Fighting for Possession: Indianapolis Colts Lead the Charge Against ‘Unfair’ Overtime Rules; Argue Each Team Should Get At Least One Possession in OT

Published 02/28/2022, 12:00 PM EST

Indianapolis Colts are proposing a change in the Overtime rules that currently govern the ‘tie-breaker’ round. The NFL community at large has not been happy with the way the OT operates. The team will need a two-thirds majority amongst the 32 teams to enact the proposal.

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As per Mark Maske of Washington Post, the Indianapolis Colts have submitted a proposal at the NFL Competition Committee meeting. The proposal deals with specific changes to the OT rules. The changes should ensure that each team gets at least one possession.

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Indianapolis Colts are not offering a new concept

The OT rules have been a contentious concept ever since they were introduced in 2010. At the time, the rules only applied in the post-season. And in 2012, the league extended the rules to all regular-season games as well.

Although, over time (pun intended), we have seen that the rules are not as ‘unfair’ in the regular season. Stakeholders now argue that maybe it should only be kept in the regular season now. And the rules for the post-season OT should be altered.

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Reversely, that is not the only viewpoint according to Maske. Some do not want any changes. From the viewership standpoint, the drama that builds up at the end influences viewership, according to them. The new rules aim to give the opposing offense a chance to make up. That makes the Overtime period relatively unexciting.

Plus, there is a fundamental aversion to extending games in the NFL. Any extension in the length of the game brings with it an increased chance of injuries. Injuries hamper the overall product which nobody wants.

The Controversial Current OT Rules

The current rules dictate that the first team to score will win the game. A coin toss decides which offense gets the first turn. If they score, they automatically win.

The other side’s offense does not take even one snap, and the game is over. People argue that such a process depends on the coin toss more than anything else. That does not go down well with the audience. Additionally, the other team should get at least one offensive possession to tie or win.

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Some argue that as per current rules, the coin toss is deciding the winners.  The coin toss winner went on to win 10 out of 11 postseason games decided in overtime. It loosely implies that the coin toss winner will likely win the game.

The NFL competition committee sits down every off-season to discuss potential changes to different aspects of the sport. This year, the main focus has been an alteration to OT rules. Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said that multiple teams approached the subject of OT rule changes. There are arguments from all possible sides.

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Some want a complete overhaul, while others propose changes in the postseason rules. It is difficult to assess at this point if any of the sides will garner the 24 votes required to take the proposal forward.

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Utsav Khanna

125 articles

Utsav Khanna is an NFL sports writer at EssentiallySports. He did his PGDM from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and went on to work in Public Relations. A deep interest and love for the sport of NFL drew him towards working in Sports Journalism.

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