Ravens reportedly will propose radical new ‘spot-and-choose’ NFL overtime rule

Pete Grathoff
·2 min read

Every few years, there is a new proposal to overhaul the NFL’s overtime rule.

The last change was made in 2017 when the NFL shortened the extra period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in length.

In 2012, the NFL altered overtime rules to make it a modified sudden death. That allows each team to possess the ball, or have the opportunity to possess it, unless the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown on the opening possession.

Another change could be coming soon.

Pro Football Talk reported the Baltimore Ravens will be proposing a pair of rule changes to overtime. Both would institute a “spot-and-choose” option in overtime.

Here is how that would work: The team winning the coin toss picks where to place the ball at the start of overtime. The other team chooses whether to play on offense or defense.

For example, when the Chiefs won an overtime game against the Chargers in September, Los Angeles won the toss. The Chargers would then choose for one team to be on offense at, say, its own 20-yard line. The Chiefs would then have the option to take the ball or have the Chargers start with it.

“It’s believed that the break-even point would be the 13-yard line,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “For the 14 or beyond, the team choosing offense or defense will be more likely to take the ball. For the 12 or closer, the team choosing offense or defense will be more likely to opt to defend.”

The Ravens will introduce two options on how to proceed from there, the Baltimore Sun reported.

In the first proposal, the overtime would be sudden death with the first team to score in a 10-minute period winning the game.

The second option: the game would continue for another 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and wouldn’t be sudden death, so both teams could have possession.

“The proposal is intended to address concerns about the importance of winning the coin toss and place more focus on strategy; under current rules, if the team that receives the ball first scores a touchdown on the opening drive, the game is over,” the Sun’s Daniel Oyefusi wrote.

Under both of those options, games could still end in a tie. There have been nine tie games since 2012.

Any rule change would have to be approved by 24 of the 32 NFL owners.