The NFL Needs to Mirror College Football’s Overtime Rules

nfl Overtime Rules college football

On Sunday, football fans witnessed one of the most exciting NFL Championship Sundays ever. Both the NFC Championship game and the AFC Championship game went into overtime. There is nothing better than watching two teams fight it out so effectively that the game ends in a tie and is forced into overtime. Overtime is almost like a second game where both teams get an equal shot at becoming the victor. However, that is not exactly true for NFL overtimes.

A Coin Toss Decided the Outcomes of Both Championships

To no one’s surprise, the teams that won the two coin tosses won the games. The implementation of the “sudden death” rule on Sunday left many fans upset that each game was essentially decided by a coin toss. The games were decided by a coin toss as it was an almost certainty that the team that won the toss would take possession, score first, and win. Both teams did exactly that.

Although some may argue that the NFC Championship game was decided by a blown call at the end of the fourth quarter, the game still went into overtime.  The team that won the toss, the Los Angeles Rams, won the game without the New Orleans Saints ever getting an opportunity to score. In the AFC Championship game the team that won the toss, the New England Patriots, won the game without the Kansas City Chiefs ever getting an opportunity to score.  Accordingly, fans were upset that the NFC and AFC Championship games were essentially decided by a coin toss.

The NFL Needs to Change This, Especially for Championship Games

The NFL needs to change this. This is especially true as it pertains to championship games. The team that does not take possession at kickoff (usually the team who loses the toss) is essentially at an unfair disadvantage. Some may argue that there is no disadvantage because the defense should be able to hold off the opposing offense. This is a fair argument. However, it would be better if both teams were guaranteed a chance to perform on both offense and defense. Such a change would ultimately make the game more competitive. It would force both teams to prove they deserve to win offensively and defensively.

The NFL Needs to Adopt Some Variation of College Football’s Overtime Rules

The college football overtime rules are much better than the NFL’s. The NFL can certainly learn from college football in this area. Like the NFL, overtime in college starts with a coin toss.  Where it differs is in the fact that both teams are guaranteed a possession.  This means that both teams will have the opportunity to play both offense and defense. This is better because it forces both teams to earn the win on both ends of the field.  

If the team that gets the ball first scores, they must defend it and hold off the other team’s offense. The college overtime period starts at the 25-yard line.[i] If the game is still tied at the end of the overtime period it keeps going until a team wins.[ii] However, once the game reaches a third overtime period, the teams may no longer kick after a touchdown and are forced to attempt a two-point conversion.[iii] This goes on until a team wins.

Some may argue that this type of overtime makes for a long game.  That is true, a game could be extremely long if both teams keep scoring.  However, that is an extremely rare occurrence. Even with that possibility, the NFL needs to consider some variation of college football’s overtime rules.  Allowing who gets to advance to the Super Bowl to be determined by a coin toss is simply unacceptable.

[i] Chris Chavez, How Does College Football Overtime Work? Rule, NFL Differences Explained, Sports Illustrated (Aug. 14, 2017), https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/college-football-overtime-rules-explained.

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

Five up Five down: 5 best NFL Teams, 5 worst NFL Teams Week 3

5 best NFL teams

Five Up  Five Down is where we rank the 5 best NFL Teams and 5 worst NFL Teams. Who really cares about the teams in the middle. As Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights would say, “If you’re not first, you’re last”. The Five Up  Five rankings for Week 3 reflect what we learned in week 2. We learned the importance of having a good placekicker and the awesomeness of Patrick Mahomes II. So, here are the results after the first 32 games played.

Five UP: 5 best NFL teams

1.  TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-0)

They beat the Saints and the Eagles, which is why they’re #1 in our 5 Up 5 Down Weekly NFL Rankings.  Best team to watch if you are a fantasy fan right now.  The team is putting up points like playing Madden 19 on the easy level.  Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the NFL in passing (819 Yards 8 TD’s a 151.1 QBR), looks like Conor McGregor and is playing like Dan Marino!  #FitzMagic is real, and he is the first QB in NFL History (99 Years) to throw for 400 yards, and at least 4 TD passes in each of his team’s first two games.  This might be a mirage, but it’s a fun mirage. The Bucs are home versus the struggling Steelers (0-1-1) whose defense is struggling against the pass.

2.  LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-0)

 The Los Angeles Rams have it all going on right now.  A defense that generates points and an offense that is by far the most creative this side of New Orleans.  The defense is loaded with playmakers (Suh, Peters, Donald).   The offensive line is playing stout.  The Rams can play better since Todd Gurley has not been himself yet.  Next up: the battle of the LA Chargers (1-1) that would make Snake Plissken happy. Don’t be surprised to see the Rams at the #1 position in our NFL rankings next week.

3.  JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-0)

Jacksonville fans will not like our NFL Rankings Week 3! Everyone said that the one thing that is holding the Jaguars back from being serious Superbowl contenders is Blake Bortles.  Hmm…Blake looked good in getting his revenge last week against the Pats throwing for 377 yards, and 4 TD passes against the New England Patriots.  My biggest concern with this team, like the Rams, is depth. Plenty of time to add a piece or two, but this team has plenty of time to move up these Unafraid rankings.  Jacksonville will have a chance to go to 3-0 at home versus the (1-1) Titans.

4.  KANSAS CITY CHIEFS  (2-0)

Only Ryan Fitzpatrick has been more exciting to watch than Patrick Mahomes II (582 Yards, 10 Touchdowns, 143 QBR, with zero INT’s).  I still have issues with the Chiefs defense, but we’ll see.  That offense is loaded and watching a young QB come in and dominate the NFL is very exciting.  Kid Dynamite (My new nickname for him), will have a challenge this week at home vs. (1-1) 49ers and a stout defense.  The Chiefs could be a good bet to rise in my NFL Rankings Week 3.

5.  CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-0)

Sure we laugh at this thinking they will fail, and Marvin Lewis won’t get fired again, but this team has been very impressive!  They won both of its games to start the season in dominating fashion, 34-23 against the Colts and Ravens.  The Red Rifle has been very terrific to start the season (108.5 QB Rating with 6 TD passes and just 1 INT).  Geno Atkins has been unblockable with three sacks.  The only reason why I have him at #5 is that they are the Bengals.  If these two performances were by the Patriots or Eagles, they would be #1.  That’s how impressive they have been.  Next up:  at the (1-1) Carolina Panthers.

Closing in on the top 5:   6. Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1),  7. Miami Dolphins (2-0), 8. Denver Broncos (2-0).

Five DOWN: 5 worst NFL teams

28.  DETROIT LIONS (0-2)

It seemed like things were trending in the right direction for the Lions, then the season started.  They got blown out by a rookie QB at home against the Jets and last week they tried to come back but fell short vs. 49ers. Matthew Stafford is taking a beating and hasn’t played well (76.7 QBR) the running game which was thought to be better with the additions of LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson has failed largely because of the offensive line not creating any running room. Will Matt Patricia be the latest Patriots coordinator to fail as a Head Coach (156-227 .407 Winning %). Well, his mentor brings the Patriots (1-1) to town on Sunday night, which could mean a 0-3 start.

The season started off with a catastrophe trading Khalil Mack away.  Funny, Jon Gruden said at his press conference on Wednesday, “Its hard to find a great pass rusher !” really? Derek Carr played much better in week #2 but this team gets no pressure on the opposing team’s QB, and the Wide Receivers are not getting separation.  Jared Cook has been a stud, but the Raiders look like they at best will be an 8-8 squad. The Silver and Black travel to South Beach to face the surprising (2-0) Miami Dolphins.

30. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-1-1)

They have played better and really should be 2-0.  Doesn’t matter they had a kicker who cost them two games and Mr. Gonzalez is now gone. They replaced Gonzalez, not with a proven veteran (Santos or Forbath were available since Bailey said no), but with a rookie who had a 69% FG percentage at UCF. Yikes! I like the talent on this team, but the dysfunction of what has produced (1-32-1) football is still intact. Think of this: the Browns have not won on a Sunday since December 13, 2015 (vs. 49ers).  That is over 1,000 days.  They have a chance to end that streak next week vs. Oakland but tonight they are favored for the first time in a long time vs. the N.Y. Jets (1-1) A chance for Cleveland to get out of the doghouse in our NFL rankings.  Maybe the team needs back on Hard Knocks; they had more hope then.

31.  ARIZONA CARDINALS (0-2)

 Okay, they could be #1 in our power poll, but I like the Cardinals, so I gave them clemency.  What they won’t like is that fact they have scored a whopping 6 points in 8 quarters of play.  Sam Bradford looks like he should retire.  He set an ominous mark on Sunday against the Rams with the lowest yards per pass completion ever. Checkdown Sammy had 17 completions for 90 yards that averaged a paltry 3.33 yards.  It wasn’t that good, and the OL has been pitiful.  The Josh Rosen watch is on as the Cards will look to score some points at home versus the Chicago Bears (1-1).

32.  BUFFALO BILLS (0-2)

 The Buffalo Bills are the worst team in the NFL.  Hey, they still have the best fans, but man will this year be tough to watch!  It’s so bad they have players retiring at half-time!  What happened? They were just in the playoffs.  They already are at minus 55, the worst point differential in the league, with a date coming up with Kirk Cousins and the high-powered Vikings (1-0-1) on the road.  Josh Allen will get his 2nd NFL start with the 2nd worst offense (have already yielded 11 sacks) going up against the #1 defense from last year (Bills are 16.5 point underdogs Sunday). This could get a lot uglier.

Knocking on futilities door:  Houston Texans (0-2),  Seattle Seahawks (0-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) 

Come back next Wednesday for Five up Five down: 5 best NFL Teams, 5 worst NFL Teams Week 4.

Oregon vs UCLA… Jones-Drew vs G3

What’s a Pac-10 game without a little fun? I had the pleasure of playing with UCLA Alum Maurice Jones-Drew for 3 seasons while I was in Jacksonville, and like me he is a proud alum. During football season you could frequently hear MJD yelling “the boys in blue, the boys in blue” after any win by UCLA. So I decided to make a little friendly wager. If the Ducks beat UCLA tomorrow Mo-jo and little Mo-jo 2.0, have to wear an Oregon Uniform and t-shirt and sing our fight song while being videotaped and if UCLA wins, me, little D, & my nephew AK, will do the same in UCLA garb!! Me, I’m not even worried.. I have the utmost confidence in my Ducks!!!
I haven’t been able to see an Oregon game live since I was a player there back in 2002, and I have never seen an Oregon game from the stands. This weekend that will all change. My entire family and I are tailgating and will be in attendance this Saturday as the Mighty Ducks of Oregon take on UCLA at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. What makes this game so special is I get to take my son and nephew to their first “Duck” game!!! They both love football games and I am planting the Oregon seed early, so when they are older they will already have the Green/Yellow (and Black, Gray, White, Graphite) love. LOL, I love our uniforms! Oh, yea, they will be part of Coach Kelly’s 2023 recruiting class. I know that’s a long time away but it’s never too early to prepare.

Now back to the game, UCLA has a tough team this year, and they are led by Head Coach Neuheisel, whom I have much respect for. While at the University of Colorado he was the first person to offer me a scholarship to play college football. I still have the letter to this day. I went against him a few times as a player when he was the Huskies Head Coach, but I believe we have the edge. Even though we are without “The Man” Thurmond III and Willie “Da DB” Glasper, and Blount Trauma, we should be fine. Our aggressive attack on both sides of the ball make us very hard to beat.
I cannot wait to hear the sweet lyrics of the Oregon Fight Song sung by MJD and MJD 2.0. I can hear it now as I daydream!!!!

#94 Hout…Won’t Do That Again!!!

First off, I am rocking an Oregon Ducks t-shirt as we speak! We lost last night but I am still Very proud to be a Duck. Now lets get to the real story. University of Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the entire season! This is another Plaxico punishment. Another person who has been made an “example” of. I have never heard of a year long suspension for a fight especially when the person you were fighting was also in the wrong. LeGarrette Blount should not have punched Byron Hout, but he got what he deserved. Hout showed NO class in the way he hit Blount’s shoulder pad and jumped in his face mocking him after the loss. Those are the type of things that happen when you do things like that. The NCAA is emphasizing sportsmanship this season and Hout’s behavior was obviously not sportsman-like and inappropriate. BSU coach Chris Peterson even grabbed Hout because he saw what he did and how classless and unnecessary his actions were. There needs to be a 1 game suspension for Hout! If my son had done what Hout did and got punched, I would shake my head as I’m telling him, “Bet you won’t do that again!”. After the punch heard round the world Blount was walking away peacefully when people in the crowd obviously said some “magic” words that would even make a calm man enraged. People may disagree with me but I have played in certain parts of the country where those type of things happen regularly!
Blount needs to use better judgement and control himself even when provoked by classless individuals. A 3-4 game suspension for Blount would have been fitting. Media outlets, YouTube, and TV analyst talking about it was “egregious”. I’m watching TV and reading twitter and the Internet and all these analyst and writers are throwing around these million dollar words and phrases making this the worst thing that ever happened. They are saying, LeGarrette Blount’s actions are despicable, horrid, classless, and that they are appalled and outraged that this could happen. Seriously, all that?
Now here is the “gotcha, gotcha” because there is always a “gotcha, gotcha”…
Many people want to talk about Boise State competing for a BCS spot and a National Championship, but I will be the 1st to say they don’t have what it takes. Let me just say, I like Boise State because their coach Chris Peterson was the WR coach when I was at Oregon, and I played with their Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox, but Hout got punched right in front of all his teammates and no one did anything to Blount. They stood by and watched. This would never be allowed to happen to any team worth winning a championship! If that would have happened to an Oregon, Florida, Alabama, Texas, or USC player it would have been a riot. Teams have to stick together through thick and thin, right or wrong, and have a “ride or die” mentality to win championships! They should have had to dig Blount out of a pile of blue and orange jerseys, but like I stated, I don’t promote violence, just protecting my teammates!!

Honk If You Love the Ducks!!!



I had a cool time in high school, but for the most part, I felt like a fish out of water, but then came the University of Oregon. I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Eugene. All I knew about the U of O was Nike, Prefontaine “Track Town USA”, and Duck football. I learned quickly what the 541 was all about. I loved my time in Eugene. My favorite breakfast spot GJ’s, our favorite bar Taylors , the U.I. dorm , the CASS and most importanly, Autzen stadium, the crowd, and the student section. AMAZING!!! I’ll never forget Apartment #90 which consisted of #1 aka SP aka Samie Parker, #2 aka O-S*#@*y aka Onterrio Smith and myself aka Rice-Daddy. Man, if those walls could talk, lol, but I’m glad they can’t. Oregon was totally different than any other place I had ever been into my whole life, but yet it was home. Some of my fondest memories are from my time in Eugene. College was truly some of the best years of my life to date. A lot of things in my life may change, but one thing that will remain the same is I will always and forever be an Oregon Duck!

I’ll never forget every home game the PA announcer would say “It never rains in Autzen Stadium”. Which to me, being from Sunny So Cal, was very ironic, because I felt like it was always raining in the northwest. I still get chills thinking about scoring a touchdown and that loud fog horn going off and the band playing the fight song “Oregon our Alma Mater, we will guard thee on and on….”! I loved playing for Oregon, and now that I am in the pros, I love being a fan of Oregon. I always had my duck gear in my locker at the stadium. At least once a week in the offseason I workout in a Duck t-shirt, shorts, and my Nike Shox Duck editions (Oh Baby)! I even made a bet with my teammate Mo Williams 2 years ago that MY Ducks would crush his minuscule Wolverines, and of course they did. Mo had to wear my College jersey all week, haha GO DUCKS!! I hang on to every play of Duck football. All my teammates in Jacksonville knew when we went to away games I was only going to eat dinner at a place that had my Duck’s game on! God Bless satellite tv!!

Two years ago we had the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy in our grasp and it all went down the drain when Dennis Dixon fell to the ground clutching his knee. We were on cloud nine, riding high on the backs of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart, and just that quick we had to settle for a SCHLacking of South Florida in the Sun Bowl 56-21. I was devastated. It felt like I was on that team and “we lost”. I now know what “REAL” fans go through and how they feel. I have a much deeper respect for the fans of our game.

On Thursday we begin our quest for another PAC-10 title and a chance at a National Championship. Although I can’t be there in person I will have my flatscreen on and my popcorn ready. It won’t be an easy game, (we are playing against former Oregon coaches). We are taking on the Broncos of Bosie State, on their “Smurf Turf”. The Broncos have a good team and are always tough at home, but I know the Ducks will take care of business. This year will be a good year for us up in Eugene and I will be here with my duck gear on cheering the whole way. I just can’t wait until my son is old enough to really appreciate the game, so I can take him to a game at Autzen stadium, “the loudest place on earth” (for the enemy).

I was so juiced when I saw the Ducks on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was thinking, finally, we are getting some respect. I know some of ya’ll out there are skeptical of calling us a Football Powerhouse, but keep watching and trust me, you’ll see. It’s ok, I won’t say I told you so. Actually, YES I WILL!!! GO DUCKS!!!

Free Agency

I’m back!!! Did you miss me?? Man, free agency has been crazy. I’m not used to this. 6 years in the league and this is my first offseason experiencing the wait and see game. I just got 2 WI yesterday. I’m here at UW- River Falls for the Chiefs training camp. When I tell you they had me checked out, they had ya’ boy checked out. I got 18 x-rays!!! Do u realize how many that is? I mean they wanted to know if anything was messed up and if so where, when and for how long. But I’m finally 100% healthy and thanks to my trainer Travelle Gaines at Elite Athletics, I’m also in the best shape of my life. Due to my injuries I really haven’t done a full training camp in almost 3 years. I just thank God for continuing to heal me and allow me to keep playing the game I love.
So I get here and I’m happy, because I get to workout today and just excited to be doing football again. I’m thinking cool, show me to my room, I’ll get a quick 20 minute power nap on my nice bed (i’ve only stayed at a hotel during training camp). I had no idea about this dorm life experience. I get to my room and I swear my bed is as small as my little nephews bed. What am I supposed to do with this, sleep on it?? How we ever slept on these little beds in college is beyond me.
One thing this free agency experience has taught me is to not take life’s blessings for granted. I guess some part of me had taken this NFL life for granted. I just expected it to always be there at least as long as I wanted it to be. I wouldn’t say this experience “humbled” me, but it did allow me the opportunity to rededicate myself to being the best.