Are people really complaining about the NFL's overtime rule?
Or are they really complaining about Tom Brady's greatness? Or maybe Matthew Slater's greatness?
The decades’ old rule was that the first team that puts points on the board, wins.
It caused a furor because field goal kickers got too good, making 85 percent of their attempts. And winning the toss and getting only three first downs would lead to a victory.
I get it.
The rule was modified to where each team would have a chance to possess the ball, unless a team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown.
A great modification.
But then Brady, Slater and the New England Patriots came along.
In two huge games, Slater called heads -- the Super Bowl two years ago against Atlanta in Houston and the AFC Championship game last Sunday night in Kansas City -- and won the toss.
And Brady methodically guided the Patriots to touchdowns with the Falcons and Chiefs helpless -- Brady forces that “helpless” look a lot.
So guess what?
Many people want to institute the “Tom Brady Rule,” where both teams get the ball in overtime, no matter the result (except a safety, then the game is over).
Their reasoning? Like kickers, quarterbacks are so good. The rules are geared more towards offenses. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
Of course, the same people making these proposals didn’t bring up the other conference championship game, where the Rams defense forced a Drew Brees interception (his arm was hit on a near sack).
The Saints won the toss.
Both teams did possess the ball. And the Rams’ kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 57-yarder, which would’ve probably been good from 70 yards, to win the game.
Brees had a better year than Brady did. He was most people’s runner up to Patrick Mahomes as Most Valuable Player. Yet, he couldn’t do what Brady and the Patriots did.
Some proposals are both teams get the ball at the 25-yard line like college football does it, others saying put it at the 50.
No. And no.
The rule is fine.
Remember, the defensive players get paid, too. Some on the defensive line (pass rushers) and others at cornerback are just under the quarterback in pecking order for contract size.
What ever happened to “defense wins championships” mantra? It wasn’t that long ago when the high-powered Patriots offenses were a shell of themselves going against Ray Lewis and the Ravens.
Leave overtime alone. Maybe the real problem isn’t Brady, but Slater. Maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to call the coin flip.
You can email Bill Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org.