NFL rewrites its Overtime Rules for Playoffs

NFL rewrites its Overtime Rules for Playoffs
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

NFL owners on Tuesday approved a significant change to the league’s overtime format for the postseason.

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles recently submitted a joint proposal to the NFL that called for each team to be guaranteed a possession in overtime. A defensive touchdown would still end the game. Under the previous format, the first team to possess the ball could end the game with a touchdown. The new rule will be implemented for the playoffs only, according to multiple reports.

There was another proposal for changing the overtime format that came from the Tennessee Titans. That one called for a tweak in the current rule where each team would be guaranteed a possession unless the team that got the ball first scored a touchdown and converted a 2-point attempt. NFL owners opted for the Colts/Eagles proposal instead.

The last change to overtime rules came in 2010, when the current format was implemented for playoff games. Previously, any score in overtime — including a field goal — ended the game. The regular season eventually adopted the new rules in 2012. It’s possible the same could happen with the latest rule change.

There was increased pressure for the NFL to change its playoff format again after the way the AFC Divisional Round game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills ended. The Bills lost the game largely because of the overtime coin toss, and most fans were dissatisfied. Fans will be pleased with the new rules, even if two longtime head coaches aren’t.