Opinion: Creative NFL Overtime Rule Change Proposal

by Garrison Williams

The NFL decided to throw all logic and reason out the window with its overtime rules.

This problem most recently came into greater light in the American Football Conference championship game of the 2018-2019 season. The Kansas City Chiefs had bested Tom Brady and the New England Patriots all game. However, as regular time expired, New England was able to tie the score and win in overtime with a scoring drive. Kansas City did not even have a chance to send their offense back on the field to show America who the better team really was. This led to the New England Patriots defeating the Los Angeles Rams in a spectacularly awful game of defensive strategy by two of the worst defensive teams all season.

I believe that I have come up with a solution to this problem, one that insures both teams have an equal chance to retaliate in overtime. Unlike college football, where both offenses have the chance to score, this solution allows none of the offenses the chance to score. Instead, each player on the offensive side will be assigned a position at random on defense, and vice versa. To avoid injuries, both coaches can mutually opt to have offensive lineman play as the defensive lineman, and defensive lineman to play as offensive lineman (not that anyone expects coaches to care about the health of their players or anything though). Whoever scored last in the regular time game will send their new defense out on the field first, while the opposing team releases their new offense. After a touchdown is completed, or a field goal is kicked–kickers will remain the same while placeholders will not–the scoring team will send their new defense onto the field, to allow the opposing team a chance to retaliate. If one of the overtime defenses is able to intercept the ball and return it for a touchdown, or recover a fumble and return it for a touchdown, the only way for the other team to retaliate is by sending their new defense back out, and making a defensive score, thus insuring total fairness.

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