Onside Kick, Overtime Changes Among Rule Proposals Submitted by NFL Teams

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 20:  Rex Burkhead #34 of the New England Patriots celebrates with James Develin #46 after scoring the game-winning touchdown to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Changes to the current overtime format and onside kicks are among the proposals currently on the table for the NFL's consideration.

The league announced Friday the Kansas City Chiefs have submitted a proposal that would result in both teams being guaranteed at least one possession in overtime. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos have taken a page out of the Alliance of American Football by proposing teams trailing in the fourth quarter be permitted to keep possession following a score if they can convert a 4th-and-15 attempt rather than try an onside kick.

Kansas City general manager Brett Veach revealed on PFT Live last week that Chiefs coach Andy Reid was putting together a college football-style proposal.

"I think everybody wants a chance for guys to do what they do," Veach said, h/t Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. "I don't really see the downside of having that. Especially when you have a player like Pat Mahomes. It would have been a lot of fun. I think people, if they weren't already tuned in for a great game, would have turned on that overtime."

The NFL's current rules do not guarantee both teams a possession in the extra session. The team that receives the ball first has the opportunity to end the game with a touchdown on its first drive. The game does, however, continue if the first possession results in a field goal or no points.

Kansas City fell victim to the system this past season on one of the league's biggest stages—the AFC Championship Game. The visiting New England Patriots won the overtime coin toss at Arrowhead Stadium in January, and Tom Brady proceeded to lead his team 75 yards down the field for the game-ending touchdown to secure a spot in Super Bowl LIII.

Meanwhile, NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes never had the opportunity to see the field in overtime.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted the Chiefs' proposal would also impact the overtime coin flip:

Changing the overtime format would be a significant change, but it would not be as drastic as the Broncos' idea to overhaul the onside kick. Per Seifert:

Last year, the NFL implemented new kickoff rules in efforts to promote player safety:

This latest proposal comes after the Associated Press reported in November 2018 about the declining success rate of the onside kick. Per the AP, NFL teams recovered just eight percent (three of 34) of onside kick attempts through the first 11 weeks of the 2018 season. That was down from the 23 percent (13 of 55) in 2017 and 15 percent from the previous 10 years.

Denver's proposal is similar to that of the AAF's rule in which a trailing team can attempt a 4th-and-12 play rather than an onside kick. Below is a look at the rule in action:

A proposal must receive at least 24 of the 32 votes in order to go into effect.

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