On Tuesday, the NFL approved a new overtime rule proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. The proposal guarantees that both teams in a playoff game will get at least one offensive possession.
Under the previous rule, both teams got at least one possession in overtime, but only if the team who got the ball first didn’t score a touchdown. In that case, the scoring team would win, leaving the other time no opportunity for a comeback.
During the 2021 playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs won against the Buffalo Bills, advancing to the conference championship game. The Bills’ offense never got the ball, causing an uproar regarding the league’s rules.
In fact, since the overtime rules were last changed in 2010, teams getting the ball first are 10-2. In seven of those ten games, the team that lost the coin toss never got their offense on the field.
Here’s what the NFL’s new OT rule is trying to guard against: Over the past decade, teams that won the overtime coin flip in the postseason were 10-2, including seven of those 10 wins coming on the opening possession.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2022
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the vote was 29-3 in favor of the proposal; it only needed 24 to pass. It will only apply to postseason games. If both teams score a touchdown during their overtime possessions, the game will go into sudden death with the next scoring team winning.
Another proposal recommended by the Tennessee Titans suggested a playoff game ending once the team scored a touchdown if they then converted to a two-point conversion. This did not pass.