Commentary | NFL Overtime Rules Need to Be Reconsidered


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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third quarter of an AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ian Uccelli, Assistant Sports Editor

The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs playoff game on Jan. 23 once again makes fans annoyed by the current NFL overtime rules. An exciting game going back and forth between the two teams came to an end after a coin flip gifted the Chiefs the win. The game was the best all season, featuring some insane plays and players, such as Gabriel Davis with four touchdowns and a dirty route leaving his defender on the floor.

I was so excited to see the Bills go up, but then the Chiefs managed to score a field goal to send the game to overtime. Overtime would have been fine if it wasn’t for the unfair rules. In the NFL, if you win the coin toss and receive the ball, all you have to do is score one touchdown to win the game. This makes it very one-sided because a team can get the ball and score without the other team even getting a chance. This rule was changed in 2010 and has continued to face criticism by fans.

I personally think that they should resemble college football overtime rules. In the first overtime each team gets a chance to either tie or win. Then in the second overtime, teams run a two point conversion giving each team one chance to score and then continue on like this until the game is decided. These runs are much more fair because it gives both teams a chance to try and tie the game up after the other scores. It also makes it more exciting because it involves both offense and defense and not just one. 

College football overtime rules are just more balanced for either team, and don’t lead to one team scoring one time and winning the game. I believe that these rules or similar rules should be implemented into the NFL because it would make the games more fair. This is also not a new problem. In most overtime games, if the team that wins the toss scores first, fans are upset and disagree with the rules. 

This also is not a huge change to the NFL and shouldn’t be hard to implement. It would also make the game more suspenseful and exciting because if the first team scores, the second has to as well. It will make the game more entertaining to watch, as it will come down to fewer plays.