NFL Competition Committee to discuss possible changes to overtime rules

By Michael Baca, Digital Content Producer

The NFL’s Competition Committee is set to meet in Indianapolis this week to discuss several subjects including a possible rule change that was a hot topic during the 2021 playoffs.

Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s Competition Committee, said Sunday there is no question proposed changes to overtime will be brought up, NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported.

McKay said he expects some overtime proposals related to playoffs only, while others could include the regular season.

The Indianapolis Colts have submitted a proposal to guarantee each team an overtime possession, Battista reported, per a source. If approved, the rule change would apply to both the regular season and playoffs.

Battista adds that the level of support for OT rule changes is unclear. Such a measure would need 24 votes among the 32 teams to be enacted.

Adjusting the current overtime rules gained traction among the public and within the league this past January after the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round. After winning the OT coin toss, the Chiefs marched down the field and scored a game-winning touchdown without the Bills offense seeing the field.

Overtime rules have been adjusted over the years. All it took was a field goal to win before the 2010 postseason, then the NFL required a first-possession touchdown to end the game without the opponent touching the ball. Under these rules, coin toss winners came out victorious 52.8 percent of overtime games, per NFL Research. In the postseason, however, coin-toss winners are 10-1.

Another topic up for discussion by the Competition Committee this week will be tinkering with punts in order to make make them safer, according to Battista.

With punt plays having a disproportionately high rate of concussions, the NFL wants to make play safer while maintaining competitiveness. Battista added that the league does not want to eliminate punts altogether. The Competition Committee is set for a health and safety briefing on Monday.

Replay review and replay assist aren’t expected to see any changes, according to Battista.

“Replay had a pretty good year,” McKay said.

Battista adds that the Competition Committee thought replay assist moved the game along well.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major