NFL Governors Reportedly Will Consider Reverting Overtime Back to Sudden Death

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 4, 2021

Detail view of NFL shield logo on the wall of the stadium during the third quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Buffalo won the game 27-24. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)
Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

When the NFL governors meet at the end of this month, they'll reportedly consider a change to the overtime format. 

According to Judy Battista of NFL Network, the league will consider bringing back sudden death overtime for the upcoming season (h/t Nick Shook of NFL.com). 

The league switched to the current format—which awards a win in the event of a first-possession touchdown, but a field goal allows the other team the ball—in 2010. 

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the initial switch from sudden death overtime stemmed from the New Orleans Saints' NFC Championship Game victory in 2010, when they won on a walk-off field goal. 

Playoff games have spurred overtime rule change discussions in the past. In 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs submitted a proposal to give both teams a chance to handle the ball in overtime, whether or not the first team scores a touchdown. The proposal came after the Chiefs fell to the New England Patriots in overtime in the AFC Championship Game. 

"I don’t really see the downside of having (both teams get the ball). Especially when you have a player like Pat Mahomes," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said on PFT Live at the time. "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."

Other rule changes on the table include video review for roughing the passer calls, an alternative to an onside kick and a new timeline for coaching interviews.