KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The proposal from the Chiefs to alter the NFL's overtime rules stems from the team's disappointing loss to New England in the AFC Championship game, but club chairman and CEO Clark Hunt says the change truly benefits the fans.
“Clearly our game was an example of where maybe it would have been fairer for both teams to have the ball,” Hunt said Saturday night during his appearance at the annual 101 Awards in Kansas City. “But as we discussed and thought about it, it really is for the fans, right?”
The Chiefs fell to the Patriots 37-31 after a furious second-half rally forced the game into overtime. New England won the coin toss, and quarterback Tom Brady marched his offense down the field for a game-winning touchdowns without the Chiefs offense and quarterback Patrick Mahomes having a chance in the extra period.
The proposal by the Chiefs would allow both teams to possess the ball on offense during an overtime period. If the teams remain tied after each have had an offensive possession, the game would revert to sudden death. There would be no coin toss before overtime, but the team winning the coin toss before the game would have the option to kick, receive or choose which goal to defend in overtime. The proposal would also eliminate overtime for preseason games.
“I'm not so sure there's not a fan outside of New England who didn't want to see Patrick Mahomes get the ball in our game,” Hunt said. “It just would have been more exciting.”
Hunt said he discussed the rule change with head coach Andy Reid, and he hopes the proposal sparks a dialogue with the league. The rule change will be considered during the annual league meeting at the end of March. Hunt expressed a willingness to compromise if the rule change only applied to postseason games.
“So if we can make that change, even if it was only in the playoffs, we really think it would be for betterment of the game,” Hunt said.