The NFL always finds ways to improve the game, be it through player safety, in-game innovations, or enhanced rules to give teams a fighting chance to win.
That said, the league revamped its overtime rules for the 2022 season during their annual meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.
The NFL’s Competition Committee and all 32 teams agreed that both teams will have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime during the postseason.
Likewise, the next score wins if there’s still a deadlock after each team had an opportunity to possess the ball.
Finally, the kicking team will be the winner if they scored a safety on the receiving team’s initial possession in overtime.
Revising the overtime rules became a pressing need after the outcome of the AFC Divisional Weekend game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both quarterbacks played their hearts out, especially Bills quarterback Josh Allen who gave his team the lead twice in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, the Chiefs scored on their first overtime possession to win.
However, many argued that the Bills should have a chance to get the ball given the way they were playing.
But on a macro level, ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter shared the encompassing reason behind the rule change.
Here’s what the NFL’s new OT rule is trying to guard against: Over the past decade, teams that won the overtime coin flip in the postseason were 10-2, including seven of those 10 wins coming on the opening possession.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2022
Schefter is right on the money that teams who usually get the ball first in overtime end up winning.
Defense Should Step Up If They Want To Win
Even with the revised rules, some football experts and analysts say that the previous overtime rules are fine.
If the team without the ball wants to win, then their defense must step up and force a stop.
Instead, the new rules bail them out if they failed to prevent their opponents from marching into the end zone.
After all, the Cincinnati Bengals were able to stop the Chiefs from scoring in overtime during the AFC Championship Game.
As the old adage goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way.