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Buffalo Bills propose overtime rule change for playoffs to ensure both teams get the ball

Not a surprise

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

This is not the first time it’s been tried and it won’t be the last, but the Buffalo Bills have put forth a rule change specifically for postseason overtime. The new rule would ensure both teams have a chance with the football.

It’s not the more traditional “Each team should have at least one possession” that the Kansas City Chiefs proposed a few years back. That proposal was voted down by the other owners. Buffalo’s proposal suggests a full timed quarter (maybe ten minutes, maybe 12, maybe 15) with regular rules to ensure each team gets a chance with the ball. This would only be for the playoffs, per Buffalo’s proposal.

The Indianapolis Colts have proposed a rule change for both the regular season and postseason where each team gets at least one possession.

“I do think there will be some changes,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters Tuesday from the NFL Combine. “I don’t know how many proposals [there are]. We definitely put our stamp on one. Ours is going to be more—without getting into detail, instead of one possession and then another possession—is the time. You know, similar to basketball. You play five minutes of basketball. Both teams get [a chance]. You know, baseball, there’s the top half and the bottom half [of the inning]. So a time limit, and we’re talking about the postseason only, to play it out. And that way, both teams will definitely have a chance and maybe even more than one possession.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott echoed those sentiments.

“Experiencing what we experienced overall, I think there’s a better way out there,” said McDermott Tuesday from Indianapolis. “And when you go through experiences like that and you experience those things firsthand in particular, you want to evolve the game. And I think evolving the game for us going through that like we did as a firsthand experience of saying, ‘Hey, we can make the game better if we just did X, Y and Z.’”

The Bills scored with 13 seconds left to take the lead against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round of this year’s playoffs. The Chiefs tied it as time expired, won the toss, and scored a touchdown to win the game.