USA Today

Andy Reid knows exactly what Sean McDermott and the Buffalo Bills went through Sunday night, not having the opportunity to get the ball in overtime as the opponent marched down the field and advanced to the next round of the playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs were victims of the sudden-death overtime rule in the 2019 AFC Championship Game, a loss which Patrick Mahomes never touched the ball as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots matched down the field and scored on the initial possession of the extra period. 

The Chiefs were on the opposite end of the spectrum Sunday night, making sure the Bills never received the ball in overtime as they won 42-36 to advance to the AFC Championship Game. Buffalo downplayed the overtime rules, yet Reid had his say on the league acting on the controversial overtime period less than 24 hours later. 

Reid and the Chiefs once tried to change the overtime rules three years ago, but to no avail. 

"I'm glad we didn't change them as of last night. I had a chance to talk to Sean (McDermott) afterwards, and that's I'm sure something they're going to look at again, too, and I wouldn't be opposed to it," Reid said. "That's a hard thing, it was great for us last night, but is it great for the game, which is the most important thing that we should all be looking out for. 

"To make things equal, it probably needs to be able to hit both offenses and both defenses."

The Chiefs actually did try to change the overtime rule in 2019, giving both teams the opportunity to have the ball regardless if the team that won the coin toss scored on its initial possession. Here's the full proposal:

  • Allow both teams the opportunity to possess the ball at least one time in overtime, even if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown
  • Eliminate overtime for preseason
  • Eliminate overtime coin toss so that winner of initial coin toss to begin game may choose whether to kick or receive, or which goal to defend.

The proposal was not adopted and wasn't even taken to a vote, 24 of 32 owners would have to vote "yes" for an overtime rule to be changed. 

Under the current overtime rules, both teams do have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in overtime unless the team that receives the overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession (the Chiefs accomplished this against the Bills). The modified sudden-death overtime was instituted for the 2010 postseason. 

If the Bills would have held the Chiefs to a field goal, overtime would have continued with the Bills having an opportunity to tie the game with a field goal or win it with a touchdown. The team that won the coin toss had the opportunity to win the game without the other team having the football on offense.

Perhaps the overtime rules will be revisited this offseason after all the controversy in the aftermath of Sunday's game. The Bills may have more support if they bring it up this time around.