LIONS INSIDER

A closer look at the new overtime rule and how it would have affected the Lions in previous years

Posted Apr 12, 2012

Last season, the NFL's new postseason overtime rule was tested in two games when the Broncos beat the Steelers with a touchdown pass on the first play of overtime in their playoff game and the Giants beat the 49ers with a field goal in the NFC championship.

The change in rule calls for each team to get at least one possession in overtime unless the team that wins the coin toss and gets the ball first scores a touchdown. After each team gets a possession, overtime then reverts back to sudden death.

At last month's NFL league meetings in Florida, the owners changed the overtime rules for the regular season to this new format.

Looking back at the last 15 years, the Lions have played 13 overtime games and are 5-8 in those games. In those games, 10 ended on the first possession. The new overtime rule would have affected all but two of those games since eight ended on a first possession field goal.

The team that won the coin toss won nine of those 13 games. That number could actually be considered 10 because we all remember when the Lions won the coin toss but elected to kick at Chicago in 2002 and the Bears won on the first possession.

Historically, the Lions have played 31 overtime games. The only time the Lions won an overtime game by scoring a touchdown was against the Buccaneers in 1984 when Gary Danielson hit Leonard Thompson on a 37-yard touchdown pass. The Bucs won the coin toss and the Lions scored the game-winning touchdown on the second possession of overtime.

 

Lions overtime games the last 15 seasons:

DateOpponentCoin TossResult
9/25/2011 @ MIN DET Det won on a 32-yd FG on first possesion of OT
12/19/2010 @ TB DET Det won on a 34-yd FG on first possession of OT
11/7/2010 NYJ NYJ NYJ won on a 30-yd FG on first possession of OT
9/16/2007 MIN MIN DET won on a 37-yd FG on second possessoin of OT
12/11/2005 @ GB GB GB won on a 28-yd FG on first possession of OT
10/30/2005 CHI DET CHI won on a 22-yd INT ret. DET had ball on third possession of OT
11/14/2004 @ JAX JAX JAX won on a 36-yd TD pass on first possession of OT
12/8/2002 @ ARZ ARZ ARZ won on a 42-yd FG on first posession of OT
11/24/2002 @ CHI DET CHI won on a 40-yd FG on first possession of OT (DET elected to kick)
10/20/2002 CHI DET DET won on a 48-yd FG on first possession of OT
11/26/1998 PIT DET DET won on a 42-yd FG on first possession of OT
9/13/1998 CIN DET CIN won on a 53-yd INT ret. DET had ball on first possession of OT
10/19/1997 NYG NYG NYG won on a 68-yd pass on first possession of OT