Titans propose an overtime rule change with a two-point conversion twist

Tennessee Titans v Baltimore Ravens
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Once again, the NFL will consider changing the overtime rules this offseason. But what’s different this time is that the Titans are proposing a rule change that hasn’t been tried before.

The Titans’ proposal is to allow both teams an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime — unless the team with the first possession scores a touchdown and a successful two-point try.

That’s a departure from the current rule, which allows the team that receives the overtime kickoff to win if it scores a touchdown on the opening possession. The Titans’ proposal would make it harder to win on the first possession, but not impossible.

The Colts and Eagles have jointly proposed a more conventional change to the overtime rules: Their proposal would simply guarantee that both teams get an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime.

The competition committee will also consider its own recommendation for an overtime rules change. Any change would be voted upon at the owners’ meeting, and would require three-fourths of the owners to approve.

61 responses to “Titans propose an overtime rule change with a two-point conversion twist

  1. Here’s an idea… each team gets 1 possession. If the game is still tied, teams get to do 2 point tries until a team succeeds and the other fails.

  2. nah, why complicate it
    imo it should be each team gets the same number of OT possessions, alternating who goes first in each series. No game ends in a tie regardless of how long it takes.

  3. I’d rather see a 5th quarter. But I’d be ok too if they just go back to true sudden death like it used to be.

  4. My gosh why make it so complicated and just not incorporate the exciting college OT rules? My more exciting and more importantly fair.

  5. By far the best change would be the simplest. Both teams write down on a piece of paper where they would start on offense. The team that bids the closest to their own goal line wins. If both propose the 1 yard line, then it’s a coin flip. First score of any type wins.

  6. I actually like this. There’s some strategy to it, because if you go for 2 and you miss, the opposing team’s TD + PAT will be a win.

  7. This is a fun proposal. Teams scoring a TD on the first OT possession could try to end the game with a two-point conversion. But if they fail and the other team also scores a TD, they would lose if the extra point was made. More high-stakes coaching decisions are better.

  8. This is just as dumb as the previous rules regarding field goal vs touchdown. Just give both teams equal chances to score – what ever that entails. Play the entire OT period out if that is what it takes.

    I don’t know anyone who would complain about too much football for the random offshoot games that go deep into an overtime.

  9. The inherent problem with any scheme where both teams are allowed to possess the ball is that it unfairly favors the second team.

    The second team – knowing that they MUST score or lose the game, will be required to go for it on every 4th down. Of course you may say the first team could choose to do that too, but that proposition is much riskier (giving away the ball at mid field, say) vs punting and still having a chance on a new possession. The second, with no other chance for a new procession, has to go all in on every drive.

    The only truly fair overtime is to continue the game for an additional quarter. In the playoffs if it’s still tied after that, play another quarter.

  10. It is actually beneficial for a few more games to end in a tie; that way, many battles for playoff berths will be decided by a half game (as the 9-7-1 Steelers got in last year over the 9-8 Dolphins, Colts, and Chargers), rather than by using tie-breakers that are at least as often as not unfair: Was it fair that the Eagles got in over the Saints because they beat the Saints head-to-head – IN PHILADELPHIA? Is to fair to give one NFC team a playoff berth over another NFC team on the grounds of having a better record within the conference in a year in which the AFC won the interconference season series, thus rewarding the team that did better against weaker competition?

    Tennessee’s proposal is cute – but since it doesn’t guarantee both teams at least one possession in overtime, it is an absolute non-starter so far as I’m concerned.

  11. Doesn’t this rule give the second team to possess the ball a better chance to win since in all likelihood the 1st team will go for two and the second team would only need an extra point.

    If you are going to incorporate the 2pt conversion make the second team to possess the ball must go for 2 if first team scores a td and an extra point.

  12. I don’t know. I like the idea of treating OT like the sudden death 5th quarter instead of starting fresh like the end of a half. It’s safer, faster and eliminates the fairness question. The whole spectacle of stopping the game, flipping the coin and worrying about equal possession seems like a lot. Just keep playing the game and after the 60 minute mark it’s the next score wins.

  13. O STOP IT!
    Stop with these ridiculous proposals!

    Each team gets a possession.
    It doesnt matter how.
    THEN it’s Sudden Death.

    (Now comes the chorus of “but what if…”.
    It doesn’t matter if the team fumbles the OVT kickoff away.
    Sudden Death.
    End of Story.)

  14. No. Just no! Why does the NFL insist on continually becoming more and more convoluted? It’s detracting from the game by injecting silly situational rules which only serve to anger fans. Instead of concocting all of these barriers to a fair game, just stop with semi-sudden death altogether and give each team one guaranteed possession. There. Fixed it.

    Now I’m fully expecting the traditionalists to chime in and say changing rules is terrible because this is how we’ve always done it and why people like me are killing the game.

  15. Just let both teams offense have a turn. So much more simple but that seems to upset some people.

  16. Two Rules Changes I’d like to see: 1) A fifth period for overtime. Play the whole thing out the way basketball does. 2) A 3 point conversion after a touchdown. One untimed play from the 15 yard line to score. It would only come up in extreme cases at the end of games, but would bring some excitement to games

  17. “My gosh why make it so complicated and just not incorporate the exciting college OT rules?”

    Because kicking is WAY better at the NFL level. It works in college because kicking is far iffier and taking a single sack can actually put teams out of FG range. But in the NFL you’d need to back them up from the 25 like college uses to probably the 40 or 45 and by that time if you’re going to be using half the field why not just play regular where fans get the excitement of punts and kickoffs?

  18. I’m not banging the drum for a change in the OT rules, but this is an interesting proposal if the rules change. So Team 1 can choose to just go for the extra point, I assume, and then if Team 2 gets a TD they’ll have to decide whether to go for two or just tie it up. Assuming that the game would convert to true sudden death in case of a tie, then that makes it likely Team 2 will go for the two-point conversion.

  19. It they can do the 6 points and the two point conversion they should win. If they do not get the conversion the game should be done out in another 15 minute quarter. Any team that goes up by more than 8 points the game is over

  20. Just leave it alone.

    If you give both teams a possession, the 2nd team has the chance to go for 2 and take the win after also potentially going for it on 4th down.

    If the first team scores a TD, that is it!

    The NFL should not be prolonging games that dont generate OT revenue and increase the risk of player injury.

  21. Regular games that end in a tie after 4 quarters equals a LOSS for both teams! You had 60 minutes already…….. “You play to win the Game!”

    Post-season only for any kind of OT

  22. Regular season: Both teams get a possession but eliminate the extra point in overtime and require the two point conversion. If the game is still tied after both teams get a possession then do a new coin flip to determine who goes next. If the game is tied after the next set of equal possessions, call it a tie.

    Playoffs: Same but sudden death after each team has two possessions.

  23. My proposal is simple. When a game ends in a tie, it ends in a tie. Forget about overtime altogether and make teams figure out a way to win outright in regulation time. For safety reasons (which we know the NFL is all about!) 4 quarters is enough. Win the darn game and put us out of our overtime misery.

  24. No. The solution is so easy, with fewer ties. Both teams get the ball. If first team kicks field goal, second team must go for touchdown. If first team gets touchdown, second team must match and go for two.

  25. Before the rules were all changed to give offenses a huge advantage over the defense, OT was just sudden death. Everyone was fine with that.

    It was hard to score points when defenses were not afraid of penalties if they cover, tackle, or hit QBs. A lot of ties were at fewer than 20 points each.

    Now it’s more often OT starts at 31-31 and the last three possessions of regulation all ended in points. Which makes sudden death OT just the coin flip.

  26. Really sad but this isn’t rocket science. Hockey and Basketball are even flow games. In baseball both teams get a fair turn. As for Football the CFL Canadian Football League has it figured.

    1. Both teams get to play offence. The key is 9n a TD you have to try a 2pt conversion.
    2. If you choose a field goal instead of groaning for it then it’s your call. You might just loose.

    Here is the challenge. Sure defence can and does produce points, just not consistent. As for the first possession team worried about 4th down decision, then choose to play defence first. Won’t be the first time a coaching depiction looses a game. Plus a little extra overtime means an extra commercial. Being the league is run by greedy owners and selfish players, more money should make them even happier.

  27. What’s wrong with a tie during regular? Play 7 minute extra quarters in playoffs/SB. At this rate teams will need to hire lawyers to understand the rules.

  28. I like this. It’s the best on eI’ve heard. You had four quarters to outscore the other team. So in overtime, if they put up eight points on you, then it’s over. Go home. You can give up a TD, and still have a chance to come back and win if you stop them from converting. The Panthers with Cam Newton are the only team to ever come from behind in overtime. In 2015, the Colts scored a FG on the opening possession of OT. Panthers were down three and responded with their own FG. Then they got a stop, got the ball back, and won it with a FG. In this scenario, more teams will have a chance to come back from a deficit in OT.

    But I’d be okay if this was the deal in the playoffs, and we just did away with OT in the regular season. This will cause more teams to play to win in the 4th, instead of playing for OT.

  29. Most alternative proposals are more unfair than the current system, because they would give the second team possessing the ball both the advantage of 4th downs (knowing they have to score to win) along with the ability to win the game outright (which the first team has in the current system).

    It just stacks the deck the other way, and if a team has both failed to win in regulation and allowed the other team to score a TD on the first drive in OT, why do they deserve all that extra advantage?

    The current system is fair. It puts emphasis on both offense and defense and adds an element of risk – after all, it’s a tie *breaker*.

    If we simply want to be as neutral and boring and safe and “fair” as possible, the obvious choice is: no overtime during the regular season (a tie’s a tie, if you want to win, do it during regulation – shortens games and reduces injury risk) and then an OT that’s an extra quarter in the playoffs (with a sudden-death additional quarter if tied at the end of that quarter).

  30. What I would like to see is the team that was last on offense automatically being on defense in OT. Both teams would have a possession, sudden death after that if those possessions did not produce a winner.
    This would create strategy for the end of the game, and allow a tired D a rest. Maybe it would be better to score sooner rather than running out the clock.

  31. Last time I suggested this,… I got about 500 thumbs down. But I’ll suggest it again. I think it’s a legit solution. Many of the newest NFL rules are adaptions of NCAA rules. I like the way the NCAA deals with overtime,.. and with an adjustment or 2,… it would be a good way to settle NFL ties.
    Each team gets possession at the opponents 25 yd line. TD’s or FG’s. If they both score TD’s,.. You do it again but with changes. For the next possessions you eliminate the extra point and force the teams to go for 2.

  32. “The Colts and Eagles have jointly proposed a more conventional change to the overtime rules: Their proposal would simply guarantee that both teams get an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime.” So the Colts and Eagles are essentially seeking a 5th quarter. It’s not really sudden death at all.

  33. First, a coin flip has never won or lost a game – and the sudden death first possession score change has been dead for years.

    As Bill would say, deal with it – and if you don’t like it, stop it. If you stop it, your reward is a field goal to win the game.

    Nobody who wins the coin toss has sympathy for the other team, and nowhere is it guaranteed that the coin toss winner has the ball first.

    There is nothing wrong with the rule as is and the tinkering threat has to stop. You weren’t good enough to win in 60 minutes, so knock it off.

  34. The only way to make OT “fair” is to have it consist of two equal periods each beginning with a kickoff. Doing that insures that winning the coin toss does not give one side or the other an advantage. Each team gets the ball, each team gets to play offense, defense, and special teams. If the game is still tied after two of these extra periods, you play two more. You could use full quarters, but probably 10 minute periods would make sense for reducing the length of the OT.

  35. dvdman123 says:
    March 16, 2022 at 9:26 am
    My gosh why make it so complicated and just not incorporate the exciting college OT rules? My more exciting and more importantly fair.

    Because Professional players don’t want a game to go to 12 overtimes, because they only get paid for 4 quarters.

  36. Meh, just do a best out of three coin flip off at the end of a tie game in regulation. 20 minute periods, enough time to allow the sports books of the world to take bets on said coin flips.

    Your official gambling partners would love that kind of action. The rest of us, not so much, but you gotta keep the money machine raking it in.

  37. Just more added nonsense. This is all rather simple really play the overtime period just as a 10 min quarter and who every is ahead at the end of the period, wins. If it’s still a tie, do it again. Why is this so hard?

  38. Chunk Life says:
    March 16, 2022 at 9:43 am
    The inherent problem with any scheme where both teams are allowed to possess the ball is that it unfairly favors the second team.

    The only truly fair overtime is to continue the game for an additional quarter. In the playoffs if it’s still tied after that, play another quarter.
    The problem with the additional quarter approach is that the team winning the coin toss quite likely finishes the quarter with an extra possession. To make it fair, you need two quarters or maybe 10 minute periods with each team kicking off.

  39. The rules are fine as they are. A coinflip is fair to both teams and then play defense if you cannot make a stop you dont deserve to win the game. Simple facts.

  40. Well, if the goal here is to take a simple concept that has already been made more complicated than it needs to be, and add even further complications, why not go full out!?

    At the start of OT the refs split into two crews and each places a football at opposing 49 yard lines. Both offenses and both defenses take the field at the same time. The offenses work away from each other while the defenses defend their own side of the field. Both sides start plat simultaneously. First team to score, or first team to score with more points, wins!

    Both teams get to possess the ball, everything is equal, offenses are wide open, and the game won’t take too long and interfere with follow up games. Best of all, the fans in attendance finally get a better viewing experience than TV viewers!

    Done. Solved. And as complicated as I can make and still satisfy the money grab.

  41. Each coach composes a haiku about the game so far at midfield and an online poll determines the winner

  42. Let’s keep it simple. Play a 10 minute overtime period. Whoever is ahead at the end that period wins the game. If they are still tied, the game ends in a tie.

  43. Regular Season: game stands as a tie, no OT.

    Play-offs and Super Bowl.
    1. Coin Toss

    2. Play a full 5th Quarter. The team that is ahead at the end of the quarter wins.

    3. If score is tied at the end of the 5th Quarter, no coin toss.
    Team with the ball at the end of the 5th Quarter maintains possession.
    Teams switch directions, play a full 6th Quarter. If tied at end of 6th Quarter, rinse/repeat.


    3. If score is tied at the end of the 5th Quarter, no coin toss.
    Team with the ball at the end of the 5th Quarter maintains possession.
    Teams switch directions, next score wins.
    Game clock is set at 15 minutes; switch directions at the end of each 15-minute “quarter” if necessary.

  44. While I’m fatigued by yet another change, this tweak actually introduces another strategic element. A team could go for two if they score a touchdown, but if they fail on the 2-pt conversion, the other team would possess the ball. Now if they score a touchdown, only an extra point would win them the game.

    I could see some teams still kicking the extra point on the first touchdown to avoid that scenario. Or, they go for the gusto and try to score the full 8 on the first possession.

  45. I’d like to see both teams lose, if they can’t settle the game after they each get an overtime possession. Standings can use win percentage as a tiebreaker, so it still rewards the tie in playoff positioning. Everyone knows ties are dumb, including the NFL.

  46. I like it. This is as good as anything else out there. You can risk the 2 pt to win it all but not making it can come back to bite you. If you do the 1 pt the other team gets the ball and a chance to win. Make it if the first team gets the 1 pt conversion then the second team MUST try for 2 if they score a TD.

  47. It’s fine the way it is. As a matter of fact, it was fine the way it was before they changed it last time. If a team wants to win, play good offense, defense, and special teams. Don’t even let it get to O.T. If it goes to O.T. and you lose the toss, play good defense.

  48. The solution is so simple.
    No overtime during the regular season.
    If a game ends tied, it ends tied.

  49. Each offense has a 2 minute clock and starts at midfield. They can score as many points as possible within 2 minutes. Once they score the other offense goes. After each score you restart at midfield.

  50. Simpler than anything — don’t have an overtime, just extend the 4th quarter until the tie is broken if it is tied at the regular quarter-end. That way, the last team with the ball in the regular quarter’s time can make a decision to go for a tie or win it outright before regulation ends, and they know they will be kicking off if they go for the tie.

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