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NFL Rule Changes: New Overtime Applies To Regular Season, Turnovers Subject To Automatic Review

The NFL has passed a couple of rule changes during the owners meetings, bringing the overtime rules to the regular season and making all turnovers subject to automatic review.

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The NFL owner's meetings have been going on this week, and are set to wrap up soon with the passing of some new rules for the 2012 season. Some of the newer rules haven't been well-received, while others have been a little head-scratching. For one that falls into the category of the latter, consider the overtime rules adopted for the playoffs in 2011. Many questioned why the rules applied for the playoffs, but not the regular season.

That's no longer an issue, as Adam Schefter was the first to report that the NFL passed the new overtime rules for the regular season on top of the playoffs. The rule says that both teams will get a chance to possess the ball in overtime, unless the first team scores a touchdown. This means that the first team can't simply get to the 30 yard-line and then kick a field goal to end the game.

On top of that, Schefter also reported that the NFL has passed new replay rules. These new rules say that any turnover is now subject to review, and will no longer require a coaches challenge. This mirrors the rules set in place last year in regards to scoring plays. All of those are subject to review, and it only makes sense for turnovers, which can alter a game just as much as a scoring play. The only prohibitive aspect would be if this makes games run longer, but they were good about that in regards to scoring plays in 2011.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.