NFL OT

Overtime rules have always been a staple of arguments in the NFL. Recently, the win that sparked new controversy was in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 42-36 in overtime.

NFL overtime rules have been changed many times in its history. In 2010, the sudden death overtime rule was changed to so field goal could no longer win the game in the first possession. Then in 2017, the NFL changed the overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes to help with player safety.

Overtime rules now state if the first team who gets possession of the ball and scores a touchdown wins. If they only get a field goal or do not score, then the other team gets a chance to tie or win the game. The game can also end with a defensive touchdown or safety.

One of the main problems with the rule is that the teams who win the coin toss most of the time win the game. In the playoffs alone, the team who wins the overtime coin toss is 10-2, with the only losses coming from the Saints in 2018 and the Chiefs against the Bengals in 2022. Teams who win the opening coin toss of the overtime period have an 83 percent chance to win the game, pretty much saying the coin toss decides the game.

In the NCAA they have also changed their overtime rules. In the NCAA they have infinite overtimes and no ties. Some games have gone to over 7 overtime games, mostly notably the LSU and Texas A&M game that ended after 7 OTs with a final score of 74-72. The NCAA decided they did not want games to last that long or have that high of scoring so now after the first possession of OT, teams go back and forth on two point conversions to determine a winner.

I think that the overtime rules need to change again. I fully believe that the two teams playing should play one full 10-minute extra period, and the team with the most points wins at the end of the 10 minutes. It still offers the player safety change from 2017, and it gives the team who loses the coin toss a chance to tie or win the game as well.

I would love to see this implemented so playoff games are no longer decided by a flip of the coin. Both teams should possess the ball no matter what.