The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills on the first possession of overtime in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. That brought up the age-old debate: does the NFL need to change their overtime rule?
That is an easy question to answer because it is no. The objection of overtime is to get a winner, not be fair to everyone. Each team had 60 minutes of fair back and forth play. Before I go any further, please see my tweet from 2018 when the Chiefs lost in the same way, and my opinion was the same. I was for the overtime remaining the same then, and I still feel that way today.
The reason for my opinion on the rule is because the rule is perfect as it is. Football is a game of 11 offensive players against 11 defensive players. The idea that a team should get a chance just because their defense couldn’t hold up for one drive is cowardly.
Football is the ultimate team game. There are three phases in the sport that can all win or lose a game. The league is full of teams who win or lose games each week based on all three phases working together or falling apart. Feel free to ask the Green Bay Packers how games work when one phase is horrible. But for some reason, people want to forget these other phases exist in overtime.
The rule wasn’t perfect until ten years ago when they tweaked the rule so a field goal could not win it on the first drive. Thirty years ago, most NFL teams kicked less than 10 50+ yard field goals all season. Few kickers had the leg to make of kicks regularly. But kickers evolved to the point we are at today where we are seeing multiple 60-yard kicks attempted each season. This improvement in the kicking game made it too easy for an offense to get into field goal range.
The newly updated overtime is perfect, but people still want to whine and cry that it’s not fair. They cry that a coin toss shouldn’t decide the outcome of a game. Like Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, those people want it to be fair and give everyone a chance to play. I’m sure they would be happy to hand out participation awards and juice boxes after each game too.
Here is the reality of the situation, the rule is fair and rewards the best team. If your defense is not good enough to hold a team out of the endzone for one drive, then you deserve to lose. Especially in the playoffs, the team should be rewarded more than being fair to the other quarterback. This Bills team was a perfect example of that.
Your coach made the bone head decision to kick through the endzone with 13 seconds left in the game. A pooch kick to the 10-yard line (which every NFL has done many times all season) was the right call. But he didn’t trust his special teams to make the playwork. Instead, he trusts his number one ranked defense to hold Mahomes out of field goal range. Instead, they allowed Mahomes to go 45 yards in just 10 seconds. Butker made the kick, and to overtime, we went.
In overtime, their defense had one job to do. Keep the Chiefs out of the endzone. They had already done that on six of the Chiefs’ ten drives in the game. If you go back to the week five matchup, they’d held Chiefs out of the endzone on 15 of 21 drives this season. Instead, they let the Chiefs march 75 yards with nearly zero resistance.
The Chiefs had been the better team all game. We are not even talking about overtime if Harrison Butker makes the end of half field goal or extra point. So spare me this overtime isn’t fair stuff. The Bills had the same chance to win the game as the Chiefs. The Chiefs had the same opportunity to win the game as the Patriots did in 2018.
Haven’t we all been raised that “defense wins championships”? So defense is so essential it wins championships, but so meaningless we can ignore their garbage play. I don’t think so. Overtime is fair and perfect just the way it is!
Does the NFL need to change their overtime rule? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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