Among the NFL’s options to change overtime rules was the Tennessee Titans’ interesting proposal.
The initial change in the rules came from the controversial overtime ending to the AFC Divisional round between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.
At the time, the NFL’s overtime rules stated that the first team to score a touchdown wins the game, or, if a field goal is made, the other team has a chance to score. If the game is tied by the end of overtime, that will remain the final score.
After the Chiefs won the coin toss, the game was over when they went down the field and scored a touchdown. The Bills never got a chance to get on the field and tie the game back up. Things should not end like that in a playoff game where stakes are high.
Since that playoff game, the NFL has been pressured to change the overtime rules. In response, multiple teams presented the NFL with new proposals.
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts proposed a rule that would allow both teams to possess the ball in overtime. The NFL clearly liked this idea, and they ended up changing the NFL overtime rules so that each team gets the ball, regardless of what happens. If both teams score, the game is moved to sudden death. These new rules only apply in postseason games.
However, I believe there is a better and more exciting option.
The Tennessee Titans proposed that each team should be given an opportunity to possess the ball, unless the first team to score also converts a two-point play. In that case, the game will be over.
This idea is the perfect solution to fix the NFL’s overtime rules. Gving each team a chance to possess the ball fixes the issue of both sides not getting equal opportunities. The Titans’ proposed rule still did not take away from defense.
Lately, the NFL has been changing to high-powered offense and less defense. NFL rules are more beneficial to the offensive side of the ball to protect quarterbacks and wide receivers. So, the defense is already at a disadvantage with that. But the defense still must matter in the game of football. The defense has always been known as an important factor to win a championship. If the NFL changes overtime rules where all the pressure is put on the offense, why would teams build good defenses?
The Titans’ proposal is the perfect way to still put pressure on the defense. If a team elects to go for two after their initial touchdown to end the game, the defense must step up and get a stop to keep the game going.
With the Titans proposal, coaches will also be under more pressure when they can either make the decision to go for two and win the game, or kick the extra point and give the other team a chance to win.
This proposal brings more excitement to the game of football. It should be implemented for the whole season, not just the postseason.
But what fixes the issue of a tie if both, or neither, team scores during overtime? In any overtime rules, what changes the issue of a tie in the NFL?
My proposal is a field goal shootout. Each team must kick a 55-yard field goal. If both teams make the field goal, they must kick again. The next field goal miss will result in a loss.
That’s an interesting way to create excitement in the game of football in the NFL.
Only time will tell if the new overtime rules work out or if the NFL will have to make more changes. But we can at least be happy they have changed the rules from what they were before the iconic Bills and Chiefs game.