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Report: NFL Competition Committee to 'Consider' OT Rule Change After Bills vs. Chiefs

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 27, 2022

William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After the Buffalo Bills never touched the ball in their 42-36 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round on Sunday, the NFL could examine changes to the format.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the competition committee will "consider making changes this offseason to the league’s overtime format."

Though the NFL will look at potential options, the regular-season rules are expected to remain the same. 

"I don’t see it changing for the regular season," one person with knowledge of the matter said. "I think you'll probably see consideration of it for the postseason."

The current system was enacted in 2010 for just the postseason before being applied to all regular-season games in 2012.

Whereas overtime used to simply end when one team scored points, the current rules allow the second team to get a chance on offense if the first side only gets a field goal. The only way the game can end on the first possession is with a touchdown.

That's exactly how the Chiefs secured their win in the divisional round of the playoffs. After winning the coin toss, Patrick Mahomes and company drove down the field on an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.

After a back-and-forth battle that featured 25 points scored in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, the Bills offense was left helpless in the extra session.

Unsurprisingly, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said Wednesday he wanted to see overtime rules changed.

Ironically, the Chiefs lost in similar fashion in the 2019 AFC Championship Game when the New England Patriots scored a touchdown on their first drive of overtime to win the game. Kansas City responded by proposing a rule change that guarantees each team get the ball in overtime, while the choice of possession is based on the pregame coin toss instead of a second one after regulation.

The proposal did not get enough support for a vote.

Last offseason, the Baltimore Ravens offered a more unique "spot and choose" proposal. The system would give one team the choice of where the ball will be placed on the field while the second team chooses whether start on offense or defense. This plan was also rejected by owners.

Any change to the current system would require support from 24 of the 32 owners.   

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