Report: Colts submit proposal to change overtime rules after playoff complaints

After several issues came up during the playoffs last season, one team has submitted an official proposal to the NFL to change its overtime rules.

The Indianapolis Colts sent in a proposal to the NFL’s competition committee on Sunday, according to The Washington Post’s Mark Maske. The rule change, per the report, would guarantee that each team gets at least one possession in overtime both during the regular season and in the playoffs.

The NFL competition committee is currently holding meetings at the combine in Indianapolis, where Atlanta Falcons president and committee chairman Rich McKay was confident that overtime rules were going to be a big focus.

“I have no question it will be brought up,” McKay said, via The Washington Post. “I have no question that there will be a team or two that is going to suggest a rule change … I don’t know which teams. I know a bunch that I heard called, called me and called others. So we’re going to see some proposals.”

NFL overtime rules under fire

The NFL’s overtime rules drew plenty of criticism following one of the best games ever played in the history of the league last month.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills to earn a trip back to the AFC championship game last season in a thrilling divisional round matchup. But after a wild end to regulation — 25 points were scored in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter — the Chiefs won the coin toss in overtime and scored on the first possession.

That ended the game, all without Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills having a chance on offense.

That seemed unfair to plenty of people watching, including Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

“I had a chance to talk with [Bills coach Sean McDermott] afterward, and that I’m sure is something they’re going to look at again too,” Reid said of the overtime rules after the game. “And I wouldn’t be opposed to it, it’s a hard thing. It was great for us last night, but is it great for the game which is probably the most important thing we should all be looking out for?

“To make things equal, it probably needs to be able to hit both offenses, both defenses.”

The AFC championship game nearly had the same issue, as the Cincinnati Bengals led the Chiefs into overtime and then lost the coin toss. The Bengals, though, won the game and reached the Super Bowl — which avoided a repeat issue from the week before.

Kansas City Chiefs celebrate in the end zone after winning a playoff game
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime of their divisional round playoff game last month, something that sparked a discussion about changing overtime rules. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Will the NFL change OT rules?

The NFL’s competition committee, McKay said, is planning to look at any overtime rules proposals this week at meetings, and at virtual meetings next month. Then it will decide what to propose to team owners, if anything, in March.

He also said that they will likely look at both changes across the board and just in the postseason.

In order to get such a rule change passed, it must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 team owners.

Though overtime rule change discussions are fairly common each offseason, the result of the Chiefs-Bills matchup certainly bothered plenty of people. Whether that is enough to get the league to actually adjust its current overtime format this time, however, remains to be seen.