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Patriots vs. Chiefs showed us (again) NFL overtime rules are terrible

We didn’t get to see Patrick Mahomes.

That alone should tell the NFL that its overtime rules are fundamentally flawed. It was overtime in Patriots-Chiefs, the AFC Championship game, after one of the most thrilling fourth quarters I can remember in an NFL playoff game. The nation was watching. The Patriots won the toss, drove the ball down the field — they do have the best quarterback of all time, which helps — and scored.

Then it ended. That was it. Patrick Mahomes, who’d gone toe-to-toe with the greatest coach and greatest QB of all time, didn’t get to touch the football. His team lost the toss, his defense gave up a touchdown, and that was it.

For a casual fan, it felt like being cheated. Even for a Patriots fan — which, yes, I grew up in New England — it felt like being cheated. We wanted more football.

Look, these guys get it:

I understand why wanting to limit the length of a game would be a good idea for the regular season. I’d argue they actually don’t go far enough — I’m of the belief games should just end in ties in the regular season. Who cares? Teams have tied multiple times over the last few years and nothing much happens. It’s a weird thing, we laugh, the tie is added to their record and they move on. For the regular season, just end the game in a tie.

But for the playoffs, you can’t end a game without letting both offenses touch the ball. It feels fundamentally unfair, not just to both teams, which sure, but to the fans watching as well. We deserved to see more of this game.

To the people who argue The Chiefs defense should have stopped the Patriots offense from scoring. Sure. Every defense should stop every offense from scoring every time. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. I’m not sure why Mahomes is being punished for that, when any other time in football, except if a score occurs as time expires, the other team’s offense gets the ball back.

The rule changes helped, but it’s still not enough. And what’s especially infuriating is the solution is right there. College football has the greatest overtime in sports. Their solution with the overtime conundrum was to turn the game into a game of backyard football, and it’s fantastic. Let the teams take turns scoring on each other until we pass out. That’s excellent!

Even if it’s just giving another quarter of football and letting them play it out, that’s better than the current rules. For the playoffs, make the change. I’m still waiting for Mahomes to get the ball and make something happen.

We didn’t get to see Patrick Mahomes. That alone should tell NFL its rules are wrong.

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