NFL Overtime Rules


Patrick McLaughlin, Staff Writer

One of the hottest topics in the NFL community lately has been the current overtime rules. In just the last two weeks of the AFC playoffs, we had two overtime games, creating a discussion about whether the current rules are correct. Specifically, the Bills vs Chiefs game created many doubts with the current rules. This game was possibly one of the best playoff games ever, with 25 points scored in the last 2 minutes, including Mahomes getting the Chiefs into field goal range in just 13 seconds to force overtime. Some people say the game was “ruined” due to the overtime rules. While I do agree that the overtime rules should be changed, some people blow it way out of proportion. Many people were calling the Chiefs win “luck”, and said that it came down to a 50/50 coin flip, but this simply isn’t true. The Bills’ defense could have gotten a stop, there was nothing holding them back from doing that. As seen in the AFC Championship game, the Bengals got a stop against the Chiefs and all they needed was a field goal to win. If your defense is able to do their job it puts your offense in a great place to win the game; there is no luck involved in winning an NFL overtime game, just the team more deserving to win getting the win. The winner of the coin toss in all time overtime games has won the game 52.8% of the time, which is about as close to even as you can get. While in the playoffs, the coin toss winner is 10-2, which may be a little lopsided, but still, the teams that won executed better plays than the other team, which is all that matters.

Now what should the NFL do to make the overtime rules better? I see two good options to change things up. One, just adopting the current college football rules: both teams get the ball at the 25-yard line and get their chance to score. Some people believe that this would take too long in the NFL, which is certainly possible, so the best solution to me would be to just play another 10-minute period to decide the winner. Does the NFL need to change the rule? Yeah, probably. But it isn’t as big of a problem as many people make it out to be.