Find out what happens if Super Bowl LIII ends in a tie at the end of regulation.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
February 03, 2019

NFL overtime rules can be a bit confusing. And given that there were 12 overtime games in the 2018 regular season—two that ended in ties—and both conference championships saw added time in the postseason, it's a good time to refresh your memory on how it works.

Overtime rules differ between the regular season and postseason. While regular season games are allowed to end in a tie, postseason games are not. You might recall that Super Bowl LI went to overtime, with the Patriots beating the Falcons on a James White touchdown run.

With Super Bowl LIII upon us, here's a brief rundown of the league's postseason overtime rules.

1) Overtime starts with a coin toss to determine possession, with the visiting team captain calling heads or tails.

2) Overtime runs 10 minutes long at maximum, down from 15 minutes in previous seasons.

Each team gets two timeouts. There are no coaches’ challenges, with officials reviewing close plays.

3) If the team with first possession scores a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime, that team wins the game. No extra point will be attempted.

4) A field goal on the opening drive means the other team gets a chance to answer. If the team with second possession scores a touchdown on the ensuing drive, that team wins. If they kick a field goal to tie, possession goes back the other way. From there, scoring is sudden death, with the first team to break the tie deemed the victor.

5) 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 play additional overtime periods until a winner is determined.

6) The team captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will call heads or tails to determine possession, unless the team that won the coin toss deferred that choice.

Each team gets three timeouts during a half. 

7) The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth quarters in regulation also apply at the end of those quarters in overtime.

8) If there is no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is determined.

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