The NFL owners approved Wednesday to make the overtime rules uniform for the playoffs and regular season.
Overtime games in the regular season no longer will be decided by sudden death. Those games will adopt the playoff overtime rules, which debuted in the 2011 season. If the team that begins the extra session with the football makes a field goal, the opposing team gets an opportunity to have a possession. A touchdown on the opening drive, however, will end the game, as seen when the Broncos defeated the Steelers in the wild-card round last season on an 80-yard TD pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas.
Owners also voted to make all turnovers automatic booth reviews, similar to how scoring plays were handled last season for the first time. Other rules passed were adding a loss of down aspect to the penalty for kicking a loose ball, making the "too many men" penalty a dead ball foul and adding those who receive a crack-back to the list of defenseless players.
The Bills’ proposal to have the replay official in the booth decide calls instead of a referee on the field did not pass.
A proposal by the Steelers to ban horse-collar tackles on quarterbacks in the pocket did not pass. “We didn’t see the injury risk,” said Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee.
Other items were tabled until the May meetings — pushing the trade deadline back from Week Six to Week Eight, increasing the overall roster limit to 90 players and being able to activate a player from injured reserve later in the season.