NFL overtime rule change proposal becoming blatant attempt to exact revenge on Patriots

Alex Reimer
May 07, 2019 - 2:12 pm

When the Chiefs proposed their overtime rule change earlier this offseason, it seemed like a blatant example of sour grapes. Kansas City lost an overtime thriller to the Patriots in the AFC championship, after New England won the toss in OT and scored a touchdown on its first possession. 

In other words, the Chiefs lost their Super Bowl chance without Patrick Mahomes receiving one last opportunity to throw the ball. Sure, Dee Ford also stepped offsides in the fourth quarter and the Patriots converted three straight third downs in overtime. But it’s a lot easier to blame others instead of looking inward.

So in early March, Chiefs GM Brett Veach said they were advocating for a rule change that would permit both teams to get the ball in overtime, regardless of whether the coin toss winner scores a touchdown. The idea didn’t appear to gain significant traction at the owners’ meetings later in the month, but it’s picked up some momentum since then. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said recently he’s in favor of the alteration, and failed to hide his apparent bias. 

“I certainly tend to lean toward the new rule,” Jones told Pro Football Talk. “I certainly watched every play of that Kansas City-New England game, and you kind of would have liked to have seen what would have happened if Kansas City got another shot at it, and then how the thing would have ended up. It was football, in my mind, the game at its best. I certainly don’t have a problem with guaranteeing each team a shot at it.”

It’s hard to imagine Jones feeling similarly if Tom Brady were in Mahomes’ position. His supports reeks of jealousy, just like the whole process. Only 52.7 percent of teams that win the overtime coin toss and receive wind up winning the game. It’s nearly impossible to get closer to 50-50. 

As PFT’s Mike Florio also mentioned, the proposed rule could make for a worse product, too. Teams would once again have an incentive to burn the clock in OT, leaving their opponents with less time to score The current setup encourages teams to play their best football and not worry about milking the clock. 

This all appears to be about seeking revenge on the Patriots, who committed the crime of converting third downs.