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Cory's Corner: NFL Overtime Is Fine

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Cory's Corner: NFL Overtime Is Fine

Patrick Mahomes is a surefire MVP. He played exceptional this season. 

However, he didn’t deserve to get the ball in overtime against the Patriots. The AFC Championship Game didn’t come down to a coin flip. It came down to a defense that just couldn’t get off the field. 

And of course, the rhetoric now is that the NFL needs to change the overtime rules. It’s the same song and dance brought on by the losing team. 

The NFL has titled the field toward the offense so much that it is actually refreshing that the defense has the game in front of them when it comes to overtime. All the Chiefs defense had to do was get one stop. However, the Patriots marched 75 yards down the field in 13 plays. 

For as sick as you are of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs didn’t deserve to win that game. Kansas City had New England on the ropes with three third-and-10 situations but Tom Brady calmly converted all of them — in succession. 

The Chiefs forced the Patriots into a couple punts at frigid Arrowhead Stadium. There’s no reason why they couldn’t force another. If they really wanted to win that ballgame, they needed to generate a pass rush and force Brady to get off his spot and into tough situations. However, the exact opposite happened as Brady was given a cocoon of comfort and carved up the Kansas City secondary. 

Look at the NFC Championship Game. The Rams won that game because they forced the issue and picked off Drew Brees in overtime. A defensive play was the difference in that ballgame and if the Chiefs made a defensive play in overtime they likely would have won as well. 

Losing in overtime is a bitter pill to swallow — especially in a lose and go home scenario. However, blaming the loss on how a coin twirled in the air just shows how incomplete of a team the Chiefs really are. If Kansas City truly is a Super Bowl contender, it would have made a defensive stop, got the ball back and got the score in front of an exploding crowd. 

However, even though the NFL wants you to believe that offense is the only phase that matters in today’s game, there are also two other phases in football. 

The top four scoring offenses advanced to title games on Sunday and those games were decided by defense and the absence of defense. The Chiefs have nobody to blame but themselves. If Dee Ford doesn’t line up in the neutral zone, the Chiefs pick off a tipped pass and ultimately bleed the clock with 54 seconds left in regulation. 

The Chiefs have nobody to blame but themselves. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rustyweezee's picture

Sure, we Packer fans who relate to the Chiefs remember ourselves when the Packers lost in OT while Rodgers never got on the field. But it's also true that the Packers defense wasn't capable when it most needed to be. It seldom was since 2010.

RCPackerFan's picture

I can see arguments for both sides of this.

I do hate though that a coin flip essentially helps decides who wins and who loses more then not. Yes this is supposed to be a team game. But in this era of football its really hard to play good defense.

If it were up to me I'd say change the rules so that both teams get the ball. The biggest caveat is that I would say that if both teams score touchdowns, make it so they have to go for 2 points. This will probably decide most games.
And if they are still tied, then it goes back to sudden death.

Tarynfor12's picture

"... make it so they have to go for 2 points. This will probably decide most games.
And if they are still tied, then it goes back to sudden death."

And how do you decide who gets the ball first when it's goes back to sudden death...let me guess...coin flip...and then the same crying comes in to play.

RCPackerFan's picture

The first team gets the ball back. At that point anything that happens, happens.
Both teams will have had a chance to play offense and defense.

I have seen the baseball analogy and honestly its pretty comparable.

If the team in the top of the 10th hits a homerun, the game doesn't end. Both teams have to play offense and defense.

Why is it that in the NFL only 1 team has to play defense. Why shouldn't both teams?

To your point though, people will cry no matter what happens.

Tarynfor12's picture

Each sport needs and should be unique as possible in deciding their OT rules.
The NFL came as close as possible to baseball by giving each team a possession unless one team fails in execution on either side of the ball and more opportunities if both tie again with FG's as in baseball with the home team tying it in the bottom of 10th. If they score more than a tie,does the visitor get another chance in the 11th...no. How many or different ways should chances be given. In the NFL OT, your chance to get the ball is two ways...win the coin toss or hold the other team to a FG...if not...don't cry about it.

RCPackerFan's picture

I will say that I like the new rule better then pure sudden death.

That being said, in the KC vs NE game for example. Don't we believe that whoever won the toss they probably would have gone down and scored at TD?
Therefore the team that won the toss won the game.

Tarynfor12's picture

Possibly...but didn't most fans of either team believe theirs would make a defensive stop to win in regulation, especially KC fans after the defensive play vs SD.
Defense wins championships until yours doesn't and then.....everyone plays the Roy Orbison hit song...' Crying.'

RCPackerFan's picture

In the final 2 minutes of the game we saw Patriots drive for a TD in about 1 1/2 minutes. We saw KC drive with 38 seconds left to tie the game.
I think it was pretty safe to assume that neither defense was stopping anyone.

In all honesty. I didn't care at all who won the game. I just think there needs to be a better system in place.

HankScorpio's picture

'If it were up to me I'd say change the rules so that both teams get the ball. The biggest caveat is that I would say that if both teams score touchdowns, make it so they have to go for 2 points. This will probably decide most games.
And if they are still tied, then it goes back to sudden death."

So Team A gets the kick and scores a TD with no conversion. Team B matches the TD with no conversation. Team A kicks a GW FG on their next drive. And we're back to the coin flip deciding the game.

You'd really have to make it so the first stop triggers sudden death. Which is sort of like the college rules.

RCPackerFan's picture

The difference is that both of these teams had their chance. Both had a chance to score a TD and had a chance to make the extra point.

Just like both teams had a chance to stop the other team from scoring and had a chance to stop their 2 point conversion.

After that, someone has to make a play.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"The Chiefs have nobody to blame but themselves"

Yep, you line up that far off sides at a critical situation you've got nowhere to point the finger. .

They did it to themselves. I initially felt sorry for Ried until I saw him complain the officials didn't warn Dee Ford he was offsides. WTF? The officials are expected to tell players how to line up? Is that hard for some reason? There is a HUGE orange marker on both sidelines. Just look.

Tarynfor12's picture

Agree...That's a coaching issue and no reason why an assistant isn't yelling it out to the player or the player not checking with the line judge....other than simply trying to get the advantage while knowing your offside to start...which would be called out as cheating if NE.

Razer's picture

The only problem with either OT games was how the Rams got to overtime. If either defense spent as much time on their skills and scheme as it does on post-play celebrations the offenses would have gotten their chance. Stop somebody - period.

As a side - Packer fans can rest easier now after watching these top teams compete. It is evident that our offense would not have been able to keep up in either match and our defense wasn't even in the ballpark of these 'porous' defenses. Maybe in 2020 we can play with the big boys.

Tarynfor12's picture

Both teams had the opportunity to win the game in regulation and both teams then place the opportunity to win by the flip of a coin where it's 50/50 for both. You want a chance to score... stop the team that wins the coin toss...period.

PatrickGB's picture

Did anybody check the weight of the coin? Was it in the possession of BB at any time? Just asking for a friend. ;-)

packergal's picture

Razer writes…”It is evident that our offense would not have been able to keep up in either match and our defense wasn't even in the ballpark of these 'porous' defenses”…

Watching all of the games with my brother and father, we shared the following comments on how we envied the playoff teams and debated whether the PACKERS could execute in 2019 on:

• Short and midfield strikes to keep chains moving,
• Schemes to get multiple receivers open on many plays,
• Spreading the ball to 4 or more receivers,
• Using Tight End to clutch block/ spring RB and catch over middle,
• Using multiple RB in assorted formations for positive yards/carry,
• Hitting screen and mis-direction plays with RB in full stride,
• Ferocious tackling to stop drives,
• Bumping receivers at LOS to slow them down,
• Consistent DL pressure on opposing QB,
• Hitting clutch field goals with precision

EVER HOPEFUL IN 2019—GO PACK!

Razer's picture

I am hopeful that Matt LaFleur can add these philosophies to our offense and Rodgers embraces the changes. And, I am hopeful that Gutekunst can add the pieces to get our defense capable of playing at a higher level.

kevgk's picture

I understand the defense of OT rules. I don't think theyre wrong or unfair. BUT what downside is there the give both teams a chance to score, and the unanswered score wins? What does the league lose by switching rules? Can you say it is less fair in any way?
What about playing an entire quarter so teams can have an OT onside kick? Wouldn't that be exciting?

mrtundra's picture

If the Chiefs had a defense, there wouldn't have been an overtime period. If Andy Reid would have gone one more play into the end zone, instead of kicking a FG on 2nd down with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, the Chiefs might have won the game in regulation. If the Chiefs had won the overtime coin toss, they might be playing in the Super Bowl, as well! When you hear the words "Next year!" let it remind you that it is the catch phrase from this season's loser.

Tarynfor12's picture

Both Reid and Payton are as much to blame for losses of their games via play calls when the right calls were obvious but ignored.

Tarynfor12's picture

Let's have the kickers face off starting at the 30 and moved back 5 yds until one misses. This way teams will treat kickers like players and kicker FA will sky rocket placing more stress on the salary cap.

Since '61's picture

I would change the OT rules in a few ways. But let's consider the issues with the current rules first.

The NFL is the only professional sport that has a rule which prevents both teams from having an opportunity to score during Overtime. This is unfair for the reasons that I have listed below.

At the end of 4 quarters of NFL football the defenses for both teams are probably gassed. So the team that wins the coin flip has the best chance to at least score an FG.
Second, the current rules favor the offense and make it difficult to play defense when the teams are fresh never mind after 4 periods. This compounded if the defense which was on the field at the end of regulation need to go back on the field at the beginning of the OT. Again, another advantage for the offense.
Another challenge for the defending team is the OT kickoff. The receiving team could return the OT kickoff deep into the kicking team's territory making it still further for the defense to have a chance to prevent a score.
To mitigate these deficiencies and to make the OT fair I would implement the following OT rules, at least for playoff games:

1. Eliminate the OT kickoffs. Give each team at least one possession starting from their 25 yard line. This eliminates the possibility of an ST score before either team even takes a snap.
2. Eliminate the coin toss. Allow the home team to decide if they want to defend first or take the offense first.
3. If the score remains tied after each team has had one offensive possession the game goes into sudden death.

It is not just a matter of both teams playing offense it is also a matter of both teams playing defense as well.
It is inherently unfair that both teams are not given the chance to score if the team that wins the coin toss scores a TD against a gassed defense. That is not consistent with what happens if the receiving team scores a FG. The rules should be consistent for either scoring method.

The current OT rules are based on TV requirements and commitments to other programming. They are fine for the regular season but should be altered for the playoffs since there is no limit to how long a playoff game will last if neither team is able to score after another period or another half or even longer.

Would you prefer to see the game end the way the Patriots/Chiefs game ended with essentially no drama or is it more exciting to see if Mahomes or any QB could deal with the pressure of driving his team for a tying score to keep his team alive?

Both teams have their chances to score during regulation. Why should they not have the same opportunity when the game is extended?

The NFL has enough problems without the OT. The least that they should do is make the OT at least as fair as the regulation period is alleged to be, at least until the officials get involved. Thanks, Since '61

Tarynfor12's picture

" Would you prefer to see the game end the way the Patriots/Chiefs game ended with essentially no drama or is it more exciting to see if Mahomes or any QB could deal with the pressure of driving his team for a tying score to keep his team alive? "

There was plenty of drama in the 4th quarter and now some are asking that the NFL manufacture more drama for OT. Would it have been exciting to see if Mahomes could mirror Brady and tie it up..sure, but it has to end and both sides of the ball NEED to do their job. KC allowed 3 third and tens in a row and that's why Mahomes didn't get a chance. Holding NE to a FG would have achieved the drama one seeks but it isn't real drama if the failure is ignored and a chance is automatic...earn your chance...KC failed to earn theirs....both teams knew what needed to be done and one, NE, did what they needed to do. I'd bet if were the other way, the masses would be jumping for joy that NE lost and Brady never got a chance....many will deny but they know it to be true.

Since '61's picture

Taryn - "both sides of the ball need to do their job". OK, so when did the NE defense need to do their job during the OT and when did the KC offense need to do their job during the OT?

To me the playoffs are too important to both sides for a coin toss or a KO return or bad officiating to decide the game. My recommendation gives both sides the same opportunity to play at least one series on offense and defense. During the regular season they could end at regulation in a tie and for me that would be fine. But the playoffs are a different issue because of single elimination.

Even though the Saints were robbed by the officials during regulation they had their chance in OT and failed, then LA had they chance and they won. End of story no complaints. Why should any team win because they won a coin toss? NE didn't earn their chance they had it because of the arbitrary results of a coin flip, not because of anything they did on the field. That is not the case during regulation. My position is just an attempt for the OT to be consistent with regulation period for at least one possession per team. If still tied after that, sudden death no problem.
Thanks, Since '61

Tarynfor12's picture

I'd still go with a FG kick off...it doesn't matter who goes first...make it and your guaranteed another attempt unless the other misses his first match it kick....especially since all other players are exhausted. It also creates drama...remember the snow kick with Vinatieri...wouldn't you want to see the other guy try and match that.

Since '61's picture

The FG kick off would be acceptable to me. At some point both kickers are going to be out of their range especially at an outdoor stadium on a windy day. Another issue injury to a kicker after trying numerous kicks.

However, the NFL could try it for one season to see how it works out. At least it is an approach that is fair for both teams. Thanks, Since '61

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I am SHOCKED at film footage of the laser pointing that took place at the KC game at Tom Brady. Appears to be the reason KC lost, but we will have to wait and see who did it. Quite sickening.

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