Chiefs-Bills reveals why NFL must change unjust overtime rule

Josh Allen did not get to touch the ball in overtime.
Getty Images
Kansas City ball.

Josh Allen did not get to touch the ball in overtime. Getty Images Kansas City ball.Change the overtime rule, NFL.

Change the overtime rule, NFL.



The next time the NFL’s competitiveness Committee is in session, the people on the panel should watch the final two minutes of Sunday night’s epic AFC regional playoff game amid the Chiefs and Bills and ask themselves if they were pleased with the outcome.

They need to ask themselves if, following the month’s worth of momentous moments the two teams generated in what was an instant definitive, it was fair that the Bills never had a chance to touch the football on misdeed in overtime.

Anyone who answers “no’’ to that question is either unfeeling or baffled.

Change the overtime rule, NFL.

The the real world of Kansas City’s 42-36 overtime win over Buffalo at Arrowhead Stadium was this: The Chiefs didn’t as much win the game when Patrick Mahomes linked with Travis Kelce with the walk-off touchdown pass 4:15 into the extra period as they did when they won the coin toss before overtime.

A coin toss decided this game, because the last quarterback with the ball in his hands was going to win it.

Everyone in the house knew it.

The Chiefs, who tied the game with a 49-yard field goal as time lapsed in regulation following taking over the ball with 13 seconds remaining on their own 25-yard line, knew it. You could tell by their unduly animation bliss when Bills quarterback Josh Allen called “tails’’ and the coin came up “heads.’’

The Chiefs knew that would be the only attacking dominion of overtime, because they were going to score a walk-off touchdown, and the Bills, too, had to feel it in the pit of their combined stomachs.

To the Bills’ credit, they departed stage left out of Kansas City with class and didn’t protest concerning the defective overtime format.

“The rules are what they are,’’

Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who threw four touchdowns in the loss on what was one of the great after-season performances of all time, said prudently.

“I can’t really complain about it because if it happened to us, we’d be out there celebrating like [the Chiefs] did.’’

Fair enough.

Now, it’s time for the NFL to make overtime additional fair in the playoffs, because of the conclusiveness of the postseason. Keep the current overtime rule as it is for the regular season, nevertheless amend it in the playoffs so that each team gets not less than one possession notwithstanding of whether the team with the ball first scores a touchdown.

Patrick Mahomes celebrates after the Chiefs win over the Bills.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Surprisingly the most devoted of Kansas City fans certainly feel the Bills’ pain.

Paradoxically, the Chiefs got the short end of the stick in the 2018 season the same way the Bills did Sunday night. In Kansas City’s 34-28 overtime loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, New England captain Matthew Slater won the coin toss, the Patriots got first possession and scored a touchdown. Kansas City never touched the ball, ending its season.

Following that loss, Kelce, who scored the winning touchdown Sunday night, was vocal concerning how the overtime arrangement was unjust.

Under the same design this time, Kelce and the Chiefs were the recipients.

When it was proposed to Kelce back then that each team should be assured a possession in overtime, he said,

“I think it’s a little bit more fair.”

He said he was “definitely in favor of’’ the league enhancing the rule, adding,

“Being in that situation, really having no rebuttal, it’s kind of tough.”

Travis Kelce hauls in the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just ask the Bills.

“Guys are hurt,’’

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.

“We’re all hurt, sick to our stomachs. It stings. It stings. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I know the fans are disappointed and I wish I could take that off of them, but I can’t. What doesn’t kill you should only make you stronger, and this should make us stronger.’’

The NFL playoffs would be stronger, fairer and better if the league changes the overtime rule.

“Everything that happens in life is a lesson,’’

Bills safety Jordan Poyer said.

“And you either grow from it or die from it.’’

Optimistically, watching what happened Sunday night in this classic game that earned more, the NFL will learn a lesson and change the rule.


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