2 reasons why NFL doesn’t need to change overtime rules after Bills-Chiefs thriller
One of the AFC Divisional Playoff games brought upon a ton of attention from NFL fans around the globe. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills met in a stunning display of offensive talent, and after four quarters, the score was tied at 36. In overtime, the Chiefs won the coin toss and got a touchdown in their first drive. There was no controversy surrounding that drive, but Bills fans were joined by many personalities around the NFL in bringing attention to the NFL overtime rules. However, they might not have the best point. There are merits to both sides of the argument, but here are two reasons why NFL doesn’t need to change overtime rules after Bills-Chiefs thriller.
Reasons not to change the NFL overtime rules
It rewards a good offense/defense
To be perfectly realistic, the reason why the Bills lost this game was that their defense was not on point. Thankfully for them, they also had a potent offense that kept them going until overtime. Their QB Josh Allen was 27 for 37, threw 329 yards, got four touchdowns, and was sacked only two times. The 36 points that the Bills put on the board were fourth-most in the entire postseason, up until now. The only teams that had more were the Chiefs against the Steelers, the Bills themselves against the Patriots, and, unfortunately for them, the Chiefs against the Bills. Not containing QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, especially in the clutch, was the real reason why this team lost this game.
Of course, blaming the overtime rules is the easy way out, but it removes the responsibility from the team that lost. This ties into the fact that the overtime rules are nothing more or less than a way for the NFL to reward good offensive or defensive play. If your squad can remain composed in clutch situations, they will be able to deal with both the ongoing offense, if you lost the coin toss, or pull through the winning drive, if you won the coin toss. If the Bills were able to contain the Chiefs defensively, they would be playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.
NFL rules might be confusing at some stages, but there is no other rule in the whole rulebook that rewards composure and excellence quite as this one. Of course, if a team is truly exceptional, they will probably win in regulation, but when it comes to tight games, these rules are completely okay. In games that are decided by a few points and where the line between the two squads is very blurry, in terms of quality, the best way to decide who is better is showing it on the field. There is no better way to show it than keeping your players focused and motivated on both ends of the field and getting the opposing team to surrender their possession or making their defense look hopeless in front of your attack.
There is no better alternative right now
There are many propositions on how to change this rule. Most say that when overtime rolls around, both teams should get the chance to get their offense on the field, regardless of how the first drive ends. That is all well, of course, but the problem is if the opposing offense then scores a touchdown on their first drive, what would happen? The score would be tied and the situation would be the same. Hypothetically, if Mahomes and the Chiefs then connect on another touchdown, do the Bills get another chance?
These are legitimate questions and if anyone is thinking about alternative overtime rules for the NFL, they have to take them into consideration. This rule is not ideal, but it is the best one available at this time. Any other rule would simply keep the game going without a way to settle it and it would cause more issues than solutions. Of course, teams that lose based on this rule will call foul, but it does not make the situation any different. Until there is a rule that can both give both teams a chance, but also a fair out when the game is in a deadlock, this rule will simply remain in place.
Obviously, the criticism of the rules will keep on coming, as teams lose deciding games over these regulations. Still, while it might sound harsh, the only reaction to these rules and games being decided in overtime is simply to get your team to perform better in clutch situations. Bills fans will protest this and continue pressuring to change the rules, but the fact will remain that their team had a three-point edge 49 seconds before the game was over and still managed to lose.