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Postseason overtime rule change: Both teams guaranteed a possession

The NFL expands their overtime rules for the playoffs.

Captains of the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals at midfield during the coin toss before the start of overtime of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49ers defeated the Bengals 26-23. Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The NFL Competition Committee has approved a rule change for postseason games, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Playoff games will now require that both teams get an offensive possession in overtime. The Colts and Eagles had proposed this rule, but for the regular season as well as postseason. They’ll get a compromise.

The NFL likes to run up test balloons and using the playoffs for this one does make some sense. In games with so much on the line and with so many viewers glued to their screens, anything that seems unfair in the moment is going to get extra scrutiny.

Now, even if the team that wins the coin toss in overtime scores a touchdown on their first possession, the opposing team will get their own chance to score a touchdown and tie the game back up. From there the game will go into “sudden-death” and the next team to score in anyway will win the game. Winning the coin toss remains advantageous if both teams were to score touchdowns, but not as much as advantageous as it once was.