Last night we were treated to two entertaining and exciting games, not only due to the play on the field but also the officiating and rules. After the Saints were denied a spot in Super Bowl LIII due to a terrible refereeing call coupled with rules which make it impossible for them to challenge the call, the NFL were hoping the Patriots and Chiefs game would avoid any negative attention or debate. Though not nearly as big of an outcry as the Saints no call, there is still one to be had.
An exhilarating 4th quarter which saw the Patriots and Chiefs exchange scores came to an end with both teams on 31 points. Overtime came calling. I love OT but this one had a feeling. Both teams had seen their offenses flying, and it really felt whoever won the coin toss was going to win the game due to the OT rules. Patriots won the toss and so it happened. The Chiefs lost out on their chance of reaching the Super Bowl, without their top ranked offense even seeing the field. This game always had a feeling that it would come down to the Patriots offense versus the Chiefs offense. Sadly the latter weren’t given a chance to respond.
Let’s step back a bit. I’m sure most of our readers remember when the OT rules simply stated that the first team to score wins. So all the offense needed to do was get within FG range. The NFL changed this rule due to the opinion that it was too easy for the team who won the coin toss. The first time we saw this new rule where a TD was required on the first possession was when Tim Tebow launched an 80 yard TD pass, on the very first snap against the Steelers back in 2012 to send the Broncos through. The NFL quickly adopted the new change. Despite this, the rule has still been open to criticism and yesterday, on one of the biggest stage, this debate was opened again. The league has made tweaks over the years but this part still remains.
Some people argue that the current system works, or that it adds to the excitement. Saying a sudden death system is best, and that it’s up to the other teams defense to make a play. Personally, I don’t see it to be fair. Why should only one offense be given a chance? Why should the game be decided, or at very least the advantage given, based on a coin flip?
Yesterday was the biggest example of where this rule fails. We have seen former and current players voice on social media their disapproval of how the rule works. Surely it’s time to change it. The fact that the top offense in the league was denied a chance to save their teams hopes is not only unfair to the Kansas players and fans, but also to the neutrals who felt like a humdinger of a match was ended too soon, without the feeling of one team proving they were the rightful finalists.