Chiefs’ Overtime, Replay Rule Changes Under Consideration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two rule changes submitted by the Chiefs, including a motion that would allow both teams to possess the ball in overtime, are among nine proposals distributed to NFL teams for consideration this offseason.

The overtime proposal suggested by the Chiefs would allow both teams to possess the ball in overtime, even if the first team with possession scores a touchdown. If the teams remain tied after both have had possession, the game would revert to sudden death.

The proposal also would eliminate overtime during preseason games and eliminate the overtime coin toss. The winner of the game's initial coin toss would choose whether to kick or receiver or choose which goal to defend.

Certainly the Chiefs have motivation for proposing the overtime rule change. They lost the AFC Championship game in overtime when the New England Patriots marched down the field for a touchdown on the first possession of the extra period, denying quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense an opportunity to respond.

The rule changes proposed by teams will be considered during the annual league meeting in Phoenix starting March 24.

The Chiefs also suggested another rule which would add review of personal fouls as plays subject to the coaches' challenge for instant replays. Coaches could challenge personal fouls called or not called on the field. Washington proposed an alternate rule change that would make personal fouls reviewable.

Washington also proposed the most sweeping replay review rule. Their suggested change would subject all plays in the game to coaches' challenges by teams or review by the replay official.

Other rule change proposals would also alter the plays which could be reviewed under instant replay. Four teams – Carolina, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia and Seattle – proposed adding safety-related fouls to the list of reviewable plays.

Philadelphia proposed a rule that would add scoring plays and turnovers negatived by a penalty as subject to automatic review by the replay official. Denver suggested adding all fourth-down plays spotted short of the of line to gain or goal line and all point after touchdown attempts as automatic reviews.

One of Denver's three rule proposals would borrow an element from the Alliance of American Football. The rule change would provide an alternative to an onside kick that would allow a team trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring.

Under the proposal, a team once per game during the fourth quarter could elect to run an offensive play from their own 35-yard line. If they reach the 50-yard line on that play, the drive continues. If not, the defense takes possession.