We know many of you have questions about the new overtime rules, so let’s try to answer one more.
Some of you have asked what happens if a team recovers an onside kick on the first kickoff of overtime. In that scenario, the recovering team could win the game on a field goal. The rules read:
“A kickoff is the opportunity to possess for the receiving team. If the kicking
team legally recovers the kick, the receiving team is considered to have had its
So a team could get a “walkoff” win by recovering the kick and going in for a score. Sudden death rules would then apply. The same rules apply if the receiving team fumbles a kickoff.
In theory, this could make coaches more bold to open overtime. They could fail to recover the onside kick, still hold the opposing team to a field goal, and get the ball back.
In practice, we suspect most coaches will avoid risking so much field position, just like in regulation.