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New OT rules in effect this weekend

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1 24 10 garrett hartley New OT rules in effect this weekend

Kicker Garrett Hartley #5 of the New Orleans Saints successfully kicks a 40-yard game-winning field goal in overtime from the hold of Mark Brunell #11 against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 31-28. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — When the NFL playoffs begin this weekend, they will feature a new rule for overtime.

If a team wins the coin toss and receives the overtime kickoff, it does not automatically win the game if it kicks a field goal on the opening series. The team that kicked off then gets a possession.

If the trailing team also kicks a field goal, the game continues. If it scores a touchdown, it wins. And if it does not get any points, it loses.

The tweak was made last March, two months after Garrett Hartley’s field goal won the NFL championship game for New Orleans over Minnesota on the opening series of OT.

Coaching staffs have put plenty of thought into how to deal with the new rule.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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