The NFL’s overtime procedures are in the headlines again. With the competition committee meeting in Indianapolis this week to discuss potential rule changes, the Indianapolis Colts made a proposal to modify them once again.
According to NFL Network’s Judy Battista, both teams would receive one possession in extra time under the Colts’ proposal. The rule changes would apply to both regular season and overtime play, but it remains to be seen how much support it will have.
For rules to be changed, 24 of 32 teams need to vote in favor of a proposal.
Current rules, which were adopted in 2011, require a touchdown on the first possession of overtime to end the game. If no TD is scored either way, a field goal would be enough to win the contest from the second possession on.
The new rules have leveled the playing field a bit — previously a field goal was all that was needed to win — and the winner of the coin toss now comes away victorious on just 52.8 percent of overtime games. However, that number drops to 9.9 percent in the playoffs.
Just this year, one game was decided that way: the Kansas City Chiefs’ shootout versus the Buffalo Bills ended after one overtime possession; the Chiefs marched down the field to score a game-ending touchdown. Buffalo’s high-powered offense never got to touch the football, leading to discussions about the fairness of the current overtime format.