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Monday open thread: Does the NFL need to change its overtime rules?

We saw another conference championship decided by the first possession in overtime. Does a change need to happen?

NFL: AFC Championship Game-New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It happened again.

What was an amazing back-and-forth game between two teams absolutely worthy of Super Bowl contention ended up being decided by one of the league’s most controversial rules.

As the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs headed into overtime, after both teams scored in the final two minutes of regulation, it all came down to a coin flip. The Patriots won the toss, and then proceeded to drive all the way down to win the game. Patrick Mahomes sat helplessly on the sideline, as the Chiefs were unable to use the strength of their team in the extra quarter, while the Patriots flaunted theirs all the way to the Super Bowl.

Of course, had the Chiefs finished the Patriots off in regulation, it would have never come to that.

It seems just about every year, we have the overtime debate, and seeing as it happened on one of the biggest stages of the year, it’s time to talk about it again. Today’s Question of the Day is:

Do the NFL overtime rules need to be changed? If so, how would you change it?

My answer: Yes, it needs to be changed, and there’s a very simple way of doing it. A few years ago, the league took a step in the right direction, making it so that each team gets at least one possession before going to straight sudden death. That is, unless the first team scores a touchdown.

My solution is to simply get rid of the caveat. Allow both teams to get a possession no matter what happens on the first drive of overtime. It is completely unacceptable that one team gets a possession in overtime and another one doesn’t, simply because of a coin toss.

Consider how good offenses are these days. Consider the drastic rise in scoring right now. Offenses are taking over the league and it’s becoming easier and easier to score touchdowns. Because of that, the importance of winning the overtime coin toss is getting larger and larger, and that simply isn’t fair.

If the concern is that giving both teams a possession will draw out games longer than desired, then only have this rule change affect the postseason.

Regardless, something really needs to be done. I’m sick of watching opposing quarterbacks hopelessly watch their team lose without a chance at redemption.

Your turn.


Does the NFL need to change its overtime rules?

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