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    The NFL Changes Overtime Rules For The Foreseeable Future

    The NFL owners as a collective have come together and made modifications to the current overtime rules,  per Adam Schefter  . The only catch seems to be that these new rules will not be implemented until the postseason. This means, the rule for regular-season games, which allows teams with the first possession to win if they score a touchdown, will not change. However, the new rules will allow both teams to touch the ball even if the initial team scores with their possession.

    Origin of the Rule Change

    As a true football fan, every year fans have one controversial call that happens during the game that people speak about for years to come. Last postseason, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bill’s controversial game-winning drive sent many into a frenzy. Bills QB Josh Allen was disappointed because just a few series prior he led what looked like the game-winning drive. Nevertheless, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes answered back and forced the game into overtime with only 13 seconds left on the clock. Later, in overtime, the Chiefs received the ball, and a few plays later they scored and sent the Bills home.

    Ironically, the two teams who proposed the modifications to the rule were the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles. The modification of the vote passed amongst all the owners, 29-3,  reported ESPN  . The numbers helped persuade several of the owners’ decisions. According to ESPN, 50% of teams who win the coin toss have won those games. Since 2017, that number has risen to 54%.

    The Data the NFL is Basing its Decision off

    Since the playoff format has changed as a whole, seven of the 12 overtime games were won within the first possession. Unfortunately, the team that won the coin toss emerged victorious in 10 out of those 12 matches. Many agree that 12 games aren’t the greatest amount of sample size to really base any key data. However, it’s the only thing the owners have to go off.

    “It’s the only postseason overtime game we’ve had,” he said. “It’s 12 years, 12 games. These 12 games hold immense significance for those franchises, comparable to any other games in their history. While it may not be a large sample size like 25 or 30 games, it’s the only data we have, and each game marks the end of someone’s season. Therefore, we believed it was crucial for us to make a change.

    While Bills GM Brandon Beane admitted he was a bit “salty” about the loss to the Chiefs. He also takes time to reflect on the opportunity when the Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship in 2018. They lost to the Chiefs in similar circumstances, if one’s being honest. Patriots’ QB Tom Brady put a game-winning drive together, which was answered by Mahomes in a matter of seconds. This sent the game into overtime, which led to Brady sealing the deal to play in the Super Bowl.

    When Kansas City lost to New England in the 2018 AFC Championship Game, I couldn’t help but ponder the matchup between the young Patrick Mahomes and the experienced Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Mahomes didn’t get the opportunity he deserved because Brady quickly led his team down the field. It reminded me of a similar situation in Super Bowl LI when the Patriots emerged victorious.

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