Josh Allen
Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle

I guess playing defense doesn’t matter?

The Saints whined and whined after the infamous 2018 NFC Championship pass interference no-call.

The NFL then (temporarily) allowed teams to challenge pass interference calls and no-calls.

Bills fans subsequently whined about not getting an overtime possession in the 2021 AFC Divisional Round after they allowed the Chiefs to score a touchdown on the extra period’s opening drive.

Now, the NFL is changing its overtime format for the playoffs, ensuring either team will earn an offensive possession. Owners approved the modification at the annual league meetings Tuesday.

I guess when you complain enough, you get your way…

*Shakes head, rolls eyes*

The previous overtime rules, which commenced for the 2010 playoffs and were adopted for the 2012 regular season, stated that if a team received the ball to start overtime, only a touchdown on that first drive would end the game. The team that began overtime on defense would still get a possession if the opening overtime drive resulted in a field goal.

This prevented a team from truly winning the game just because they won the coin toss and entered field-goal range — it was perfect.

But now, by giving either team an offensive possession in the overtime period, you’re completely limiting the responsibility and value of the defense.

After the Bills’ playoff loss to the Chiefs, Buffalo fans were complaining about the wrong thing. They whined about the overtime rules instead of their team’s defensive blunders that allowed Patrick Mahomes to connect with Travis Kelce on a game-winning score.

Oh, you lost the coin toss? Play defense and prevent a touchdown. Simple.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.