The head-coaching career of Marty Mornhinweg can be summed up thusly: He once won the toss in overtime and chose to kick.
But if, as Chiefs owner Clark Hunt seems to believe, the overtime proposal that his team made in March gets enough traction to become the law of the land in May (even if only for the postseason), that could become the norm. Or more normal. Or not completely abnormal.
MDS pondered the question earlier in the week. Simms and I discussed it on PFT Live (or PFTOT or #PFTPM, I can never remember at this point).
Plenty of factors will go into the decision. Being at home could make it more enticing to choose to kick, since a loud stadium could help force a three-and-out, giving the team that kicked off a quick path to a walk-off winner, with the safety net of knowing that a touchdown won’t end the game.
Simms suggested that the defense on the first drive could take even more chances, knowing that forcing a turnover will grease the skids to victory and getting burned while blitzing won’t bring about doom.
One major factor, if the rule change would apply to both the regular season and the postseason (Hunt said it may be a playoffs-only rule), would be the clock. With only 10 minutes available in regular-season overtime, the receiving team could go full-blown West Coast slow drive clock burn, leaving the kicking team with not nearly enough time to match a first-drive touchdown.
That’s one reason why the rule change makes more sense for the postseason only, where it also will make more sense to consider kickoff off after winning the coin toss.