A proposed rule change that would overhaul the NFL’s overtime format reportedly has the support of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
The Baltimore Ravens will submit a proposal this offseason to replace the current overtime setup with a radical new system known as “spot and choose,” according to a report early Thursday morning from ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
Baltimore’s proposal — which aims to make overtime success more reliant on skill and less on the luck of a coin flip — lays two possible variations, per Florio’s report, one of which is “favored” by Belichick.
“It works like this: One team picks the spot of the ball to start overtime, and the other team chooses whether to play offense or defense.
“If the one team picks, for example, the offense’s own 20-yard line, the opponent would then choose whether to play offense from their own 20 or to play defense, with the other team having the ball on its own 20. This would minimize greatly the impact of the coin toss; under this proposal, the coin toss would be used only to give the team that wins the toss the right to pick the spot of the ball (along with the end zone to be defended) or to choose offense or defense.
“Under one of the two proposals to be made by the Ravens, overtime would proceed in sudden-death fashion, with the first score by either team ending the game and up to 10 minutes of extra time. (If the game remains tied at that point, the game’s outcome would be a tie.) Under the other proposal (favored, we’re told, by Patriots coach Bill Belichick), the game would continue for another seven minutes and 30 seconds, without a sudden-death component. Whoever leads after the extra time has ended would be the winner. (Again, if the game remains tied after the extra session, the game’s outcome would be a tie.)“
Under current overtime rules, if the team receiving the opening kickoff in the extra session scores a touchdown, the game is over. If that team fails to score or kicks a field goal, the opponent receives an opportunity. After the initial possession, any score that gives one team the lead ends the game.
The Patriots’ overtime win over Kansas City in the 2018 AFC Championship Game prompted a Chiefs-led push to guarantee each team at least one overtime possession, but that bid did not garner the necessary support and was scrapped.
Baltimore’s proposal will require votes from 23 other NFL teams to pass. That Belichick — who’s angered the Ravens in the past with his exploitation of rulebook loopholes — reportedly is on board is certainly notable.