NFL changes overtime rules

30 March 2022

Written by: Thomas Dev

The overtime rule now ensure that both teams gets possession of the ball

The NFL has modified the overtime rule to ensure that in postseason games, both teams have a chance to take possession of the ball.

Each team will now be given at least one possession during the overtime period, if scores are still tied, the next score will win the game.

Previously, when playoff games have gone into overtime and the team who receives the ball first scores a touchdown, they would win the game despite the other team not even touching the ball.

After the NFL owners voted, it was 29-3 in favour of changing the rule, which comes into place in the 2023 postseason.

The rule change comes after there was an outcry from fans when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills in an overtime playoff game earlier this year.

The old rule prevented Buffalo’s star quarterback, Josh Allen, from getting the chance to play offence in the extra period as the Chiefs scored a touchdown on their first drive. However, the new rule aims to make the game fairer as the Bills would be given the chance to tie the game.

Over the last 12 years, the team who won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball had a winning record of 10-2, resulting in the game being decided by a coin.

With statistics showing that the team who took possession first in overtime would win 83.3 percent of the time, NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell understood that the rule had to be addressed.

“I think it 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,” he said.

Photo: NFL Wall by Adrian Curiel available HERE and used under a Creative Commons licence. The photo has not been modified.