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What are the brand new NFL playoff time beyond regulation guidelines? Everything you could know


The 2023 postseason will function the debut of a brand new NFL time beyond regulation rule that ensures each groups will get no less than one possession in any playoff recreation that ends tied after 4 quarters. 

The playoffs kick off Saturday with a double-header; two wild-card video games between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers (4:30 p.m. ET on FOX) and the Los Angeles Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars (8:15 p.m. ET).

Here’s the whole lot you could know concerning the league’s new postseason time beyond regulation guidelines.

When and why was the rule modified?

The rule change got here on the finish of the 2021-22 season after the moment basic AFC Championship recreation between Kansas City and Buffalo by which the Chiefs received the time beyond regulation coin toss and scored on the following possession to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, whereas the Bills had been eradicated regardless of by no means getting an opportunity to the touch the ball within the additional interval. The ending of the sport was closely scrutinized, which in the end led to the rule change in March 2022.

NFL homeowners, involved that the coin toss to start the additional interval in the end had too nice an influence on postseason recreation outcomes, permitted the proposal offered by Philadephia and Indianapolis, which misplaced to Baltimore in Week 5 of the 2021 common season below comparable circumstances after the Ravens received the coin toss and the Colts offense by no means took the sphere.

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How does it work, and might a playoff recreation finish in a tie?

Unlike regular-season video games, which may finish in a tie, postseason video games cannot. 

Overtime guidelines within the postseason include as many 15-minute intervals as is important till there’s a winner as a substitute of the one 10-minute time beyond regulation interval within the common season. Both groups will now get no less than one possession, even when the workforce that has the primary possession scores a landing. If the workforce that acquired the ball first would not rating a landing, or if the rating is tied after every workforce has possessed the ball, the following rating would finish the sport. 

If the workforce that possesses the ball first commits a security on the preliminary possession, the kickoff workforce would win and the sport would finish there, which can be true within the common season.

Other particulars to remember:

  • There aren’t any coaches’ challenges in time beyond regulation. All replay critiques will probably be initiated by the replay official.
  • Each workforce will get three timeouts throughout a half (two time beyond regulation intervals), versus two timeouts throughout time beyond regulation within the common season.
  • The intermission between the tip of normal time and the primary time beyond regulation interval is not more than three minutes.
  • There’s a two-minute intermission between every time beyond regulation interval, however no halftime intermission after the second.
  • At the start of the third time beyond regulation interval, the captain who misplaced the primary time beyond regulation coin toss will both select to own the ball or choose which purpose his workforce will defend, until the workforce that received the coin toss deferred.
  • If there’s nonetheless no winner on the finish of a fourth time beyond regulation interval, there will probably be one other coin toss.
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What will groups decide to do below the brand new rule?

Teams and coaches will now have the chance to alter their technique in the case of postseason time beyond regulation. 

We may now see groups deferring within the occasion of profitable the OT coin toss since that workforce is now assured an offensive possession. Kicking off to the opponent would permit the coin-toss-winning workforce the chance to know precisely what’s must win or prolong the sport. It additionally would give that workforce the prospect to finish the sport with a defensive rating. 

Prior to the rule change, there have been 12 time beyond regulation playoff video games since 2010, and groups that received the coin toss are 10-2 in these video games. Seven of the 12 groups that received the coin toss received on the primary possession with out the opposite workforce possessing the ball in any respect.

Of these 12 aforementioned time beyond regulation video games, no workforce that received the time beyond regulation coin toss has elected to kick to its opponent.

What’s the longest time beyond regulation recreation in NFL playoff historical past?

A divisional playoff matchup between Miami and Ok.C. on Christmas Day 1971 holds the file, ending in double time beyond regulation after 82 minutes and 40 seconds, per The Athletic. What’s extra, solely six playoff video games in NFL playoff historical past have required a number of overtimes, with the latest being Baltimore’s 2012 AFC Divisional recreation win over Denver.

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