NFL, it’s time to change your overtime rules

–UPDATE: Jackson was prophetic. Hours after his story was published, the NFL owners approved new overtime rules.–

As the 2021 NFL season wrapped up with the Los Angeles Rams winning the Super Bowl, many fans look back on the season to remember the big moments of the season. One of these moments was arguably the best game of the season, the AFC divisional round game, which featured the Buffalo Bills versus the Kansas City Chiefs. This game saw 25 points scored within the last two minutes of the game, and the Chiefs tying the game as the clock expired.

The Game then went into overtime, where the Chiefs won the coin toss. They then marched down the field to score a touchdown, and by rule, ending the game and not giving the Bills a chance for redemption.

Many NFL fans were outraged by the fact that the rules make it so the team that wins the coin toss is at a clear advantage, since they can end the game with a touchdown and make it so the other team doesn’t get the ball. Fans want a change to the rules so both teams get a possession and a fair chance to win the game.

After the Bills and Chiefs game, many owners as well wanted the rules to change. Some owners have been pushing for the rules to change for years now. There’s no doubt about it that the rules absolutely need to change. It’s not fair for a team to not get a chance to redeem themselves.

Both the offense and defense are dead tired after playing for 60 minutes. Whatever team gets more rest before having to go out and play in the overtime period gains a huge advantage. Something needs to change. The question really is, how do the rules need to change? There are a few ways they could change the rules.

The first way is to give exactly what the fans want: Each team gets a possession. All the other rules would stay the same, except the team that wins the coin toss can’t win and end the game if they score a touchdown.

The team who gets the ball first will play out their possession, and whether they score or not, the other team gets the ball as well. The other team would then play out their own possession and try to score as well. If both teams are tied after each has a possession, the game would go into sudden death. The next team to score would win the overtime and the game.

If we use the Bills and Chiefs overtime game as an example, the Chiefs won the coin toss, got the ball, and scored a touchdown. With the new rules that fans want, the Bills would’ve gotten the ball with a chance to tie the game by scoring a touchdown.

If they didn’t score a touchdown, then the Chiefs would win, but if they did score the touchdown, the game would then go into sudden death. Whatever team, the Chiefs or Bills, scored the next field goal, safety, or touchdown, would win overtime and the game. 

Using this new type of overtime would be the easiest way to fix the overtime period. It would give fans and many teams what they want. Making it so both teams must have at least one possession each would be simple to implement, as the refs and players wouldn’t have to learn any new rules for the overtime period. This is the best option that the NFL must take and use.

Another interesting option the NFL could do is change the entire overtime to a field goal showdown. Now, I don’t see the NFL doing this in a million years; this is just a different option that would change up the overtime period. During this overtime, both team’s kickers would kick field goals from farther and farther distances.

They would both start from the same spot, taking turns kicking field goals until one kicker missed. It would be like a penalty shootout in soccer, but with field goals. This could be another option, but in my opinion, it’s not as good as other choices they have.

There are many other ways that the NFL could change its overtime, but making it so both teams have a possession each is the easiest and best way to change it. With each team having at least one possession each, it gives what all NFL fans want. It changes the overtime game for the better, and each team has a fair chance to win the game.

This would benefit both the NFL and its fans. The NFL would solve a long standing problem that the players, coaches, and owners want to be changed, and it would boost the viewership of the NFL. The fans would enjoy and love seeing both teams have their shot at winning the game.

Changing the overtime rules needs to happen. It should happen, it must happen, it will happen I’m sure. When this change happens, the NFL will be an even greater sports league than it is now.