The NFL overtime rules undergo massive change to allow both teams to possess the ball

The NFL overtime rules are being changed for the first time since 2010 with a massive new rule to allow both teams to have a possession.

NFL 2021

The NFL overtime rules are always a hotly debated topic amongst fans all over the world. The side people are normally on is based on how the outcome affected their own team, meaning sometimes there’s a massive uproar calling for change and sometimes no one blinks an eye at them.

The 2021 postseason was one of the times when people were NOT happy with the rules. The setting was Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City where Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs took on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. The two superstar quarterbacks put on an absolute banger that featured a combined 28 points in the 4th quarter alone.

Josh Allen was upset about the NFL overtime rules
Josh Allen leaving the field after losing in the divisional round

Ultimately, with how unstoppable the offenses were on the day, the game was decided by the coin toss in overtime as once the Chiefs won it, everyone watching knew they would drive down the field, score a touchdown and win. That is of course what happened and left Josh Allen and the Bills with a truly heartbreaking loss as they knew if they won the toss, they would’ve done the exact same thing.

We’ve had outcries for a change in the NFL overtime rules in the past as college football has a much more fair system with both teams getting an opportunity to possess the ball and match scores. It seems the NFL has finally listened to the fans, but not entirely.

Related: “You’ve got give both teams a fair shot,” Buffalo Bills’ Gabriel Davis gives massive judgement on NFL’s overtime rules

The NFL overtime rules will be changed but only for the Playoffs

Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow after the Bengals overcame the odds of the NFL Overtime rules
Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow after the Bengals overtime win

The NFL overtime rules will be different from here on out as from now on, both teams will be able to have a possession. The official rule change is “Both teams will have the opportunity to possess the ball in overtime in the postseason. If the score is tied after each team has possessed the ball, the next score wins. If the team kicking off to start the overtime period scores a safety on the receiving team’s initial possession, the team that kicked off is the winner.”

Now, at face value, this sounds like the problem has been solved. In reality, however, the problem has only really been slightly delayed. Hear me out. Let’s take the Chiefs-Bills game as an example and apply these new rules.

So we know the Chiefs won the toss and went down and scored a touchdown. With the new NFL overtime rules, the Bills would get the ball and very likely score as well and tie the game. After that, we are once again in the situation where the Chiefs were in the actual game except it’s actually more beneficial for them as they can now win with a field goal rather than a touchdown. Do you see where the problem lies? The game is still decided by who possesses the ball first.

Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes leaves the field after his AFC Championship loss

Now, it’s not all doom and gloom because there is a way for the rule change to work out. Now if a team scores a touchdown with the new NFL overtime rules, they’ll have to really weigh up the risk of going for a 2 point conversion. The reason being, if they don’t go for it, the other team could drive down the field and score a touchdown and 2 point conversion to win the game. Also, if they go for 2 and don’t get it, the other team needs a touchdown and just an extra point to win the game.

One other thing about these new NFL overtime rules, none of it would really matter if a team’s defense actually played defense and was able to stop the opposing offense. The Cincinnati Bengals did just that in the AFC Championship when they lost the coin toss, stopped Mahomes and scored a field goal to win the game.

So, there are a lot of people upset that the NFL opted to keep the sudden-death aspect of overtime rather than fully follow college football but it really does make things interesting. Yes, having the ball first is still an advantage but the 2 point conversion could seriously become a massive factor in overtime, of course, only in the playoffs for 2022 at least. The NFL overtime rules could really make a difference. Only time will tell.

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