See? The NFL's overtime rules are fine. Just ask the Bengals who are headed to Super Bowl

See how that works?

Even if your team doesn't win the coin toss for overtime, losing is not a fait accompli.

You can still win the game.

For days, we've heard people argue — whether writers, sports talking heads, or fans gathered at their favorite restaurant — that the NFL's overtime rules had to be changed after the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen didn't get a possession in OT of their epic AFC divisional-round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

From an entertainment standpoint, of course we would have wanted to watch for as long as possible. Allen and Patrick Mahomes combined for 260 yards passing in the fourth quarter alone, and the teams scored 33 points in the final quarter and overtime.

But a few of us (cough, click here) said the rules as they currently stand are fine.

And on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-24 to win the AFC championship despite losing the overtime coin toss, with Mahomes and Co. getting the ball first.

Football is the ultimate team sport, dependent on three phases, and even in recent years as the stewards of the game have tilted things toward offense, the defenses for each of the past eight Super Bowl-winning teams was top-eight in the league in scoring.

Last week, Buffalo's defense allowed 44 receiving yards on two plays in the final 13 seconds of the fourth quarter and the Chiefs got into field-goal range for the game-tying kick. Then in overtime, Kansas City went 75 yards in eight plays to score the winning touchdown, including a 10-yard pass on third-and-1 to keep the drive going. Had the Bills' top-ranked defense made a play in the closing seconds of regulation, they wouldn't have gone to overtime.

Had the group made a play in overtime and even held the Chiefs to another field goal, the offense would have gotten another chance.

They did neither.

Von Bell (second from left) and the Bengals' defense held up in overtime against the Chiefs ... unlike the Bills last week. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Von Bell (second from left) and the Bengals' defense held up in overtime against the Chiefs ... unlike the Bills last week. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Bengals' defense, meanwhile, did its job. It shut down the Chiefs in the second half, holding them to just three points, and those came only as regulation expired, on a 44-yard field goal at the end of a 14-play drive that went 49 yards. Mahomes was sacked on back-to-back plays, the first losing 5 yards and the second 15, as he ran all over the backfield looking for someone in the end zone.

Mahomes fumbled at the end of the second sack, and were it not for left guard Joe Thuney falling on the football, they wouldn't have gotten the field goal try.

Then in overtime, Vonn Bell picked off a pass that went off Tyreek Hill's hands on third-and-10. The Bengals got the ball back, moved well into field-goal range, and the game was over.

That's how it's done.

“Usually when you win a coin flip to those guys, you’re going home," Cincinnati's Joe Burrow told CBS postgame. "But our defense really stepped up and made plays in the second half."

Most proposals set forth by those who want to see the overtime rule changed are convoluted or lead to still more questions about what then. Playing an extra 10-minute period — then what? Making sure each offense touches the ball once — then what? Almost all proposals come back to sudden victory at some point. There is no "perfect" solution to appease everyone.

Teams can do what the Bengals did Sunday: make the stop on defense and get the ball back to your teammates on offense.

Lose the coin toss, win the game anyway.