SUPER BOWL LVII
What are the overtime rules for the LVII Super Bowl 2023?
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will face off in the first Super Bowl following an overtime rule change.
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Most of you probably remember where you were for the 2021 Divisional round playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, part of what some have classified as the best weekend in the history of the sport. Harrison Butker’s 49-yard field goal in the final seconds allowed the Chiefs to take the game to overtime, which they then immediately won when Travis Kelce caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes. Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his teammates were never given the chance to touch the ball and fight back in overtime. Should something similar happen in Sunday’s Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium, the Chiefs won’t be able to defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles in similar circumstances.
As a result of that hugely dramatic but highly controversial ending, NFL owners approved a change to its overtime rules for the postseason, which objectively appear to be considerably fairer. Under the previous rules, the team that won the toss had the chance to end the game by scoring a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, which is exactly what the Chiefs achieved last January.
What change did the NFL make to its overtime rules?
Under the new rules, if a team scores a touchdown in those circumstances, they will line up to kick an extra point or a two-point conversion. The opposing team will then be guaranteed a possession and will also have the opportunity to score a touchdown and either match or better the first team’s points tally (the second team can try for a two-point conversion if the first team kicked just one extra point). If the teams remain level after their touchdowns, sudden-death overtime will then be played.
What are the NFL’s current overtime rules?
The NFL’s ‘official’ rules regarding overtime, changed for the 2022 season, are as follows:
How many times has the Super Bowl gone to overtime?
History suggests that it’s unlikely that overtime will be needed but stranger things have happened. The Super Bowl has only once gone to overtime in 56 previous editions, with Tom Brady’s New England Patriots coming from 28-3 behind to defeat the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl 51 in February 2017; it was the biggest comeback win in Super Bowl history. On that occasion, James White’s touchdown won the game for the Pats on the first possession in overtime, which won’t happen under the new rules.
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