The NFL needs to change its OT rules

Patriots #34 Rex Burkhead dives over the goal-line for a late game touchdown.

Patrick Smith, Getty Images, Creative Commons

Patriots #34 Rex Burkhead dives over the goal-line for a late game touchdown.

Henry Witterschein, Online Editor-in-Chief

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Sunday’s conference championship games were some of the most controversial in recent history. The conference game taught us two things: Vikings fans will always embrace a Saint’s heartbreaking loss, and more importantly, the NFL needs to change their overtime rules, and they need to do it now.

After sitting through what could have been one of the best games in NFL history — the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots and watching the future star Patrick Mahomes battle back in forth with one of the best of all time – Tom Brady – forcing the game into overtime then having the Patriots win the coin toss, march down the field over the Chiefs’ atrocious defense, score, win the game, and not give Mahomes the ball – is the most frustrating thing I have ever encountered. Currently, in the NFL, the rules in overtime comes down to is a coin toss, since each team isn’t guaranteed a possession, which is preposterous.

So I propose that the NFL changes to the same overtime rules as college football. These changes would bring two extremely important differences: each team is guaranteed a possession, and the ball starts on the opposing teams 35-yard line. Giving both teams a chance to score just makes more sense, and would just give the fans a more fair and balanced show. Then when it comes to starting the ball on the opposing teams 35-yard line, it doesn’t need to happen but it would nice if it did. The only problem with it would be that it rewards the more offensive teams than defense since there’s less ground to cover, but then again if your defense is that good you should be able to get a stop or at least force, a field goal.

In addition, if both teams are tied after two overtimes (each overtime counts as both teams having a possession) then you are forced to go for a two-point conversion instead of a PAT. Recall the Texas A&M vs LSU game last November, when it went to seven OTs and ended in a dramatic 74-72 Aggies win, now imagine if anything close to that happened in the AFC Championship game, it would’ve gone down in history. The NFL stripped the fans and the teams of that chance because of the current ludicrous rules.

Also, if the rules were changed not only in the postseason but also the regular season, then we wouldn’t be stuck with the dumbest thing in all sports — a tie. The NFL had two tied games this season; the Browns vs Steelers, and the Vikings vs Packers, and it’s just stupid and no fan wants to see it. Taking out the 15-minute time limit and applying the rest of the NCAA overtime rules would make the football season that much better.

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