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NFL changes playoff overtime rule to allow possessions for both teams


Sean McVay, head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, celebrates Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on February 13, 2022.

Kevin C. Cox. Getty Images| Getty Images

PALM BEACH, Fla. – NFL owners voted Tuesday to amend the playoff overtime rule in order to allow both teams to possess the ball regardless of whether a touchdown is scored on the first possession of the extra period.

Two months ago, the NFL playoffs in 2021 saw six games decide by less than three points. This rule has been criticized again after the Kansas City Chiefs won the classic playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

The previous playoff overtime rule allowed each team to have the ball for extra play, unless the kickoff scorer scores a touchdown. The opposing team could match or even win the score if the first drive ended in a field goal. The first team to score would be the winner if there were any turnovers. For the regular season, this rule remains in force.

In March 2012, the NFL changed Rule 16 to make the regulations more flexible. This was when it expanded its format from the playoffs into the regular season.

Since 2010, Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay – chairman of the NFL’s Competition Committee – noted there have been 12 postseason overtimes and the team winning coin toss has won 10 times. Seventeen of these wins came on the very first drive. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Bills in January.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts proposed that both teams possess the ball in overtime regardless of whether there is a touchdown on the first possession.

Coaches’ thoughts

While more than a mere majority of league owners agreed with a change – 24 of 32 owners needed to OK it – NFL head coaches were divided on changing overtime.

Sean McVay, Super Bowl winner Los Angeles Rams’ head coach said that he didn’t believe anyone would oppose Josh Allen being the Bills quarterback when questioned about rule changes. [another]In the playoffs, possession. You know what I mean. [Chiefs coach Andy Reid]It’s the same feeling.”

John Harbaugh was not happy with the modifications. They are not my preference. He said that he doesn’t believe adding play at the end is the solution. I don’t believe that extending games is the solution.”

Ron Rivera was the Washington Commanders coach. However, he said that while he considered himself to be a traditionalist, a Tuesday statement by Rivera stated that a person who is open-minded in entering these conversations. Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco 49ers did not have strong opinions on the subject.

Shanahan explained that “I have never had to much of an issue with it.” I’ve been in losing games when we didn’t get the ball. But we’ve been able hold them to a field goal, and then come back to win with a touchdown. “I don’t really have an opinion about which direction it should go.