ORLANDO -- Defense can win championships, but it just can't play well enough in overtime in the playoffs.
That's the message the NFL owners sent Tuesday when they voted 28-4 in favor of changing the league's overtime rules in the playoffs.
The team that wins the coin toss can't win the game on a field goal anymore on the first possession. If that team kicks a field goal, the other team would get a possession. If the team that wins the toss scores a touchdown, the game is over the other team getting no possession.
So why change things?
But Rich McKay, co-chair of the league's competition committee, said that wasn't the case. Interestingly enough, the Vikings were one of the four teams that voted against it. The others were the Ravens, Bills and Bengals.
The current overtime rules had been in place since 1974, both for the regular season and the playoffs, although the playoff games hadn't been decided until the first team scores -- no matter how long the game.
There is a chance that this rule, only voted in for the playoffs, could still be implemented for the 2010 regular season. It will be discussed again at the May meetings, with a change possible but not seen as likely.
There have been 1.2 overtime postseason games since 1974. Is that enough for a change?
This is an over-reaction to those screaming loudly about the stats that favor the team winning the coin flip. The coin-flip winner won the game 59.4-percent of the time since the kickoff was moved back to the 30 in 1994. Those teams won it 37-percent of the time without the other team touching the ball.
The improved accuracy of kickers also influenced the vote, according to McKay. They've become so much better kicking the long field goal.
Here's an idea: Have the defense stop the opponent in their end. You know what happens? You get the ball back. They can't even try a long field goal.
If you stop them on the first set of downs, your team gets the ball back in good field position.
The NFL blew it on this one, yielding to the loud cries of a small, vocal minority.
Call me a traditionalist, but I liked things just the way they were.