Nobody likes a tie — and the NFL saw 2 this season — but that is not the issue with overtime this week. The NFL is taking flack this week because the Super Bowl representative from the AFC was essentially determined by a coin toss. And even worse, it was the New England Patriots at the winning end of that coin toss. The Kansas City Chiefs and the league’s presumptive MVP, Patrick Mahomes, were dismissed from the playoffs without even touching the ball in overtime.
Is this just the way things are? If a team has 60 minutes to make sure the game doesn’t come down to a coin toss, is it fair for them to have to rely on their defense in overtime? Other major sports will never rob an opposing team of an opportunity to score, so why should the NFL?
Here are some alternatives to the current overtime system that would give both offenses a chance.
The College System
In the NCAA, there is no kickoff. Each team gets a possession from the 25-yard line going in. The team that wins the toss will choose to be on defense first. This allows them to know how many points the first team scored on their possession and whether they need to score a field goal or a touchdown to match. They also require teams to go for two after the 2nd overtime, but the NFL could require it immediately likely leading to a smaller number of overtimes in a game.
Not only does this offer equity, it removes the kickoff from overtime, which is something the NFL would like to do anyway.
Quick and easy. Each team takes turns going for two. The first to make an unmatched conversion wins. Think of it like football’s version of penalty kicks and a hockey shootout. The creativity teams would have to utilize would also enhance games as a whole and could potentially see a decline in extra point attempts. Forcing teams to learn how to go for two is a definite positive.
Back That Thing Up
This starts the same as the two-point shootout, but the ball would be backed up after every successful attempt. The second overtime would be backed up to the 10-yard line where the offense would still only have one attempt to score. If both teams were successful the next overtime would take place at the 15-yard line and so on.
Nothing but Net
Okay, this one is never going to happen and is just for fun, so here it goes. The kickers from each team play a game of horse (or pig to make it shorter). Just like the basketball version, they go back and forth standing on specific parts of the field and calling their shots kicking field goals. They could even kick from the sideline or require the ball to hit the upright or crossbar before going in. Trick shots like people do when they play horse. Kickers like Randy Bullock would surely be forced to prove their worth.
How do you think the NFL should fix overtime, if you think it needs to be fixed at all?