During the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, the league decided to amend one of its most controversial overtime rules.
Being ratified with a 29-3 vote, the NFL approved an overtime rule change which will guarantee both teams get possession in overtime during the playoffs, according to the MMQB’s Albert Breer. The overtime rule for the regular season will not change, however.
This is a change from the previous overtime rule, which allowed for the team that won the overtime coin toss to win the game without giving up possession if they scored a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime.
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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who had benefitted very recently from the previous postseason overtime rule, reacted to the rule change during an interview with Yahoo Finance.
“Your job is to find a way to win the game, no matter how long it takes,” Mahomes said.
He also explained how the perception of possessing the ball first in overtime during the playoffs will change moving forward.
“I’m sure there’ll be moments where you feel like it’s a good decision,” Mahomes said. “But then there will be moments when you score that touchdown first and you feel like it’s a bad one. So you just go out there and play and try to win the game whatever way.”
Chiefs Beat Bills Thanks to Previous OT Rule
One of the recent games that thrust the new overtime rule into existence was when the Chiefs faced the Buffalo Bills during the divisional round of the 2021 postseason. During that game, Kansas City was guided to an overtime victory over Buffalo due to a coin flip.
Buffalo took a 36-33 lead with 13 seconds left in that game courtesy of a touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Allen to wide receiver Gabriel Davis. The Chiefs responded quickly, marching 44 yards on three plays to set up kicker Harrison Butker for a 49-yard field goal. As time expired, Butker made the field goal attempt, which sent the game overtime.
Kansas City won the overtime coin toss, opting to receive the opening kickoff in extra time. The Chiefs offense then went 75 yards on eight plays, capping off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown catch from tight end Travis Kelce.
Many people that were watching that game were outraged over the fact that Allen and the Bills’ offense weren’t able to possess the football in overtime. Through four quarters of regulation, Buffalo accumulated 422 yards of total offense and committed zero turnovers. So, had they possessed the football first in overtime the outcome of the game might have been very different. Instead, the coin toss flipped in Kansas City’s favor.
Twitter Users Reacted to Overtime Rule Change
Twitter users reacted to the NFL opting to allow both teams to have possession during overtime in the playoffs.
“Teams might start doing it on their own anyways but they should have forced teams to go for 2 in overtime in the playoffs with the rule change,” Ted Nguyen of The Athletic wrote.
“The NFL added a new rule for what outwardly appears to make overtime more competitive. What it actually did was add at least one more slot for advertising. It cost the league office nothing to make the change but now the players have to work additional overtime. For free. Nice,” another Twitter user wrote.
“The NEW overtime rule will change how teams coach in overtime. The team that wins the toss will 99% of the time defer and kick off. Because if you get a stop or turnover now, all you need is a FG to win. You know you will get the ball. Makes no sense to take the ball first,” another user wrote.