The Chiefs beat the Bills in overtime on Sunday night 42-36 after rallying for the win with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Kansas City got the ball first in overtime and never let Josh Allen see the field, driving 75 yards for Patrick Mahomes’ game-winning touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.
The end of the game has sparked some debate over the NFL’s overtime rules, which award a sudden-death win if the first team to receive the ball scores a touchdown. While the Chiefs won’t be complaining about Sunday’s result, it wasn’t too long ago that they ended up on the wrong side of the NFL’s overtime rules. That was during the AFC Championship Game in 2019, when they couldn’t survive a late comeback from Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Kansas City led by four with 2:03 left in the game, but the teams traded late scores and headed into overtime tied at 31. The Patriots won the coin toss, got the ball first and drove down the field to score. the winning goal. landing. Mahomes never touched the ball.
That didn’t sit well with the Chiefs. In fact, it prompted them to try to change the NFL’s overtime rules. Kansas City introduced a proposal at the 2019 NFL owners meetings that would have given both teams a chance to possess the ball during overtime.
Below is the full rule proposal, through the NFL:
by Kansas City; amend Rule 16 to (1) allow both teams to have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in overtime, even if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown; (2) eliminate overtime for the preseason; and (3) eliminate the coin toss in overtime so that the winner of the initial coin toss to start the game can choose to kick or receive, or which goal to defend.
That proposal garnered little support, and NFL owners didn’t even vote on it. A rule change must be approved by 24 of the league’s 32 owners, and it was clear that threshold would not be crossed.
Ironically, the NFL’s overtime rules worked in the Chiefs’ favor this time. Still, NFL fans expressed a desire to change the rules as they wanted to see Allen get a chance to respond to Mahomes, but Allen didn’t complain during his postgame news conference.
“The rules are what they are and I can’t complain,” Allen told reporters. “If it was the other way around, we’d be celebrating. We didn’t make enough plays tonight.”
That differs slightly from what Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said during an appearance on 98.5 “Felger and Mazz” from The Sports Hub about a week after the Chiefs’ loss to the Patriots. Kelce explained that he wanted a chance at a “rebuttal” in that game, so he supported changing the overtime rules.
“I’m definitely for it,” Kelce said when asked if both teams should get the ball in overtime. “Especially being in a situation like that. It would probably be a little bit more, I don’t want to say sloppy, but I would have said, ‘Yeah, I mean, they could change if they wanted to, but they don’t.’ they really affect me.’ To be in that situation, really without control, without rebuttal, I would say, or without retaliation playing against an incredible offense like that, kind of sucks.”
Kelce made sure to clarify that “the rule is the rule” and that the overtime debate is “an interesting discussion” above all else. He simply stated that giving the ball to both teams in overtime was “a little fairer” than the sudden-death touchdown rule.
However, Kelce, at the time, also acknowledged that because the Patriots were viewed as the villains in their 2019 reunion, he assumed fewer viewers would have had a problem if the tables were turned and the Chiefs had won the toss and scored. .
“I think if it was the other way around, if Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs go down, win the toss, score a touchdown, we’re not talking, ‘Brady should have had a shot. He should have had this and that,'” Kelce said. “It’s funny how everyone in America wanted to see Patrick Mahomes be a legend at the time, I think it’s definitely going to raise some questions throughout the NFL and whether or not they should change playoff overtime.”
It will be interesting to see if Kelce and the Chiefs’ stance changes now that they’ve benefited from the NFL’s playoff rules or if they continue to support a sudden-death touchdown rule change in the future.