How the chiefs/Bills game forced the NFL to make a rules change

This year we might have experienced one of the most entertaining playoffs in NFL history. It included two overtime back-to-back weeks and games that were decided by one possession, not even including the Super Bowl.

On January 23, we may have witnessed one of the most explosive and exciting playoff games of all time. The Bills scored and left 13 seconds on the clock; the Chiefs, with three timeouts, drove down the field and kicked a field goal to tie the game at 36. The rest of the game was history. 

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The rules of overtime in the playoffs were that the team that wins the coin toss can choose to receive or defer the kickoff. There is a 15-minute quarter, and if no one scores, then they will go until there is a winner. As the Chiefs won the toss, they chose to receive. The Chiefs drove down the field with ease, it was first and goal, and Patrick Mahomes tossed the ball to Travis Kelce and he caught it, ending the game. This game will never be forgotten. This game left many people speechless and wondering what would’ve been the outcome if the Bills had a chance to possess the ball.

In 2010, the NFL changed the rules for the postseason only. The change was instead of being able to kick a field goal to end the game on the first drive they had to score a touchdown to win. Although the NFL and the NCAA have many different rules, I think the NFL should adopt the same overtime rules. Both teams will have possession before the game is over in the NCAA overtime rules. If one team scores, the other team gets a possession. After three times of this happening, it stops being touchdowns and transitions to 2-point scores; they start from the 25 and have a drive to score. This would until there is a winner.

This would improve the rules because it is more entertaining to watch, it’s fair for both teams, giving them a chance to extend the game and try to win. Lastly, the rule only being in the playoffs means it doesn’t change the regular season making it a tiny change to their many rules.

I firmly believe if the Bills vs. Chiefs overtime went this way, it would have been a different outcome. I think this because the Bills had a lot of momentum as they went into overtime, but they didn’t have a chance to prove themselves. It is situations like these where it would be beneficial to have the change.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow – AlexanderJonesi, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The following week the Bengals and Chiefs played in the AFC championship. The Chiefs started off hot, getting an 18-point lead going into halftime. The Bengals were able to rally and tie the game. The Chiefs went three and out and punted the ball. The Bengals kicked a field goal and gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs six minutes to score. The Chiefs made it look similar to the game against the Bills. They drove down, and in the final seconds, they kicked a field goal to send it to overtime. 

The Chiefs won the toss and got the ball to start. The Chiefs got the ball at the 25, and they got a first down, thinking this game would be the same as the week before. Everyone now assumed the Chiefs would win. Mahomes dropped back and threw an interception. The Bengals drove a few yards and kicked the field goal to win. I believe that if the Bills had a chance, they would have won like the Bengals did.

Ironically the Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals came down to a similar situation to the divisional and championship. The Bengals had a chance to go down and score, but they didn’t.

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In the following months, the NFL would change the rules, and as of March 29th, 2022, the NFL just recently changed the rules of what will happen in overtime. Both teams will get possession. Also, if the kickoff is fumbled and results in a safety the game will end there. As they made these changes in situations like these, I believe they don’t need to fix anything else in the rules. This change will be seen in the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

Roger Fredrickson is a freshman in Mr. Lambdin’s English Class.