Eagles fans are amped up for the 2023 NFL Playoffs, but a question that always seems to come up is, have the overtime rules in NFL Playoffs changed?
Most football fans — Eagles or otherwise — will agree that NFL Overtime rules are horrible, particularly in the postseason. While we’ve moved away from the standard “sudden death” rules that saw so many teams lose an overtime game without even having an offensive possession, there were still complaints and concerns.
The NFL has actually adopted two separate sets of overtime rules, one for the regular season and one for the NFL Playoffs. Regular season games can still end in a tie after a 10-minute overtime period. Obviously, a tie isn’t an option in the playoffs.
With that in mind, the NFL has adopted a revised format for the NFL Playoffs overtime rules, with some changes to avoid pitfalls of the past. Fans watching the Eagles take on the Giants will want to know this information.
What are the 2023 Overtime rules in NFL playoffs?
This year, playoff overtime games will have as many 15-minute periods as are necessary until there is a winner, instead of the single 10-minute overtime period in the regular season.
A major change from past years is that both teams will now have an opportunity for at least one offensive possession. If the team with the first possession scores a touchdown, the other team still gets a possession. If the team with the first possession doesn’t score a touchdown, or if the score is tied after each team has possessed the ball, the next score ends the game.
Just as in the regular season, if the team with the first possession commits a safety on that possession, the team who kicked off would win the game.
Some bullet points on the new rules from NFL Operations:
- There are no coaches’ challenges in overtime. All replay reviews will be initiated by the replay booth.
- Each team gets three timeouts during a half
- There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime period. There will not be a halftime intermission after the second period.
- At the beginning of the third overtime period, the captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will either choose to possess the ball or select which goal his team will defend, unless the team that won the coin toss deferred.
- The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of a second or fourth overtime period.
- If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.
Why did the NFL change the overtime rules in NFL Playoffs?
This year’s rule change came about as a result of the 2021-22 AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, in which the Chiefs won the coin toss in overtime and scored on the ensuing possession. The Bills never had a chance to possess the ball and were sent home in anguish.
This scenario led to the rule change in March 2022 that was proposed by the Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts organizations. NFL owners approved the idea, aware that a coin toss potentially deciding an important championship game was a bad look.