NFL Changing the Overtime Rules
Most people might argue that the NFL should not have changed the rules. Well I disagree with that statement because I think that the rule had to be changed and it was time for a change in the rules because it felt like it was old rules. In what has become something of a tradition around this time of the off-season, the NFL once again is considering changes to the rules of overtime. Of the 12 postseason games that have been played under this iteration of overtime rules, 10 have been won by the team that won the opening coin toss, including seven won on the opening possession of the extra period. The NFL needed a rule change because a bunch of games were decided by overtime, and even in the playoffs. The rule proposed by the Colts and Eagles would have ensured that one of the most exciting players in the NFL had a say in the outcome of overtime.It’s a clever solution, if not a bit gimmicky. While that rule change did not come to pass, a year later the league is still debating ways to give every team a fair shake in the extra period. The NFL really needed to change the rules because when the games went to overtime they didn’t get a chance to get the ball back and try to even up the score. The Chiefs beat the Bills in overtime by keeping the Buffalo offense on the sidelines during the extra period, Mahomes and the Chiefs won the overtime coin toss again, this time against the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.
Before the NFL changed the rules, they thought the overtime rules were very fair, but in my opinion, I think that the rule made no sense because one side was always favored because mostly if you get the ball first, you basically won the game right there. But you could make the argument that they could just stop them on defense, but not often teams make stops on defense in overtime. Each team was allowed to possess the ball in extra play unless the club that received the opening kickoff scores a touchdown. If the opening drive resulted in a field goal, the opposing team would get an opportunity to match the score or win with a touchdown. According to the article, “If there was a turnover, the first team to score would win. This rule is still in effect for the regular season.The NFL last modified the regulation, called Rule 16, in March 2012, when the league expanded the format from the playoffs to the regular season”. Owners voted Tuesday to amend the playoff overtime rule in order to allow both teams to possess the ball regardless of whether a touchdown is scored on the first possession of the extra period. The previous rule came under renewed scrutiny after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills by scoring a touchdown on the first possession in overtime of their classic playoff game this past winter.
According to the article it states, “The league’s owners reportedly passed new legislation that will ensure that both teams get at least one possession in overtime of playoff games. It’s a timely addition — fewer than three months earlier, the Buffalo Bills saw their playoff run snuffed out in overtime after the Kansas City Chiefs won the coin toss, scored a touchdown, and left Allen, who’d thrown for 329 yards and four touchdowns at that point”. Though the Titans’ proposed caveat that a touchdown followed by a two-point conversion could end a game in overtime without each team getting the ball didn’t pass, the removal of a first-possession sudden death ending marks the latest change to the league’s rules. If a team scores a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, it no longer means an automatic victory. The side that lost the coin toss will have a chance at rebuttal. If they tie the game, overtime continues in a sudden death format. You could also argue that sometimes in overtime, why should someone get the ball after the first team scores you didn’t get the job done. Although, all teams should get a shot in overtime no matter what happens.
The NFL’s overtime rules now are much more similar to college football’s, which many argued were fairer than the NFL’s previous rules. In college football, each team regardless of who wins the overtime coin toss they get a chance to go on offense from the other’s 25 yard-line in the first overtime. Teams hoped to win the coin toss and win the game at the first time of asking, in the collegiate game, the team that wins the toss usually decides to go on defense first because they will know if the other team scored a touchdown, a field goal or failed to score. According to the article it states, “since 2010, there have been 12 overtime playoff games, with the team that won the coin toss winning in 10 of those 12 meetings. Seven of those 10 wins came on a sudden-death opening-drive touchdown. Twenty-nine of the 32 teams in the league voted in favor of the rule change, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. The traditional sudden-death rules will still apply for all regular season games”.
Where we saw that most having an influence, I think, was 12 games in the postseason that have been in overtime, seven of which were won on the first possession. When you see that, that’s the type of thing that I think our coaches, and everyone looked at this is an issue in the postseason we should deal with. According to the article it states, “This new rule will take effect only in the postseason. Regular season games can still end with a first-possession touchdown. The NFL last modified the regulation, called Rule 16, in March 2012, when the league expanded the format from the playoffs to the regular season”.
Morse, B., & Fuente, H. D. la. (2022, March 31). NFL changes playoff overtime rule after Kansas City Chiefs vs buffalo bills thriller. CNN. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/31/sport/nfl-overtime-playoff-rule-change-spt-intl/index.html
D’Andrea, C. (2022, March 29). How the NFL’s new playoff overtime rules work, explained. USA Today. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2022/03/nfl-overtime-rule-change-new-playoffs-format-explained
Yahoo! (n.d.). The NFL is flirting with another overtime rule-change that would fix a problem that has haunted the NFL postseason. Yahoo! Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/nfl-flirting-another-overtime-rule
Young, J. (2022, March 30). National Football League owners vote to change playoff overtime rule to allow possessions for both teams. CNBC. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/29/nfl-changes-playoff-overtime-rule-to-allow-possessions-for-both-teams.html