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Bills to Propose Changes to NFL Postseason OT Rules After Playoff Loss to Chiefs

Adam WellsMarch 2, 2022

Set Number: X163914 TK1

After their memorable playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in January, the Buffalo Bills are hoping to change the NFL overtime system. 

Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters the team will submit a proposal to the NFL competition committee that would essentially add an extra, short period to the game for overtime in the postseason. 

"Similar to in basketball, you play five minutes," Beane said. "Baseball, both teams get the top half and the bottom half (to hit). So a time limit, and I’m talking about postseason only, to have to play it out. And that way, both teams will definitely have a chance and maybe even more than one possession."

Buffalo's proposal comes at the same time the Indianapolis Colts sent their own proposal to the competition committee that would impact all games—regular season and playoffs. 

Per Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Indianapolis' proposal would guarantee both teams at least one possession in overtime. 

In Maske's report, Atlanta Falcons general manager Rich McKay, who is also chairman of the competition committee, said there's "no question" overtime rules would be discussed by the group. 

"I have no question that there will be a team or two that is going to suggest a rule change. … I don’t know which teams. I know a bunch that I heard called, called me and called others. So we’re going to see some proposals," McKay said. 

The Bills were bitten in the AFC Divisional Round by the NFL rule that allows for an overtime game to end if the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown. 

Kansas City, which tied the game on a 49-yard field goal as time expired at the end of regulation after gaining 44 yards on three plays in 13 seconds, won the coin toss to get possession at the start of the extra period.

Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Chiefs a 42-36 win. 

There have been teams in the past that have proposed changes to the overtime rules, but to no avail. 

After losing to the New England Patriots in overtime in the 2019 AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs proposed giving both teams at least one possession. Maske reported at the time there was no formal vote on it "due to a lack of support" from NFL team owners. 

The current overtime rule, which gives both teams at least one possession as long as the team that receives the ball to start the period doesn't score a touchdown, was originally a playoff-only rule adopted in 2010. 

The league expanded it to include regular-season games in 2012. 

In order for any proposed rule change to pass, it must receive at least 24 votes from the league's 32 team owners.     

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