Is it time for the National Football League to revisit its overtime rules?
Many would make that argument, particularly after January’s playoff slugfest between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, an instant classic that ended without Josh Allen ever seeing the field in overtime.
Bills fans were, predictably, heartbroken to have their season end on a coinflip, resigned to the same fate the Chiefs endured years earlier when the New England Patriots conquered them in similarly devastating fashion. The lasting image of Patrick Mahomes, waiting for a rebuttal that would never come as Kansas City succumbed to Tom Brady, will forever haunt Chiefs fans, gutted by the memory of Rex Burkhead’s walk-off touchdown plunge to swing the 2018 AFC Championship.
The NFL has frequently tweaked its overtime rules, adopting a “modified sudden death” format in 2010 (allowing teams to possess the ball by limiting their opponent to a field goal), while reducing the length of overtime from 15 to 10 minutes (only during the regular season) in 2017.
Still, problems persist with countless games determined by little more than chance, leaving Buffalo and others at the mercy of heads or tails.
The Indianapolis Colts, however, are seeking to change that, submitting a proposal that would allow each team at least one possession in overtime both in the regular season and the postseason.
Judy Battista of NFL.com notes it would take a two-thirds majority — 24 of 32 owner votes — for the measure to pass, though some support does exist within league circles.
The Colts played two overtime games last season, losing both. Indianapolis never had possession in its Monday night loss to Baltimore in Week 5, allowing the Ravens to march downfield for a game-winning touchdown.
The Colts’ suggestion, among other proposed rule changes, will be heard by the NFL Competition Committee later this week.