The NFL had itself a near-perfect weekend, but one glaring issue fans and some of the league’s players are complaining about, and it’s the dreaded overtime rule.
Following the superb AFC Divisional Playoff matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, which saw the Bills lose to the Chiefs in overtime, there have been calls for the rules to be changed. Right now, rules state that overtime is treated as a brand new game. The first team to score a touchdown wins the game. A field goal doesn’t end the game.
The complaints about the rule quickly came after the Chiefs quickly went down the field and scored a touchdown after winning possession following the coin toss. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who was having himself a game, didn’t even get to touch the field in overtime, and it left a sour taste in not only Bills fans’ mouths but also other NFL fans. Fans and players like Giants running back Saquon Barkley quickly pointed out that a coin toss is basically determining who is the winner of the game and not the actual players on the field.
Of course, there are always purists who refuse to let change happen. ESPN Monday Night Football’s Louis Riddick argued that the Bills should have just played defense and not “cry” about the rules.
Riddick went even further, arguing that “Of the 163 OT games (regular season + playoffs) under the current OT rules, ONLY 35 of the 163 were decided by TDs on the first possession of overtime. 21.5% !!!!”
Valid points, but both arguments can be true in the same sense. Should a coin toss be the determining factor of huge playoff games with serious implications? Honestly, no. Both teams deserve to have their offenses touch the field in overtime. The Kansas City Chiefs, who were celebrating this past Sunday, we’re also on the receiving end of a trash overtime outcome and took their grievances about the OT rule last year.
We think it’s time the NFL took a hard look at the overtime rules. You can peep more reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Michael Zagaris / Getty