March 25, 2012; Palm Beach, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during an press conference at the annual NFL meetings at the Breakers Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
NFL owners voted today to make two make significant changes to the rules next season. The first is to apply the playoff overtime rules to the regular season. That means each team will have a chance to possess the ball, unless the first team to touch scores a touchdown.
It's really kind of a no brainer rule because it forces teams to go for TDs in overtime and it ensures that your team will at least get a shot if they can prevent a TD. In other words, you'll never be able to blame a coin toss for an OT loss again.
The other and far more impactful change is that all turnovers will be automatically reviewed just like scoring plays. So a coach does not need to challenge a turnover any more. Again, kind of a no brainer rule as in the end the more important thing has to be to get the call right. And since there's usually a stoppage and/pr commercial break after a turnover anyway, this really shouldn't stretch games.
These rules have really started to marginalize the need for coaches challenges. As it stands now, they'll only need to throw the challenge flag on plays they think are turnovers or TDs but aren't called on the field.
Even though Andy Reid inexplicably became a master of challenge last season, removing the need for him to make judgement calls can't be a bad thing. For instance, if this rule had been around in recent years, that DeSean Jackson fumble against the Giants two years ago that wasn't actually a fumble (but Reid didn't challenge) would have been reversed. As would the Michael Vick pick to Kelvin Hayden in the Atlanta game that actually bounced off the ground last year.