The NFL is still considering a proposal by the Chiefs to change overtime rules

The Chiefs' proposal to guarantee both teams at least one possession in OT was tabled until May.

NFL Patriots Chiefs AFC Championship
The Patriots beat the Chiefs in overtime during the 2018 AFC Championship without the Chiefs touching the ball. –The Associated Press

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A proposal by the Kansas City Chiefs to guarantee each team of at least one possession in overtime was tabled by the owners Tuesday on the final day of the annual league meeting. Owners are to reconsider the proposal at their next scheduled meeting in May in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Chiefs officials said they plan to modify and resubmit their proposal, likely with the stipulation that it would be only for postseason games.

The proposal would need to be ratified by at least 24 of the 32 teams.

The Chiefs said they did not make their proposal only because they lost the AFC championship game on a touchdown by the New England Patriots on the opening possession of overtime. Chiefs Coach Andy Reid said he believes that other teams want to see the overtime rules similarly changed.

“The fact that it’s being talked about, I think, is key,” Reid said Tuesday. “We’re not the only ones that are in that mix.”

Under the NFL’s current overtime format, a team can win on the opening possession of overtime only if it scores a touchdown. Otherwise each team gets at least one possession.

If a team gets a field goal on the opening possession of overtime, its opponent gets a possession and can win the game with a touchdown or tie it with a field goal. If both teams get field goals, the next team to score wins.

Under the Chiefs’ proposal, if the game is tied after each team has a possession, the next team to score would win.

NFL leaders are wary of making regular season games longer, given the sometimes-abbreviated turnaround that a team can have for its following game. Before the 2017 season, the league shortened overtime from 15 to 10 minutes for regular season and preseason games.

The Chiefs’ overtime proposal received relatively little attention because it appeared to be a long shot to be approved and because the owners’ consideration of instant replay modifications was the focus of the meetings. The owners voted Tuesday to make pass interference reviewable by replay.

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