Chiefs table overtime rule proposal, plan to amend and reintroduce during May meeting

Chiefs Andy Reid would have liked offensive opportunity in overtime

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid would have liked another opportunity to score in overtime, during Sunday's January 20, 2019 AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. He says he supports the league rules on overtime.
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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid would have liked another opportunity to score in overtime, during Sunday's January 20, 2019 AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. He says he supports the league rules on overtime.

While NFL owners stunningly passed a rule to allow coaches and a replay official to challenge offensive and defensive pass interference calls and non-calls on Tuesday, the Chiefs will have to wait a little bit longer to see if the rest of the league will adopt their overtime rules-change proposal.

The proposal, initially submitted by Kansas City for the NFL’s annual owners meetings in Arizona this week, has been tabled until the league’s May meeting.

But team CEO and chairman Clark Hunt was optimistic that the Chiefs would come back to that meeting with a stronger amended proposal, one that makes the overtime change applicable to the postseason only and keeps the second coin toss to start an overtime period.

“Going into the meeting, I was actually pessimistic that it had very much traction,” Hunt said Tuesday. “As we discussed it, it became apparent that there was a pretty significant support for it, particularly if we modified the proposal to not include the regular season.

“We had debated initially whether we had submitted something that was regular season and postseason or just postseason, so we chose to table it and plan to bring it back at the May meeting as a rule just for postseason.”

In its current form, the Chiefs wanted to give both teams a possession in overtime, eliminate the coin toss and eliminate overtime in the preseason. As initially submitted, the overtime change would be in effect for both the regular season and the postseason.

“Based on conversation that the coin toss was an unnecessary distraction to getting the rule passed,” Hunt said. “So I think we’ll probably come back without the coin toss as part of it. Try to have something that’s simple and straightforward that we can get passed.”

Though this is the Chiefs’ first formal proposal to amend the rule, coach Andy Reid said he’s thought about a change to the rule for quite a while.

“Right now, the offenses have never been greater — and that’s the way the league wants it,” Reid said Tuesday morning. “Give both sides an opportunity. That was my feeling with our proposal. You can argue that. It seems like the right thing to do. I’ve always felt this. This wasn’t just because of this year. This is not the first time this has been brought up.”

The Chiefs’ proposal will have to wait a couple more months, but six rule changes have been adopted for the 2019 season:

  • Kickoff rule changes implemented in the 2018 season are now permanent
  • Defenseless players will have even more protection
  • Double fouls will be enforced when there is a change of possession
  • The application of scrimmage kick rules for missed field goals was simplified
  • Teams can elect to enforce on the succeeding try or on the succeeding free kick an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike-conduct foul committed during a touchdown. (When a team scores a touchdown but also commits a personal foul or an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the opposing team can elect to enforce or not enforce a penalty on the ensuing extra point attempt or free kick — in case of a safety)
  • Clubs voted to expand replay for offensive and defensive pass interference for one year. Both can be reviewed whether the foul was called on the field or not. Reviews can also be initiated by a coaches’ challenge, except in the last two minutes of a half or game — then it’s initiated in New York.

The Chiefs will resume the conversation about their proposal in two months, but Hunt left the group with a final point — that the change wasn’t about the way the Chiefs’ season ended against the New England Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship Game.

“This is really about the fans,” Hunt said of the proposed rule change. “I tried to not make this about Kansas City and the situation we had with Patrick Mahomes not having a chance to get the ball. If you weren’t a fan of the Chiefs or weren’t a fan of the Patriots, if you were just an NFL fan watching the game, why wouldn’t you have wanted it to go on for another series?

“That’s good for the fans, good for the league.”

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Brooke Pryor covers the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star, where she works to give readers a deeper understanding of the franchise and the NFL through daily stories, game coverage, and player profiles. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C.