-23-2019, 11:56 AM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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There's also a new kickoff to start the 3rd overtime period (and I assume the 5th, 7th, etc)
Correct, and assuming the team that won the coin toss at the start of the first OT did not defer the choice, the other team would get the choice (kick, receive, or direction) at the start of the third OT. I am assuming that, if it got to a fifth (and ninth, thirteenth, and so on) OT, there would be another coin toss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Both codes of Rugby use a "soccer style" extra time. Of its still even, then they have attempted trys (Union) or sudden death (League).
I think the Rugby Union World Cup has a (field) goal-kicking "shootout" from the 22m line after extra time now.

Last edited by That Don Guy; 01-23-2019 at 11:58 AM.
  #22  
Old 01-23-2019, 01:00 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
With all due respect to soccer (BIG fan) there is an average of 7 injuries per NFL game v 2.2 for soccer; even when adjusted for roster sizes when you consider NFL players wear helmets, pads and only play 16 games a year itís easily a much more dangerous sport. A soccer style overtime would be disastrous in American football.


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You're not being responsive to the point being discussed. The point was not: football has more injuries than soccer. The point mooted was that footballers would be significantly likely to suffer injury in an overtime period played to a pre-determined conclusion, rather than ending at sudden victory. That's not something that a comparison between the two sports is relevant to.
  #23  
Old 01-27-2019, 07:36 PM
UltraVires UltraVires is offline
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
The logic behind the rule is as follows:

If a team scores a touchdown with the first possession in overtime, then the defense had the chance to stop them, and failed. Failing to stop the offense from scoring a touchdown becomes a fatal failure.
I've heard that before, but it doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps the other team would have let the other offense march down and score a touchdown, but we will never know because the chance isn't there.

But then the argument would be, if the first team scores a TD, the second team scores a TD, then the first team scores whatever, shouldn't it be fair that each team have an equal number of possessions? Even with a full period we could have unequal number of possessions.

That is one of the benefits of the college overtime system, but it is hokey as well as field position and special teams play no part in the game at all.

There is really no perfect system to decide what is in all effects a draw. I liked old fashion college ties, but you cannot have that in a single elimination playoff system.
  #24  
Old 01-27-2019, 07:59 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Ok GUYS I GOT ONE! Figure THIS out!....actually I think i know...

The game should end on a safety immediatly but....

Team one scores a FG on its first possession. Team two throws an interception into its opponents endzone, but instead of falling down immediatly, the idiot runs it a yard out of the endzone then runs it back in giving up a safety. Team two should win the game having scored a safety, but its a point behind team one.*

* I think the answer is that team one wins despite the safety. Is that correct?
  #25  
Old 01-27-2019, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
Ok GUYS I GOT ONE! Figure THIS out!....actually I think i know...

The game should end on a safety immediatly but....
It does END immediately upon the safety. No one said that determined who won.
  #26  
Old 01-28-2019, 07:10 AM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
Team one scores a FG on its first possession. Team two throws an interception into its opponents endzone, but instead of falling down immediatly, the idiot runs it a yard out of the endzone then runs it back in giving up a safety.
Curiously, it appears that the NFL rulebook doesn't specifically address this situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NFL Rules Article 3. Extra Period
c. If the team that possesses the ball first scores a field goal on its initial possession, the other team (the second team) shall have the opportunity to possess the ball.
1. If the second team scores a touchdown on its possession, it is the winner.
2. If the second team scores a field goal on its possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.
3. If the second team does not score on its possession, the game is over, and the first team is the winner, subject to (4) below.
4. If the second team loses possession by an interception or fumble, the down will be permitted to run to its conclusion ...
The logical rule would be along these lines:
1. If the second team scores a field goal on its possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.
2. Otherwise, the game is over when the second team's possession ends and the team with the larger score is the winner.
  #27  
Old 01-28-2019, 09:38 AM
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Curiously, it appears that the NFL rulebook doesn't specifically address this situation.
Sure it does. Going by the 4 points you quoted in the ďExtra PeriodĒ rule...

1. The second team didnít score a touchdown in its possession.

2. The second team didnít score a field goal either.

3. The second team didnít score on its possession (you lose possession in a turnover).

4. And the second team did get an interception, the interception was permitted to run to its conclusion, and that conclusion was a safety.

So going purely by those rules as quoted, and without having to extrapolate any further, at that point the game is unambiguously over. And at the conclusion of the game, the first team has one more point than the second team, and is therefore the winner.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:58 AM
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Sure it does. Going by the 4 points you quoted in the ďExtra PeriodĒ rule...

1. The second team didnít score a touchdown in its possession.

2. The second team didnít score a field goal either.

3. The second team didnít score on its possession (you lose possession in a turnover).

4. And the second team did get an interception, the interception was permitted to run to its conclusion, and that conclusion was a safety.

So going purely by those rules as quoted, and without having to extrapolate any further, at that point the game is unambiguously over. And at the conclusion of the game, the first team has one more point than the second team, and is therefore the winner.
Rule 4 actually changed this year - it used to be if the first team got a field goal, then the 2nd team turned it over, the game ended instantly. They let the play run to it's conclusion, because there's no mechanism for a ref to blow the play dead, but nothing that happened after the turnover mattered. So think of the following case: Team 1 scores a field goal. Team 2 gets the ball, throws an int, team 1 player stupidly tries to run it back, fumbles, team 2 player scoops it up and runs it in for a TD. 2017 and previous - team 1 still wins. 2018 & later - team 2 wins.
  #29  
Old 01-28-2019, 10:45 AM
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Read recently about the California tie-breaker (which California doesn't use anymore).

Basically, put the ball on the 50 yard line. Team one runs a play, team two runs a play, continue until each team has had 4 (or 8, pick a number) offensive plays. Who ever has the most net yards wins (if no one scores, you can tell just by where the ball is). It does appear to take the field goal off the table.

I kind of like it - even number of possessions, same number of defensive/offensive chances. Run the teams on and off the field after every possession is a bit hokey, but also adds some theater to the whole thing.
  #30  
Old 01-28-2019, 03:50 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Read recently about the California tie-breaker (which California doesn't use anymore).

Basically, put the ball on the 50 yard line. Team one runs a play, team two runs a play, continue until each team has had 4 (or 8, pick a number) offensive plays. Who ever has the most net yards wins (if no one scores, you can tell just by where the ball is). It does appear to take the field goal off the table.
One thing I remember about the California tiebreaker that doesn't get mentioned very often; if you turn the ball over, you lose your remaining plays, the other team gets the ball at the 50, and if they can end any of their remaining plays across the 50, the game ends immediately.

It beats the San Francisco tiebreaker; in San Francisco's public school league football playoffs, if a game ended in a tie after regulation, the team that won the regular-season game between the two was declared the winner. I think that's still what they do if a playoff game is tied after three OT periods.
And even that's better than what California's Central Coast Section (the coastal countries from just south of San Francisco to somewhere around San Luis Obispo, plus San Francisco's Catholic schools) did if a championship game ended in a tie - they declared co-champions (something it can't do any more as only section champions qualify for statewide postseason play).
  #31  
Old 01-29-2019, 02:22 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
You're not being responsive to the point being discussed. The point was not: football has more injuries than soccer. The point mooted was that footballers would be significantly likely to suffer injury in an overtime period played to a pre-determined conclusion, rather than ending at sudden victory. That's not something that a comparison between the two sports is relevant to.


All I was saying is that you can play to the end of a soccer game where both teams have an equal chance to score, and regardless of the score at the end of overtime. In American football it's more imperative to end overtime as quickly as you can because it's so much more dangerous.


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Old 01-29-2019, 02:32 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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Originally Posted by Dale Sams View Post
Ok GUYS I GOT ONE! Figure THIS out!....actually I think i know...

The game should end on a safety immediatly but....

Team one scores a FG on its first possession. Team two throws an interception into its opponents endzone, but instead of falling down immediatly, the idiot runs it a yard out of the endzone then runs it back in giving up a safety. Team two should win the game having scored a safety, but its a point behind team one.*

* I think the answer is that team one wins despite the safety. Is that correct?

I'm confused.

Team One kicks a FG and scores 3 points.
Team One gives up a Safety, making Team One 3-2.
This is on the second possession, I believe the "safety wins the game rule" applies only when Team One has the ball in FIRST possession?

At that point however, Team Two gets a crack at the ball since Team One must kick off?


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  #33  
Old 01-29-2019, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
I'm confused.

Team One kicks a FG and scores 3 points.
Team One gives up a Safety, making Team One 3-2.
This is on the second possession, I believe the "safety wins the game rule" applies only when Team One has the ball in FIRST possession?

At that point however, Team Two gets a crack at the ball since Team One must kick off?
There is no rule about a safety winning the game. A safety ends the game. Big difference.

And your scenario is implausible. If Team One gets a field goal, it then kicks off. Now itís Team Twoís possession. If Team Two fails to score before losing possession, the game is over and Team One wins. So when does Team One give up a safety? Unless Team Two also kicks a field goal, and then the ball is kicked back to Team One in sudden death (next score ends the game).
  #34  
Old 01-29-2019, 02:58 AM
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Here’s an easier way to think of it...

In over time, any score ends the game, with only two exceptions:

1) If the opening possession ends in a field goal, the ball is kicked off to the other team who gets a possession.

2) If the second possession ends in a tying field goal, the next team that scores points will win.

So again, any time points are scored the game will end aside from the two scenarios above.
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