- The Patriots-Chiefs game provides the league with the perfect example of why they must modernize their antiquated overtime rules.
On the Monday Morning NFL Podcast, Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling discussed the NFL’s dire need to modernize its overtime rules…
GARY: I’m not taking anything away from the Patriots. The Patriots won the game. I think if they had 10 more possessions, the Patriots would have scored 10 more touchdowns against the Chiefs defense the way it was going, so I don’t want to say this would have swung the game.
The NFL used to do different overtime rules in playoffs vs. regular season, and I’d be totally fine going back to the split because it’s better than what we have now. You have to have it so each time gets a possession. You should have to play offense, defense and special teams in overtime to win.
ANDY: You know what? For the longest time, I held out. I was the last time to come around on getting rid of the sudden death. I remember my father would get so furious with me when I’d say, “Oh, make ‘em play defense. Make ‘em stop them.” But if the NFL is going to promote scoring and “we’re a pass-happy league and big numbers/big offense,” I’m with you then. If you’re going to be an offensive league, which the NFL’s decided it is, then each team should get a possession in overtime.
GARY: A lot of people will say, “Oh, so you want to make it college overtime?” I think college’s is even worse than what the overtime has now.
ANDY: College is garbage. It’s garbage. It’s absolutely horrible and I feel so bad for college players every time their great game gets decided by OT. It’d be like in the NBA going to a half court game, 3-on-3 or something. We don’t even need to go further on that. No one’s suggesting that. I’d rather playoff games end in a tie.
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GARY: It’s so clear when one possession ends and the next one begins. It’s not a difficult thing to differentiate. It drives me crazy. The Chiefs should have a chance to match that score and if they do, the Patriots get the ball back and keep on playing until someone scores a number of points that the other team can’t match. And that’s overtime, there you go.
ANDY: The league’s counter will be, “Oh we don’t want games to go too long,” which I kind of understand. It’s a safety issue, and what you’re proposing also becomes an issue if you’re going to continue with the 10-minute overtime, you probably would have to go back to the 15-minute overtime if each team is guaranteed one possession. What if they said each team is guaranteed a possession but if you’re down seven in OT, you have to go for two if you score a touchdown.
GARY: I don’t like that. I’m not a fan of that. I think you just play. I think you play it like it’s football and if you want to go for two and win the game, go for it. For instance, if that rule was in place tonight and the Chiefs went and got a touchdown, I would have suggested they go for two because their defense was not going to get a stop, ever.
ANDY: I think I’m with you on it. It gets into the number of plays though and exposure for players. These games could last forever.
GARY: It just doesn’t happen that often though. We had Saints-Rams overtime. There was a stop at the beginning of overtime to get that going. The way that played out would have been a Rams win under my wonderful rules. With the change in the Patriots-Chiefs game, Patrick Mahomes gets a chance to match, the Patriots defense has to get a stop. I mean, when’s the last time the Patriots defense stopped Patrick Mahomes in this game?
ANDY: I’m on-board with you. Not because of your point, but because of mine. It’s an offensive league. If you’re going to promote the offense and QBs and protect them, let’s let them have a chance to win it or tie it.
GARY: The one last point I’ll make on everything we just talked about, is you need high-profile games to force the league to make these changes. The Competition Committee is not eager to change anything, ever. We may have gotten them here. This might be enough to force change. And let’s hope maybe in the Super Bowl we get a fumble through the end zone to end the game and we can fix that rule too.
ANDY: And let’s hope that somebody has signed Ty Montgomery that week and he’s the guy fumbling and they go, “Hey, wait a minute why is No. 88 running the ball on this fumble through the endzone” Let’s fix that as well.” I would love that.
GARY: And the officials just can’t compute so they just call the play dead at the time when Ty Montgomery touched the ball. I like that. It would be a happy ending. A horrible ending to the season, but it would be good for the greater good.
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