Look for “spot and choose” overtime to be proposed again


An idea first proposed by our own MDS nearly two decades ago could end up back on the NFL’s front burner.

It’s “spot and choose” overtime. Last year, the Ravens proposed a pair to possibilities based on the simple notion that, to start the extra session, one team chooses where the first drive of overtime will begin and the other team chooses whether to play offense or defense.

For example, one team picks (say) the -10 yard line. The other team would then have to choose between starting overtime in that spot on offense, or on defense.

The Ravens offered up two alternatives, based on the spot-and-choose option. One, the overtime session would proceed on a sudden-death basis, for up to 10 minutes. Two, the two teams would play another seven minutes and 30 seconds, with the team leading at the end of the extra period becoming the winner.

Spot and choose didn’t generate much support in 2021. In the aftermath of the most glaring and unsatisfying example of the current overtime rule gone bad, with the Chiefs beating the Bills on a first-drive touchdown, perhaps the league will decide to give it a closer look. (NFL Media is already pushing the predictable “league will consider” it line; the league always considers every remotely controversial rule in the offseason.)

If the league doesn’t wake up and devise a different overtime system now, it never will. One of the greatest games in league history ended with the thud of inequity resulting from the Bills not getting a chance to match Kansas City’s first-drive touchdown.

Then again, even if the Bills had chosen the one-yard line as the starting point for the next drive, it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs not driving 99 yards. Or, alternatively, the Bills.

89 responses to “Look for “spot and choose” overtime to be proposed again

  1. One thing is certain…

    No matter what they choose…. some team, coach, fan or sportswriter will be upset about it the morning after a key game…

  2. Seriously, just make it a full 10 minute OT period. It may make teams that are gassed or feel fortunate to be close near the end of the game to play for a win. And if one team can milk a full 10 minutes and kick a field goal, kudos to them. If it’s tied after that OT, do 2 point conversions or 1st and goal from the 10, penalty shot/kick style…

  3. Nope. Then the advantage goes to the team that chooses last. That doesn’t solve anything if you’re trying to make it fair.

    Keep OT as it is in the regular season because games should end quickly. In the playoffs play a shortened 5th quarter with enough time to give each team a possession. Then play a 6th if still tied. And so on. The other major pro leagues do this in their playoffs why can’t the NFL?

  4. Each Team in Overtime need to be guaranteed 1 possession,… period !
    The current rule is pitiful,… especially for the playoffs.
    Buffalo fans got ripped off.

  5. This is dumb. Just play an extra shortened quarter, maybe 7-12 minutes and call it a day. Anything else is just gimmicky.

  6. Just stop! Defense is part of football! The Chiefs didn’t move the ball 30 yards and kick a long field goal, they had a sustained drive of 75 yards in which the Bills’ defense had opportunities to stop them – they just didn’t. The OT rules are just fine. We don’t need some gimicky OT process, like college, which is on par with deciding a hockey game on penalty shots.

  7. Chiefs proposed changes after losing to the Pats in the AFC Championship Game after not getting the ball in overtime. Couldn’t get enough interest to get it to a vote. Why now?

  8. Just STOP with this stuff! Why does everyone have knee jerk reactions to one game?! Stop changing the rules every time someone feels the current rules are “unfair”. It’s destroying the league!!!

  9. If they insist on not making it sudden death, the fix is simple. If first team kicks a field goal, second time gets a chance but has to score a touchdown. If first team gets a touchdown, second team gets a chance but has to match the touchdown and go for two. This eliminates the dumb ties where both teams take five minutes to get a field goal, and also gives both teams a shot with the ball.

  10. bronx33 says:
    January 24, 2022 at 10:27 am
    Use the college system. That has worked quite well from my POV.

    I like it better than what we have now but do we really want to see 72-66 scores in the NFL? Or QB’s throwing 10+ TD passes in a game?

  11. Why not a variation of the college rule with each team starting maybe at the 50?
    You could see on the faces of the Bills who were at the coin toss that they didn’t just lose the toss, they lost the game.
    With the rules so favoring the offenses, defenses are gutted by OT.
    At least when the Steeelers lost in one of your posters constant reminding’s, I think the Tebow pass was the first play. Steelers fans didn’t have to suffer long.

  12. Oh, just stop! Why does everything require the perfect solution? It’s an imperfect game, in an imperfect world, refereed by imperfect people. Absolutely nothing wrong with how that game ended and I consider it one of the best I ever watched.

  13. Too contrived. I’d like to see just a 5 minute OT with each team getting 3 timeouts (and no 2 minute warning). For the regular season, if it’s still tied after the 5, it goes down as a tie. For the playoffs, if tied after 5, then another 5 is played, but without any additional timeouts allowed. Having the timeouts would (usually) prevent a team getting the ball first and sustaining a long drive, running out the clock.

  14. Where were all of the Overtime cry babies when the same exact thing happened to the Chiefs in the 2019 afc championship game?

  15. it sounds a bit too artificial to me. I think they should just keep it simple and toss a coin to see who kicks off, then just play normally for 10 minutes.

  16. Just make OT a 10 minute period.

    Move kickoffs back to foster more returns and fewer touchbacks.

    Revert onside kicks to previous rules.

    If no one wants those things and want to keep sudden death then the league needs to look at the battery of rules and general flow of play that favors offenses, such as spot foul DPI, etc..

  17. Go back to sudden death immediately when OT begins and do the OT coin flip at the start of the game. Everyone knows for 4 quarters who will get the choice for the ball in OT. Play the game accordingly so you don’t end up tied. For example, if the Bills knew KC would get the ball then with 13 seconds left they squib kick it instead of kicking it away in fear of a return (which they should have done anyway). Take away the possibility of a tie.

  18. Just play another complete quarter.

    If you change and say that the team who lost the coin toss should get a chance to score a touchdown if the other team scored then what if they both score? Do you keep giving each team a chance with the ball the next go around?

    Just play another complete quarter and be done with it.

  19. “One thing is certain… No matter what they choose…. some team, coach, fan or sportswriter will be upset about it the morning after a key game…”

    I forget which comedian once said: I don’t get how the NFL is so successful! Show me one other industry where exactly 1/2 of its client base is pissed off after everytime it’s product is used!

  20. The nfl is turning into the professional victim league it’s never your teams fault if you lose it’s the rules and system that need to be changed what a crock.

  21. To keep the sudden death element of it and to have it still be about how the game is played and not some shootout or college rules thingy, each team is guaranteed a possession, if the first team scores a TD, they can only make a 1 point attempt. 2nd team scoring a TD must go for 2.

  22. Defense is part of football!

    Not these days. The game is tilted big time toward offense.

    When guys like Jameis Winston and Matt Stafford can throw for 5000+ yards in a season something even Marino never did that tells you all you need to know about how the game is today.

    No point using ancient OT rules designed for a past era of the sport. Time to fix it.

  23. The bills blew the game with .13 remaining. A squib kick gives the Chiefs 1 play.

    No need to change the rules over them choking.

  24. I’d prefer they go back to the way the rules were 15 minutes sudden death. I miss the nfl now it’s just a watered down product for tv and corporate nonsense.

  25. Here’s an idea: the team that wins the toss in OT chooses if they want to play offense or defense – which one to they feel is their strength, particularly after playing four quarters? Start at the 25 or something, and if the offense scores, they win. If the defense stops them, they win.

  26. As someone who is not a bills fan but was rooting heavily for the bills, I got to say, while I prob am in the minority on this issue, especially today right after the game, I like the nfl ot rule.

    Back in the day, when it used to be sudden death only needing a fg, that i will say wasn’t fair, bc a defense can still do its job for the most part, but a team can kick a 55 yd fg to win it on.

    Here u need a td to win. As awesome as josh allen was last night, doing everything he can to get the bills to the afc championship game, football is a 3 unit team. offense, defense, special teams. The bills defense couldn’t tackle yesterday, especially early in the game, which still counts despite ppl only talking about the final 2 minutes and ot, and for the number 1 pass defense to allow the chiefs to score a td immediately after taking the lead 29-26, and then up 36-33 with just 13 secs left, as awesome as Mahomes is, any defense, let alone the number 1 pass d, should not be allowing with such ease an offense to make it so they can attempt a very makeable fg for an nfl kicker.

    I would have loved to see Josh Allen advance, as would many others, and he did everything in his power to do so, but sadly, the bills defense blew what would have been a golden opportunity to have a chance to advance to their first sb since the 90s, and with Rodgers and brady out of the picture, have a very realistic shot at winning one.

    Let the defense stop the other team from going the distance, its certainly way better than what it used to be only needing a fg where an offense can play for one, which is way easier than going the distance.

    Don’t change the rules, I understand ppl r frustrated today, but at the end of the day, the bills defense all they had to do in ot, was not even make a full stop, just don’t allow a td, and they get the ball back again. Football has 3 units, 1 was out of this world good last night for the bills, 1 was so so, and the other one, being the defense, was just as bad as the offense was good, especially from the 2 minute warning onwards.

    Hands down though the 2nd worst loss in bills history, after Scott Norwood wide right, and yes way worse than any of the other 3 sb losses and the music city miracle, bc in the other 3 sb losses they got trounced, and the music city miracle, that team wasn’t going very far anyways, this team had a real shot at hoisting the Lombardi trophy come feb 13th.

  27. Overtime rule is fine. One team is going to win no matter the rule. Why not play better defense. Bills needed to defend for 13 seconds and couldn’t do it.

  28. It’s funny to see football struggling with this. Soccer has had it figured out for forever and nobody complains with their format. (Two 15 minutes halves) Just play two 7 minute periods, with a break in between. Switch directions for second overtime period. Whoever is ahead at end wins. Tied? Go to best of 5 field goals (aka penalty shootout). DONE!

  29. For those saying “Just play defense”, has any team winning the OT coin toss chosen to kick it away?

    Eliminate OT for the regular season, play additional quarters for the playoffs. Problem solved.

  30. Umm…what? No. Each team gets a possession, sudden after if still tied. 15 minutes in regular season, play until a winner in post season.

    There is no reason to overcomplicate this. There really isn’t.

  31. This wouldn’t be a problem if the league had kept the rules towards offense and defense balanced. Right now offense has more favorable rules so even the best defense is handicapped against the worst offense.

  32. When guys like Jameis Winston and Matt Stafford can throw for 5000+ yards in a season something even Marino never did

    My mistake I was thinking of a 50 TD season. Marino had a 5000+ yard season but point is the same – the fact those other guys did it too tells you what the game is all about today.

  33. The Bills had their chance and their D could do nothing. The rules are fine..
    defense is a big part of the game. spot choose just a dumb gimmick..college rules are terrible. Leave it alone…it was a great game.

  34. Defense and special teams are equal legs of the same table. You don’t want to lose the game without getting the ball to your offense? Cool. Stop them.

    The reality is, overtime is intended to just come to a quick resolution after 4 quarters of two teams being equal. Extending the game further, increases risk of injury every single play that’s run.

    If it gets changed, you guys will just complain when the game goes back and forth for 10 minutes and someone gets hurt and can’t play in the super bowl or worse. You’ll say, “in the old rules this game would’ve been over and he wouldn’t have been out there”. Can’t change the rules everytime you don’t like the outcome

  35. I like this…


    bullcharger says:
    January 24, 2022 at 10:41 am
    Go back to sudden death immediately when OT begins and do the OT coin flip at the start of the game. Everyone knows for 4 quarters who will get the choice for the ball in OT. Play the game accordingly so you don’t end up tied. For example, if the Bills knew KC would get the ball then with 13 seconds left they squib kick it instead of kicking it away in fear of a return (which they should have done anyway). Take away the possibility of a tie.

  36. Add the option to receive in OT to the winner of the OPENING coin flip. If Bills win opening coin flip, they can elect to receive in OT. Then KC can choose whether to K, R or D the opening kick. At half the other team gets the ball. All this OT nonsense would change if the teams knew who was getting the ball in OT. For instance, Bills could have went for 2 at 13 seconds to go up by 4.

  37. This isn’t BASEBALL. Baseball is a equal possession/inning based game. Football is a clock based game. If you do anything, play an entire 5th quarter, at the end of the close the team with the highest score wins.

  38. Also…”don’t get to OT if you don’t like it” and “play better defense” are two of the laziest arguments in football.

  39. You know I hear both sides of the debate here and how some say it’s an “imperfect” game. Well considering the NFL is now on board with online gambling and everything else associated with it then they better darn well make sure it is as “perfect” a game as possible.

  40. I’m a Chiefs fan and I hate the OT rules. The problem with the current rules is that by the end of the 4th qtr, defenses are gassed, especially after dealing with high octane offenses for 3 hours. So, by OT defenses are running on fumes. They barely resemble their former selves. The coin flip is extremely unfair.

  41. For everyone wanting a full OT period, it won’t happen because:
    – the NFL doesn’t want longer games
    – the players don’t want longer games
    – the networks don’t want longer games


    No one gets paid extra for overtime. The league doesn’t get bonus money from the broadcasters, the players don’t get time and a half, and the networks don’t get extra commercial money.

    One thing a lot of people aren’t taking into account – KC-Buffalo was the late game. If it had been the early game and gone into endless overtime, no one would be watching the Rams and Bucs until it was over. The NFL does NOT want that. They want games to end so the full audience can go to the next one without overlap. That was the sole reason behind moving the regular Sunday 4pm ET game to 4:25 – to make sure the early game was DONE.

  42. the silly thing about sudden death is “its a new game” rather than a continuation of the existing game. Simply add time to the clock and let the team with the ball continue to play. First score wins. No coin toss necessary and playing defense still matters.

  43. The entire game is played with a clock. Simply adopt the same rules as NBA and play an OT quarter with a clock. If still tied go to second OT, and so on. Pretty simple and fair solution.

  44. The answer is easy. Just pick up the game where it was at the end of regulation and play on and first team scores next wins. In this case, KC scored on the last play and they kick off. If the score say was tied and a team has 3rd and 3 at there own 38, just start the “5” quarter there AND PALY ON. No coin flip and next team scroes wins. It’s sudden death at that point.

  45. Just play another complete quarter instead of all this mickey mouse stuff. It’s not going to kill these guys. The score may be 90-85 at the end because they don’t play defense after 12 minutes left in regulation but it will make good tv which is all the NFL wants.

  46. I think the only realistic solution is to play a full 15 minute OT period. That gives each team 15 minutes to win outright. Then if it is still tied use the current OT rules to determine a winner. When the stakes are this high, it seems the only fair solution to me.

  47. Different idea, based on “braveheart” in lacrosse – At start of OT period, ball is placed at 50 yard line, and each team is permitted two players inside their own 10 yard line. At whistle, teams can race to the ball to gain possession and advance. Laterals permitted, and drop kick field goal is permitted. If the team gaining possession can cross into the end zone, or can drop kick a field goal, game is over. If the team gaining possession is downed, then that team’s offense takes over from there, and game is then sudden death.

  48. Just keep playing.. 15 minute quarters.. end of quarter if still tied play another.. give teams a chance instead of a coin toss deciding game… MFL doesn’t care about players safety.. loner seasons now,why not longer games…. Bills would’ve at least had a chance after Allen having a performance of a lifetime..Twice in consecutive weeks!!!

  49. Why can’t they just go the baseball route?

    Each team gets a possession. Score still tied at the end of those two possessions, do it again. After a third time during regular season give them a tie. Playoffs… go until you’re crawling out the stadium.

  50. Only people with a loser’s mentality cry about the rules when they don’t go their way. No mention of changing the overtime rule before the game started but want to whine about it in the end. Weak

    By the way, I was rooting for the Bills but it is what it is. Stop crying!

  51. If you want it to be “fair” then do college OT. Start from the 50 and give the home team the option to play d first of o first and alternate possessions until we have a winner.

  52. How abut a particularly intense round of rock-paper-scissors? Because some of the proposals to “fix” overtime (that doesn’t need fixing) make as much sense.

  53. What you want is for the excitement that you felt at the end of regulation to continue. To do that give alternating shots to score starting at the 35 yd line going in. Keep alternating until game over. It will be constant almost unbearable excitement while not having tired players get more exhausted.

  54. All this whining – the current rule is fine, and stats back it up:

    Best I could find was an analysis covering 2012 – 2019 (2012 starting the touchdown/field goal rule change) if anyone cares to find 2020 and 2021 to add them in, more power to you – doubt it will change much:

    There have been a total of 118 overtime games (2012 – 2019). This includes regular season and playoffs.

    Wins by team that possesses the ball first: 59 (50%)

    Wins by team that possesses the ball second: 52 (44.1%)

    Ties: 7 (5.9%)

    If we distribute the ties equally between the two, You get 53% to 47%.

    That doesn’t seem too outrageous. How close to a 50/50 split does it have to be before the whining stops?

  55. It would be interesting to hear what Andy Reid wants. He was the most vocal on against this current rule when Patriots marched down and beat them. Each team has a defense. Hold the other team to a field goal and you have a chance. If defensive coordinators would just coach the same- there would not be this discussion- Again please ask Andy Reid.

  56. In OT, if the 1st team scores a TD plus a 2 point conversion, that should be the game. If they don’t, any score should have to be topped by the 2nd team. (Ex. If Team A scores a FG, Team B HAS to score a TD or the game is over. Or if Team A gets a TD and kicks the PAT, Team B gets the ball and has to get a TD plus the 2 point conversion or they lose).

  57. …and look for “spot and choose” overtime to fall well short of the necessary votes to pass. Nothing wrong with OT as is. If Bills don’t play prevent the last 13 seconds (and if they had kicked high and short of goal line to run the clock), they win in regulation.

  58. Better coaching from the Bills with 13 seconds left and this is a moot point. Instead of trying to fix what really isn’t broken, let us talk about how much McDermott and Frasier did to ruin their team’s epic comebacks…

  59. So the NFL is considering what is essentially a take of rock-paper-scissors to decide an overtime playoff game? 😂

    Not buying it.

  60. You can do it, NFL…

    KC always going to keep scoring when Mahomes has his weapons available in OT. Best clutch QB of his generation.

    Changing the rules would work to his and the Chiefs benefit, definitely. Defiantly. Go ahead, change the OT rules and make it even easier for KC to keep repeating.

  61. Just leave the rules alone, the referees have a hard keeping up with all the changes, and the fans are getting tired of it

  62. Spot and choose is a gimmick. It makes no sense. Just play the damn game. Spot and Choose sounds like a Draft Kings feature.

  63. All they have to do is give each team one possession in OT. Whoever goes ahead after that is the winner. Simple.

  64. Under current rules In the NFL, 52.7 percent of teams winning the overtime coin toss (and receiving) win the game. I would hardly say this rule is broken if it’s still an almost 50/50 split.

  65. Here’s a simple solution … just continue the game from the last play of the 4th quarter.

  66. Why not let field goals decide. My kicker vs your kicker; starting from the 25 then 5yds back each round. First to miss loses. Both miss, try again. Could be interesting.

  67. Chiefs proposed to change it after they got robbed against the Pats in the exact same way. All 31 teams (including the Bills) voted against. What goes around comes around.

  68. Play a 10 min quarter, if it’s still tied play another until there’s a winner. Simple

  69. Only one fair overtime type exists. Play extra quarters until someone is winning when time runs out. Simple. Attrition will win out.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.