The most interesting player in football no touch the round in the extra period of Sunday’s AFC championship game. It is a problem, so stop look in ~ our options.

You are watching: Nfl overtime coin flip win percentage

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
we must host on come our ethical authority come complain online, because without complaining, the web would simply be porn, cat photos, and also dubious price quotes attributed come dead presidents. But Teddy Roosevelt when said the complaining about a trouble without proposing a solution is simply whining, and also a many football fans space whining this week.

The NFL’s overtime system has been questioned because it was enforced in 1974, but this week, it is facing the sharpest scrutiny since 2010, when the overtime rules were retooled. ~ above Sunday, both the NFC and AFC championship games got in overtime, and in the last matchup the Kansas City Chiefs and new England Patriots an unified for 48 second-half points, 31 that which come from Kansas City come tie the game at the finish of regulation. The Chiefs did not gain the sphere again. The Patriots correctly called heads on the overtime coin toss, chosen to receive, and also drove down the ar to score a touchdown and win the game in sudden death. The Chiefs defense squandered lot of of opportunities to protect against the Pats and also get the ball, consisting of three third-and-10 opportunities, yet their ns sparked a couple of questions: exactly how much affect should a coin toss have on the outcome of a game? must overtime conclude after only one offense has stepped onto the field? can we write into the rule book that if regulation end in a tie, then the Patriots lose?

For the whiners amongst us, below are 11 possible solutions come the NFL’s vexing overtime problem, in addition to the pros and also cons the each. Happy complaining.

The standing Quo

1. Save the existing Rules

The Rule: “Each team should possess, or have the possibility to possess, the ball. The exception: if the team the gets the ball very first scores a touchdown top top the opening possession.”

Pros: Defense matters. If the Chiefs wanted to win, climate they should have forced a stop.

Cons: The current rule is bizarre. The initial policy to be amended since the team the won the coin flip had a disproportionate advantage. From 1994 (when the kickoff was moved ago 5 yards) to 2010, the team that won the coin toss won virtually 60 percent that overtime games. Since the sudden-death dominion was tweaked come exclude first-possession ar goals in 2012 (for two seasons prior, the rule adjust was in result for only the playoffs), the disparity isn’t almost as dramatic (52.7 percent, through that distinction partially early to more home teams winning the toss therefore far).

But the fairness of the dominance is much much more questionable considering how regularly playoff overtime gamings have been made decision in a single possession by one team. As ESPN’s Mike Sando spicy out:

Here space the playoff OT games since rules readjusted to call for a TD instead of a FG to success on the an initial possession. Together
BenBaldwin noted, if both groups were assured possession, the 2nd team with the round would advantage from knowing what"s needed to win.

It is bonkers that the team that wins the coin flip can end the game by scoring a touchdown ~ above the very first drive and also then rotate around and also say, “If you wanted to win, girlfriend should have played defense,” also though its very own defense didn’t need to do anything. If defense matters, both defenses should have to play. A coin toss need to not determine which team gets the opportunity to store the other offense indigenous playing. Until groups are offered the possibility to have actually an equal number of possessions, some gamings won’t have actually just—or entertaining—endings.

2. Exact same Rules, yet Sudden Death begins After the very first Possession

The Rule: each team must have the chance to own the ball.

Pros: the preserves the allure of sudden death but allows each team come touch the round at least once. No matter what the Patriots had actually done on their first overtime possession Sunday, the Chiefs would certainly have gotten the round back.

Cons: It would certainly not guarantee same possessions. Let’s say that after the Patriots scored a touchdown, they walk for two points and also converted. Climate the Chiefs acquired the ball, score a touchdown, and made a two-point conversion to tie the game. Climate the Patriots acquired the ball, drove 45 yards, and also kicked a walk-off field goal. It’d it is in the same problem we started with: The Chiefs wouldn’t have actually the chance to respond since of the coin-toss outcome.

3. Go ago to suddenly Death

The Rule: first team come score wins.

Pros: Life isn’t fair. The rule are currently too complicated. Let’s go back to a easier time.

Cons: Going under the ar to acquire 40 yards, kicking a ar goal, and winning is together unexciting to watch as a sports fan as it is challenging to expropriate as a loser.

4. Play the whole Overtime Period

The Rule: beat the entire period (10 minute in the continual season, 15 in the playoffs).

Pros: This is the easiest solution, and also perhaps the most tempting come anyone that is tired just by reading these options, never mind listening refs explain them. In 2017, the organization shortened overtime to 10 minutes in the consistent season; in 2018, over there were 2 ties in the very first two mainly of the season.

Cons: If reading these entries has been exhausting, imagine play a 75-minute football game in subzero weather. Currently imagine that game still being tied. The players would certainly be exhausted, it would be much less fun to watch, and, many importantly, this systems would substantially raise the danger of injury. Football is dangerous enough, and also the league doesn’t require to add any an ext rules that put players in ~ risk.

Inspired by college Football

5. College Football Overtime

The Rule: You can read the complete rules of university football overtime here, yet this is the gist:

Each team it s okay one possession beginning from the opponent’s 25-yard line. If the score is quiet tied after ~ both possessions, the procedure repeats, yet the team that went very first goes second, and vice versa. After two overtime periods, no extra points are allowed. Only two-point conversions.

Pros: same possessions would typical that more points could be scored and the game would be more fun. Ditching the extra clues after two overtimes means games would finish faster.

Cons: putting NFL teams in the love of the other team’s territory is antithetical come the sport and also feels like a practice-drill gimmick. Luckily, the field position is the easiest part of the dominion to readjust ...

6. Modified university Football Overtime

The Rule: take it college football overtime rules, however instead of placing teams 25 yards away from the end zone, have them begin somewhere else an ext palatable—the 50-yard line, their very own 25-yard line, wherever.

Pros: This could be the closest we come to a dominion that’s both fair and also realistic. It would certainly be far much better to clock the Chiefs lose because their offense had the possibility to score and also failed rather than not obtaining the opportunity to score in ~ all.

Cons: as The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman wrote 2 years ago, university football overtime is still influenced by the coin toss:

“If you’re searching for a system not affected by coin tosses, university football isn’t the place. In that system, teams acquire to choose whether to play on offense very first or second. The team that goes 2nd has a substantial advantage, understanding how plenty of points it needs to tie or success the game. A study of the very first 10 year of college football’s overtime rules discovered that groups that went second won 54.9 percent of the time. One more study uncovered that teams that begin on defense had a 52.1 percent win probability, smaller sized than the NFL’s however still significant. And also this Redditor tabulated that groups going 2nd in overtime had actually won 331 the 602 overtime games, almost 55 percent. Enabling both teams to touch the round lends plausible fairness to the game, however it doesn’t do it even.

See more: How Much Prepared Minced Garlic Equals A Clove ? Jarred Minced Garlic

Yes, the team the goes 2nd would have actually an advantage by going 2nd (on the various other hand, this is just how baseball works, and nobody appears to have actually an problem with the home team batting at the bottom that extra innings). There is one way to get rid of the power of the coin toss the was suggest this week ...