those of the nfl current overtime rules They have had a rough patch in recent years. Yet despite the inevitable criticism of the format in professional football whenever a team loses in part because it didn’t get a chance to possess the ball in extra time, the rules put in place a decade ago will still apply in 2022.
NFL overtime rules do not allow a sudden death situation until both teams have possessed the ball and the game remains tied. However, if the team that receives the ball first scores a touchdown, the game ends. Many argue that the existence of such a rule places too much value on something as random as a coin toss.
Last year’s Saints became victims of the NFL’s overtime rules when Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense helplessly watched the Vikings march down the field to score a touchdown in overtime of a playoff game have a chance to match. The same thing happened to the Chiefs against the Patriots in the 2019 AFC championship game. Super Bowl 51 ended when the Patriots scored on their first overtime possession against the Falcons.
These recent high-profile examples are the main reasons several teams have proposed changes to the NFL’s overtime rules in recent years. Following the aforementioned heartbreak in the AFC title game, Kansas City proposed a rule change that would allow both teams the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in overtime, even if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown.
That proposal was brought up by the NFL competition committee and was ultimately dropped. More recently, the Eagles put forward a proposal that would have changed the time into an overtime period (it’s currently 10 minutes), but that idea suffered the same fate.
So for now, the NFL’s overtime rules are the same as they have been for the last four years. Below is the NFL’s overtime format, plus a more detailed explanation of recent overtime rule change proposals.
2022 NFL Overtime Rules
The NFL’s overtime rules were recently changed in 2017, when the overtime period was shortened from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in the name of player safety.
The NFL sudden-death overtime format we know today was established in 2010. It gives both teams a chance to possess the ball at least once in overtime unless, and this is key, the receiving team kickoff of overtime scores a touchdown in his first overtime. possession.
The complete section of the NFL rulebook on overtime, which explains all procedures in full, It can be found here.
NFL overtime rules for the preseason and regular season
- At the end of regulation time, the referee will toss a coin to determine which team will possess the ball first in overtime. The captain of the visiting team will announce the draw.
- No more than a 10-minute period will follow a three-minute intermission. Each team must possess, or have the opportunity to possess, the ball. The exception: If the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown on the opening possession.
- Sudden death play, where the game ends with any score (safety, field goal, or touchdown), continues until a winner is determined.
- Each team has two timeouts.
- The point after the attempt is not attempted if the game ends with a touchdown.
- If the score is still tied at the end of overtime, the result of the game will be recorded as a tie.
- There are no instant replay trainer challenges; all reviews will be initiated by the replay officer.
NFL overtime rules for playoff games
- If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period, or if the second team’s initial possession has not ended, the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods it takes to determine a winner.
- There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime. There will be no halftime intermission after second period.
- The captain who lost the first coin toss in overtime shall choose to possess the ball or select the goal his team will defend, unless the team that won the toss defers that choice.
- Each team gets three timeouts during a half.
- The same time rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of the second or fourth overtime periods.
- If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, another coin will be flipped and play will continue until a winner is declared.
NFL overtime rule change proposals
Shortly after the Patriots beat the Chiefs in the 2019 AFC Championship Game by driving down the field and scoring a touchdown on his first overtime possession, Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy provided the perfect analogy to explain what that it was wrong in the rules that I did not give Patrick Mahomes and Co. an opportunity to respond.
“Imagine if baseball were to decide a League Championship Series game that progressed to extra innings awarding a World Series berth to a team that scored a run in the top half of the 10th, not allowing the team in the field a turn at bat,” DeCourcy wrote. “That’s what the NFL just did.”
The Chiefs were understandably frustrated by what had happened, so the following spring, they submitted to the NFL competition committee a proposed rule change that would address the problem.
Here’s what the Chiefs proposal included:
- Allow both teams a chance to possess the ball at least once in overtime, even if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown.
- Eliminate overtime for preseason.
- Eliminate the overtime coin toss so the winner of the opening coin toss to start the game can choose to kick or receive, or which goal to defend.
The Chiefs’ proposal was brought up twice in 2019 and was ultimately dropped, but similar modifications to the NFL rulebook may be suggested and will likely be suggested for years to come.
In 2020, the Eagles filed a rule change proposal that would have restored preseason and regular season overtime periods to 15 minutes (instead of 10) as they were prior to 2017. Philadelphia’s proposal also sought to minimize the impact of the overtime coin toss.
That proposal never made it to the voting process as a potential NFL rule change.
History of NFL overtime rules
The first NFL game to use overtime as a way to decide a game that had ended regulation time in a tie occurred on August 28, 1955. The Rams beat the Giants thanks to an overtime format of sudden death that was Harry’s idea. Glickman, the promoter of the game in Portland. That game, not the 1958 NFL championship game between the Colts and Giants, was the NFL’s first overtime game.
However, it wasn’t until 1974 that the NFL officially added a sudden-death overtime period to play in the event a game ended in regulation with a tie. It was simple: the first team to score wins; field goal included.
After 35 years of games in that overtime format, in 2010 the rules for playoff games were changed.
A field goal on the first overtime drive was no longer enough for a team to win in sudden death; instead, a touchdown was required. That format, “both teams have an opportunity to possess the ball at least once in overtime, unless the team receiving the kickoff of overtime scores a touchdown on their first possession,” was expanded in 2012 to use in preseason games and regular season games. too.
In 2017, the length of overtime in preseason and regular season games was reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in the name of player safety.