Skip to main content

NFL approves overtime rule change for postseason

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Overtime playoff football just got a little more interesting.

After how last year's epic playoff game between Kansas City and Buffalo ended, with the Chiefs scoring a touchdown in overtime to beat the Bills on the first possession, the NFL has adopted a rule change that will now give each team a possession in overtime in a playoff game, no matter what happens on the first possession. The rule change only applies to the playoffs.

Both Indianapolis and Philadelphia proposed the change, and it was passed by the owners, requiring at least 24 yes votes.

In what was an instant classic between the two clubs last January, Buffalo scored a go-ahead touchdown with less than 13 seconds to go in regulation to take a 36-33 lead. Kansas City put themselves in a situation to kick a 49-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime tied 36-36.

Kansas City won the coin toss in overtime and marched 75 yards in eight plays capped off by a Travis Kelce 8-yard touchdown catch to win the game. Buffalo never had a chance to answer.

The new rule replaces the previous one that stated if the team who possess the ball first in overtime scores a touchdown, they win. If Kansas City had only kicked a field goal, Buffalo would have been given a chance at a possession. If the game remains tied after two possessions, then next team to score wins.

With this rule change, no matter what happens on the first possession in overtime, the opponent will have a possession to respond.

"Everyone has their different takes on sudden death vs. getting an extra possession," Lions general manager Brad Holmes said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, when asked about the rule change.

"But we were in favor of it. We didn't have an issue. It's all going to be different viewpoints whether you get the extra possession or keep it the same."

The NFL also made permanent the free kick formation change implemented during the 2021 season that established a maximum number of players in the setup zone.

Also, Baltimore, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay proposed an amendment that passed for an anti-tampering policy in regards to secondary football executive positions to allow the employer club the choice to retain its player personnel staff through the NFL Draft.

After the draft and through June 30, the employer club is required to grant permission for another club to interview and hire a non-high-level executive or non-secondary football executive for a secondary football executive position.

Related Content