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NFL’s new postseason overtime rules great for the sport

League’s newest rule change has fans divided

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Anyone following the NFL the last few days will know that the league has modified their overtime rules for the playoffs. The new changes are as followed:

Whenever there’s a significant change to an important league rule, it’s obviously going to be meant with plenty of skepticism. So far, the new overtime proposal has polarized fans and personalities no matter their allegiances.

When watching the Bills-Chiefs Divisional Round fireworks extravaganza, I was among those in the crowd who wanted to see Josh Allen get a chance. It was a classic game that to me became marred by the current overtime rules.

Let me make this clear, I don’t appreciate the notion that this rule change is done to “prevent hurt feelings” or used as a “participation prize”. Turf Show Family, imagine the Rams lose the overtime coin toss and wind up losing on the first possession. Perhaps LA deserved to lose if they couldn’t stop them near the end of regulation and on the opening drive of the extra period. However, it’s never a great feeling coming away knowing your team doesn’t get another rightful shot at victory.

I may have contradicted myself near the end there, but why can’t both teams have a shot? The odds of a team winning a playoff game after losing the coin toss are not high, as this tweet acknowledges:

Under Sean McVay, the Rams have played in only two overtime games in five years, amassing a 1-1 record. The Los Angeles Rams were one of the two teams to win an overtime contest after their opponent won the coin toss. That game happened to be the 2018 NFC Championship against the New Orleans Saints. We all know about the no-call that led the game into overtime to begin with.

What these critics forget to consider is that anything can happen once the extra period begins. It’s completely fair to give both teams an equal chance to win, but it’s wrong to assume that each team will make the most of the chances they were gifted. Sure winning a coin toss may lead to greater chances of winning, but absolutely nothing is guaranteed for anyone once the ball is in their hands.

I’ve always been down for an thrilling matchup to continue and this new rule change allows for it to happen. As a fan of the sport, this will make playoff games more exciting. Personally, I felt the league should’ve experimented with such a major change in the regular season first, then expand it into the postseason if it works.

Just because a rule sounds great in hindsight, doesn’t mean it’ll resolve the issues (remember challenging pass interference?). Who knows, a few years down the line we’ll probably be clamoring for the overtime rules to change again.

That is life in the NFL after all.


What are your thoughts on the NFL’s new overtime rules?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    It’s the perfect solution to the current format
    (35 votes)
  • 27%
    Meh, it’s a start but doesn’t solve much
    (18 votes)
  • 18%
    Terrible, it only exists to prevent hurt feelings
    (12 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now