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Overtime Goes Overtime!

overtime
Original Photo Credit: James P. McCoy, Buffalo News
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If you’re as big a football fan as I am, this past weekend was… something. Our own Derek Arnold wrote up a great recap yesterday, so I won’t belabor the point, but I want to acknowledge what we’re seeing in real time. For a long time, people around football were talking about how the game was evolving as more emphasis was placed on keeping the QB clean and implementing the spread offense.

It’s been coming for a while, but it’s safe to say that the evolution of our beloved game is here.

The age of the dual-threat QB is upon us, my friends. Baltimore fans have seen firsthand that having a rushing threat at quarterback is about more than just the entertainment value. The argument could be made that teams like Arizona and Philadelphia wouldn’t have even made the postseason with a more conventional quarterback under center. Heck, just look at what happened in Houston (and that’s as much as we’re going to talk about that).

Pocket passing QBs like Brady and Rodgers are surrounded with questions about their futures as they begin to age out with the likes of gunslingers like Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger. In their places, we’re seeing young dynamos with the ability to take over multiple facets of the offense. All indications point to this being the game’s future, and if it is, I’m so damn excited. For your consideration, ladies and gentlemen, the AFC Divisional game:

In the barn-burner matchup between the Chiefs and Bills, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen put on a clinic. In the end, it was Mahomes and the Chiefs who edged the Bills in OT, with Mahomes completing 75% of his passes for 378 yards and 3 TDs. Mahomes’ 69 rushing yards were enough to lead the Chiefs, and he added another touchdown with the legs as well. Josh Allen was every bit Mahomes’ equal, going 73% through the air for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns (all to Gabriel Davis), and Allen ALSO led his team in rushing as he recorded 68 yards on the ground. In what was ultimately a losing effort, Allen matched Mahomes and the Chiefs at every level.

Well… almost every level.

Bummer.

For what it’s worth, Josh Allen and the Bills did lose the opening coin toss of the game, but that’s obviously not the one everyone was concerned about. With both teams having just completed last-second scoring drives, the defenses were gassed. As such, when OT began, the team that won the coin toss would have a stark advantage given the NFL’s current rule set about overtime scoring. The Chiefs would go on to score a touchdown on their first possession, ending the game before the Bills had the chance to touch the ball.

The game’s ending prompted a familiar outcry for another change in the game: fixing the overtime rules. How did this outcry manifest, you ask?

The internet exploded.

Of course, there were detractors too, like Keenan Allen.

The numbers, however, are indicative of a clear overtime advantage to the winner of the toss, and Ian Rapoport shared the metrics collected by the NFL’s own research department.

Chiefs fans, of course, are entrenched firmly in the “just play defense” camp, but Rapoport also reminded the KC faithful about some not so recent history.

ESPN’s Seth Walder also brought the story a little closer to home by bringing up an unorthodox but intriguing proposal by our own Baltimore Ravens. It’s a good read, but a super polarizing idea.

With the uproar from even their own players, the NFL might finally have the motivation to change the rules, and maybe we’ll get to see a different kind of overtime play out moving forward.

As an unrelated parting gift, you know what change I’m hoping we DON’T see in the 2022-23 season?

*deep breath in*

NOPE.

NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE DON’T LIKE THAT. MAKE IT STOP.

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