The first Monday Night Football game of the 2023 NFL season, as many fans are very well aware, went into overtime.
The New York Jets ended up beating the Buffalo Bills 22-16 in overtime, but that wasn’t legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas’ big takeaway from the game.
Apparently, during the game, he texted Rich Eisen to complain about something many a football fan has complained about: the NFL overtime rule.
“The NFL’s overtime rule, as the ref is tossing the coin and explaining it, remains an idiocy,” Costas told Eisen on his show on Thursday.
“You score on the first possession, if you score a touchdown, the game is over. And this is the same rule in the postseason?
“It’s gonna bite them in the Super Bowl eventually. It almost did in the Bengals-Rams Super Bowl. They almost went to overtime with that ridiculous rule in place and it’s so easily correctable.”
What makes the NFL overtime rule even more frustrating is the fact that about a year and a half ago the NFL actually changed it.
In March of 2022, the NFL changed its overtime rules this week to allow both teams to get a possession in playoff games that go to overtime regardless of whether or not the team that wins the coin toss scores a touchdown.
So Costas was actually incorrect about the postseason and, in particular, the Super Bowl, but still… the NFL all but admitted that the regular season overtime rule doesn’t work by making this change.
Honestly, there has been no shortage of suggested changes the NFL could make to its overtime rule. Almost all of them would be better than what it does now.
Heck, after the NFL announced the change to overtime last year, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle came up with a much better solution almost immediately.
“Why don’t we just do college rules? Line it up on the 35-yard line and just go back and forth. Why not?” Kittle asked.
“Because you know what? It would be SO much fun. You’re in field goal range. It’s a 52 yard field goal. It’s not easy, it’s a hard field goal kick. Do you just go for the field goal or do you go for points? That’s fun.
“Then you’re getting guys that are like, ‘Hey, Josh Allen is going to throw for 7 touchdowns because he went to overtime and he threw 4 touchdowns in 4 overtimes.’ That’s exciting.”
He’s not wrong.