Imagine you are Patrick Mahomes – a first-year starting quarterback, age 23, leading his team to an epic fourth-quarter comeback against none other than Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Imagine you are the Kansas City Chiefs – bouncing back from a 14-0 deficit at halftime with a 31-point second half only to end up having your fate decided by the flip of a coin.
Kansas City deserved a shot at having one more go at it. Mahomes deserved to lead a drive one more time. Instead, he was stuck on the sideline not able to help his team at all.
Why does the NFL rely on a coin flip? Why does the visiting team get to call the flip when the home team has the better record?
The NFL’s rulebook states that ‘each team must possess, or have the opportunity to possess, the ball.’ The exception to that rule? If the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on the opening possession, which literally cancels the first part out.
So, there is no equal opportunity here. The NFL is setting one team up for failure with the way that this is designed. If you don’t win the coin flip, your chance of winning the game is slim.
Picture an MLB game that goes to extra innings. If the visiting team scores a run in the top of the inning, the home team still gets a shot of their own. It would be unfair to end the game without going to the bottom of the inning, wouldn’t it?
The NFL could really learn something from the MLB’s format of extra innings.
Instead of tarnishing the 12-4 Chiefs’ season and epic comeback in the AFC Championship with the flip of a coin, the league could have let Mahomes hold the ball just one more time. Brady had one more chance… Mahomes should have too.
Here’s hoping the NFL looks into an alternative to these overtime rules because many fans are tired of this current format. I know I am.