OPINION: It’s time for the NFL to change their overtime rules


Before I begin I’m going to be very clear— I am a Carolina Panthers fan, and was rooting for the Packers to make it to the Super Bowl. I am not a huge Buffalo Bills fan.

With that being said, I believe the NFL should change their overtime rule. The current ruling, according to the NFL website, is decided between a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will gain possession of the ball. If the team possessing the ball scores a field goal, the opposing team will gain control of the ball, after a two minute intermission. However, if the team possessing the ball scores a touchdown, they automatically win and the opposing team does not receive the ball. This rule was established in 2010.

On Saturday, Jan. 22, this ruling left Bills fans heartbroken as Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, scored a touchdown during overtime.

Fans are questioning if this rule should be changed. According to sporting news, Josh Allen, quarterback of the Bills, completed 27 of 37 passes (81%) for 329 yards, no interceptions, scored four touchdowns and carried the ball 11 times for 68 yards. Mahomes played well too. He completed 33 of 44 passes (75%), no interceptions, three touchdowns and rushed 69 yards on seven carries. 

Overall, the game was incredible. It was one of the best post season games I have ever seen. I think it could possibly be better than any Super Bowl game I have seen. However, the game left fans wanting more. With an intense end to the fourth quarter, the teams tied at 36 points each.

After winning the coin toss, Mahomes threw a touchdown winning the game.

I believe this caused the Chiefs to win because of a coin toss rather than skill.  The teams were at an even playing field and the Bills were deprived of getting a chance to play. This was heartbreaking to every fan.

After playing a nearly perfect game from both sides, both teams should have received a chance to play in overtime. 

In my opinion, I think the overtime rule should be similar to the NCAA rules. The rule – made in 2021 – required each team to have the opportunity to score one touchdown. If both teams score a touchdown, they are required to kick a field goal. If both teams accomplish that, they are required to throw a two point conversion until one team fails.

This rule adds more intensity. When I watched Auburn and Alabama compete in the 2021 Iron Bowl, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Watching four overtimes was intense, but worth it in the end. Even though my Auburn orange and blue heart was crushed, I was left satisfied because the ruling was fair. I was not left wanting more.

I understand the NFL wants to shorten the length of overtime periods, but I think it is only fair for each team to possess the ball equally.