On the heels of the Buffalo Bills being eliminated in the playoffs without a possession in overtime, the NFL has approved a change to their postseason overtime system. By a vote of 29-3, both teams will now be guaranteed a possession in overtime during an NFL postseason game.

There was a time when all NFL games just simply ended in a tie. Around World War II, championship games had a sudden death overtime period and that eventually expanded to the regular season just after the AFL-NFL merger. In 2010, in order to eliminate the ability for the team winning the coin toss to be ultra-conservative and win on a field goal, the OT rules were changed in the playoffs so the other team would get a possession as long as the team receiving the opening kickoff didn’t score a touchdown on the opening drive. Two years later, that rule was expanded to the regular season.

Will this rule change eventually make it to the regular season? It certainly seems likely based on past history. Honestly, this isn’t going to improve the NFL’s overtime system. No matter what system is in place, some team will inevitably get screwed over and those fans are going to complain and want something else. So instead of overhauling the system and maybe actually improving on it, the NFL is set to make things even more of a convoluted mess.

The entire reason why the rule was changed away from sudden death was people felt it was unfair that a team couldn’t get a chance to score after their opponent kicked a field goal on the opening OT drive. That was supposed to be the magic idea that improved everything and it only took 12 years for that to be a problem. So now, the NFL will add another layer on top of everything and do it in the most bureaucratic way imaginable.

The new OT rule has sparked a variety of reactions on social media. Most seemed to be against the change while there was a sizable portion of the public who supported the new rule.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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