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NFL Postseason Overtime Rules: What are the rules for overtime in the playoffs?

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A playoff game can't end in a tie, so how do the rules for overtime in the postseason differ?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

During the regular season, a game can end in a tie; the Bengals know that (see: Bengals vs Panthers, 2014).

How do the rules differ for overtime in the postseason compared to the regular season to ensure no game ends in a tie?

Per the NFL website, here are the official rules for overtime in the postseason:

  • If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period, or if the second team's initial possession has not ended, the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed for a winner to be determined.
  • There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime period. There will not be a halftime intermission after the second period.
  • Another coin toss will be held before the third overtime period. The captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will either choose to possess the ball or select which goal his team will defend, unless the team that won the coin toss deferred that choice.
  • Each team gets three timeouts during a half.
  • The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of a second or fourth overtime period.
  • If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.

Essentially, play will continue with additional overtimes until a winner is deemed. The rules for overtime remain the same for how scoring works with the first team to score a touchdown winning the game.