NFL's new playoff overtime rules 'a step in the right direction,' says Bills GM


If the championship-deprived Buffalo Bills are forced to enter overtime during the AFC playoffs next season, they won't need to worry about whether or not their elite quarterback will receive an opportunity to possess the ball. Back in late March, NFL owners approved new playoff overtime rules that'll guarantee both teams one possession in games that enter the extra period. The desired change won't apply to any 2022 regular season games, however.

The outcry for overtime rule changes began immediately after the Bills fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round. Despite orchestrating two dramatic game-winning drives late in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen's botched coin toss in overtime ultimately squashed Buffalo's title hopes. For the Chiefs' high-octane offense only needed five minutes to score a touchdown, and the remarkably poor luck forced Allen to experience heartbreak on the sideline.

"I think [the new rules are] a good step in the right direction. I don't know if it's the final step. But, just hearing fans of any team, you wanted to see both of those quarterbacks get the chance," Bills general manager Brandon Beane told to The Zach Gelb Show on Thursday. "At least in the playoffs. I don't think it's as big a deal in the regular season, since you're already playing 17 games.

"But when your season's on the line and you've worked so hard. If you look at how much work goes into it, you don't really want it to come down to a coin flip. Now, I think it's a step in the right direction that both quarterbacks will get a chance to lead their offenses out there... You're always considering injuries, and how many plays they're playing after a 17-game season. But that's where I think they got this right, where it's a postseason rule, for now."

After the game, Allen didn't complain about the NFL's overtime rules, and how he didn't get a chance with the ball. He told reporters that Buffalo didn't make enough plays, and "we'd be celebrating" if the critical coin toss worked out in their favor. Rich McKay, who's the NFL competition committee chairman, said back in March that, in a dozen overtime playoff games since the 2010 season, the coin-toss winner went 10-2.

Buffalo, which has won back-to-back AFC East crowns for the first time since 1990-91, is still in a prime position to represent the conference in Super Bowl 57 next February. With firepower and leadership from Allen, the Bills' offense ranked third in the NFL in average points (28.4), fifth in average yards (381.9), and fourth in average touchdowns (3.35). They currently have the best odds to win their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

The entire Bills conversation between Beane and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.