The NFL will employ new rules for overtime during the postseason, and the postseason only.
If an NFL playoff game does go to overtime next season, expect for things to look a tad different.
Overtime has long been one of the most unsolvable problems the shield has had to navigate for years. While the league is still cool with ties during the regular season, they are reportedly making an amendment to how overtime will be played in the playoffs. Though it will not be old college overtime rules (RIP), at least both teams will be able to posses the football in a win-or-go-home.
Without debate, the can of worms called NFL overtime has been sealed shut for the rest of time.
NFL overtime rules have been amended to allow both teams to possess the ball
It may not be known as this officially, but this is The Kansas City Chiefs rule. The team in question did not get to possess the ball in overtime in the 2018 AFC Championship game, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Kansas City benefited from the old rule by scoring on the Buffalo Bills on the first offensive possession of this past AFC Divisional round.
While there was another amendment up for debate, the Tennessee Titans’ proposal of the second team possessing the ball in overtime has to go for two if they hit pay dirt was shot down in flames. It was incredibly schtick-y, but certainly a more interesting proposal than the one that has supposedly just passed. This new rule may work for a while, but some losing team will complain.
Though this rule change takes away the almighty power of the coin flip, it is only going to extend games the NFLPA wants to end as soon as possible. Just imagine a star player getting hurt on the second possession for the team that goes on to win. Football is a game of injury, and everyone knows that. Unfortunately, this rule change is not going to be the panacea the NFL was hoping for.
While the old college overtime rules were exhilarating, it is shame they had to bite the dust. If the NFL wanted to do this right, the visiting team should get the ball to start out the overtime period. After all, that team had to overcome a lot of adversity throughout the game (crowd noise, travel, weather, etc.) just to force the extra fifth period. The visiting team has earned the right to go first.
Allowing both teams the right to possess the ball is technically fair, but guess what? Life is not fair.