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.