Want to know more about the newly introduced NFL overtime rules, you stumbled upon the right article. This article has all the information you need in order to understand the new set of rules. So sit back and let me take you on a journey discussing everything about the new rules.
The Rocky History Of NFL Rules
Those who have followed the NFL religiously know the significance of April 25, 1974. It was this day when the NFL introduced a new set of rules called the overtime rules in an effort to improve the action and tempo of the game.
According to this rule, teams need to play an extra decided period if the score by the end of a full-time match is tied. According to the 1974 rule, the first team to score a touchdown will be declared the victor of the match. If none of the team gets the chance to score any goal in the overtime, the match would be dismissed as a tie.
Since then, the NFL has changed the rules multiple times over the years. This was a very important change in the game rules as it allowed teams to decide winners more effectively. From the year 1920 to 1973, the league had somewhere around 250 ties. But ever since the rule changed, the number of ties went considerably down.
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The New Overtime Rule: Why & What?
As is apparent, things have changed considerably over the years. According to several sources, the 2023 postseason is going to feature a new and ‘improved’ set of overtime rules in NFL. The driving force behind this new ot NFL rules is essentially unclear, but fans and critics think it was the infamous AFC Championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City.
Back in the 2021-22 season, in an AFC Championship match between two teams, Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs. In the match, the Chiefs won the toss and scored after choosing to take possession to reach the Super Bowl. But the Bills lost even before possessing the ball. This was a landslide moment in American football, as the match generated a lot of criticism on both sides. As a result, sports analysts believe that this event was one of the driving forces behind the NFL new overtime rules.
NFL Overtime Rules: Regular Season Rules
NFL introduced two sets of new NFL overtime rules. One for the regular season and one for the regular season. These two different sets of rules will ensure that no match will end in a tie, be it a post-season or a regular match. But in order to know how overtime work in the NFL. Let us look at the newly introduced NFL overtime rules.
- Once the full-time whistle goes off, the referee will toss a coin to determine the possession. In other words, this toss will decide who will possess the ball. Once the coin is flipped, the visiting captain will get the chance to call the toss.
- There will only be one ten-minute period of overtime, followed by a three-minute intermission. Each team will get a fair chance to possess the ball so that the teams do not feel left out or miss out on equal opportunities to score. Even if the first team manages to score a touchdown, the second team will also get a chance. Only the score once both the team possesses the ball will be decided as the final score.
- Each team is allowed to take two timeouts. Also, sudden death plays where the game ends on any scores, including the ones pertaining to safety, field goal, or touchdown, can continue until a winner is determined.
- If a game ends in a touchdown, then the point after a try is not at all attempted.
- If the overtime is over and there is no change in the score, the match remains tied. Therefore, the loophole still remains.
- There will be no provision for coaches to challenge the instant replay. In fact, all the replays will be initiated by the replay officials. Therefore, taking some autonomy from the coaches to influence the game.
So, can an NFL game end in a tie? As is apparent from the newly introduced provisions, the answer to this question is a yes. So, in order to understand these rules effectively, let us look at the postseason rules as well.
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NFL Overtime Rules: Post-Season Rules
Even though the gist of the rules remains the same, there are a few points that set the postseason rules apart from the regular season rules. As a result, postseason games cannot end in a tie, unlike the regular season. So, let us analyze some of the key takeaways.
Unlike the regular season, teams will continue playing each other till a winner is decided. Therefore, two teams can play any number of overtime periods. This is why no postseason game will end in a tie.
Between each overtime period, there will be a two-minute intermission. Unlike the regular season, there will not be any halftime intermission.
If there is no winner decided even after the fourth round of overtime, there will be another coin toss, and the process will restart.
Due to these subtle changes, it is impossible for a postseason game to end in a tied situation. But for some reason, these same rules do not apply to regular games.
And with that, we have reached the end of the analysis of the recent NFL overtime rules that were introduced this season. But due to subtle changes in the rules, a regular season game can end in a tie, and a postseason will not. Keep following our page for more sports-related content.