No one thinks about NFL overtime until something crazy happens, which is usually around playoff time. All hell broke loose when the format impacts the outcome of a playoff game, as it did in January’s divisional matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
Earlier this month, it was announced that the NFL will consider two overtime rule changes. The biggest issue is whether it’s still tenable for a team to win on the first possession of overtime, as the Chiefs did while Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his offense stood on the sideline and watched without getting a chance to match.
The existing rule allows a team to win on the first possession if it scores a touchdown, but a field goal is scored or nothing at all, the other team will get a chance.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, there’s “a lot of momentum” for changing the league’s overtime rules.
“On a NFL competition committee call with chairman Rich McKay and others. McKay says there is a lot of momentum for changing overtime rules,” Rapoport tweeted. “It’s more, which of the two proposals? And can they get 24 votes on the first crack? Possible, but a challenge.”
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said: “If there was an appetite [for change], you want to be consistent. … You don’t want to have one set of rules for the regular season and another for the playoffs, but that’s just me.”
The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles have both proposed that NFL overtime rules should allow both teams an opportunity to possess the ball at least once. The Tennessee Titans have proposed requiring a 2-point conversion after a touchdown for a team to win on its first possession.