Sunday Divisional Round Open Discussion

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Divisional - Division champions square off as Tampa Bay (14-4) hosts the L.A. Rams (13-5), then the Kansas City Chiefs (13-5) host the Buffalo Bills (12-6).


463 comments, Last at 25 Jan 2022, 5:08pm

286 There’s the cutesy Chiefs!

Typical Chiefs, getting too cute. Just the opening the Bills needed. Now they just need to take advantage. 

287 OT Coming??

Al it takes now is a BUFF TD +2 PT

and a KC FG to tie it 29-29

290 That third down play call…

That third down play call was the Chiefs overthinking it. Are you really better off taking the ball out of Mahomes’ hands and running an option with Kelce as the QB?


also, should the Chiefs have gone for that fourth and 4? I’m thinking yes. 

297 These announcers are…

These announcers are rambling on like this is a mid-season game between two bottom teams. They really should make an effort to talk about the playoff game that is going on right now. It is essentially the Super Bowl. Treat it like it matters.

298 Bills trying to thread the…

Bills trying to thread the needle of scoring a TD on this drive without leaving any time on the clock for Mahomes.

301 Stomps and Championships

Most 12+ point wins in single season since merger (including playoffs)

1999 Rams 14

2002 Bucs   13

1985 Bears  13

2000 Ravens 12

1998 Broncos 12

1996 Packers 12

2021 Bills       12


All 6 of the prior teams won the Super Bowl are the Bills next?  They need to come through right now

316 Yeah, I was trying to game…

Yeah, I was trying to game out the Win Expectancy, because converting 4th and 13 is so remote (I think...?), and they did have the three timeouts, so, ok, they fail they're counting on the 3-and-out, but if they kick they're also counting on getting the 3-and-out, so odds of converting and then odds of subsequently scoring vs. odds of gaining the (presumably relatively short) yardage to kick the FG and then make the thing...

Turns out the solution is to simply have your receiver juke the DB as hard as anyone has ever been juked in NFL history. Easy peasy.

303 WOW

well for the record, 30 mins ago, i said this could finish 29-29  AND HERE WE ARE

311 I congratulated on the…

In reply to by oaktoon

I congratulated on the original thread, but since we're now on a new page and no one will find my comment there now, I'll do so again here.  Touche, Sir.  Your scenario is now very much in play, while my much more general scenario is out, although with these two teams, two scores in the final minute-fifty isn't impossible.



318 After watching him play as a…

In reply to by Dissociated

After watching him play as a rookie, that 5% chance seemed high, but as it turns out, Allen is the unlikely superstar.  Congrats to the Bills' braintrust for believing in him, and even more to Allen himself for putting in the hard work to become as good as he is now.

308 I thought for sure the bills…

I thought for sure the bills would kick the fg when they faced the first 4th down, and would try to get the ball back for the game winner.

309 If you were a Bills fan and…

If you were a Bills fan and you had a chance to let things play out or take overtime, which would you choose? I think I would take OT. KC getting at least a FG here seems highly likely.


THIS IS SICK   Make Rodgers and Brady both look like old news

428 Turns out, yeah, kicking it…

Turns out, yeah, kicking it into the end zone looks like a huge mistake.  I assume Hill was back for the return and BUF was afraid the squib kick might be returned for a big gain - and maybe it would have, we'll never know.  But in hindsight, those 4 or 5 seconds were big.

331 As a AFC fan I see the past in the present

Going up against Mahomes and Allen is beginning to remind me of Brady and Manning, the blockade to a Super Bowl for all others.  Yes, Jackson, Burrow, and Herbert and maybe more but this looks tough.

Cincinnati got a huge break not having to play both of these teams

We are not done yet tonight!!!

337 Too bad NFL OT isn't very…

Too bad NFL OT isn't very good. All the pressure teams had to try and drive down the field with limited time disappears and suddenly it's like it's the middle of second quarter again. Plus, having a team get a big advantage from winning a coin toss is just terrible.

343 If you win the coin toss, do…

If you win the coin toss, do you under any conditions kick, or do you just assume this is 4 down territory all the way?

439 We thought the same thing

Back in 2018, we all thought the same thing after the AFCCG.

"Nobody wanted to see Brady walk off without Mahomes ever seeing the ball. The owners will HAVE to change the rule now".

So Reid proposed a change to the OT rules that offseason.

Know who was just fine with the rules? The owners. Voted down, and it wasn't especially close.

Turns out the only people who get really passionate about the OT rules are the teams and fans thar get bitten by a coin toss....and it only lasts until the next time a toss goes in their favor.

356 It would be such an…

It would be such an improvement just to say that the team losing the coin toss gets a response if they give up a TD. Winning the coin toss would still be a big advantage. But why not at least let them try to drive and extend the game with a score? Or, go for two and the win.

374 Apparently there's still a…

Apparently there's still a big advantage to winning the toss under the college rules.

I think I would have each team take a single two-point conversion until one team gets it and the other doesn't. It would be weird and a bit gimmicky, but it's better than this strange, asymmetric system where the team that gets the ball first has such an advantage.

382 Yeah I hate the current…

Yeah I hate the current system. If it's to be pure sudden death let it be so, if both teams get a possession then let it be both teams get a possession, period. This weird half-and-half nonsense is the worst of all worlds.

Especially in the playoffs. I guess I get not wanting to let a random regular season game go on forever (for safety reasons if nothing else) - but in that case, just let them tie! It happens anyway! - but in the playoffs both teams need the ball. They just do.

368 I don't want to overreact,…

I don't want to overreact, and I doubt there's anybody better out there, but McDermott is holding back Allen drastically

392 I think he means Allen…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I think he means Allen should have passed every play.

There's something to that, but Brady, Brees, Manning, and Mahomes all hand off, too.

369 Somehow Hall-of-Famer to…

Somehow Hall-of-Famer to Hall-of-Famer for a fantastic circus catch to win it in overtime feels incredibly anticlimactic.

371 Terrible ending

Just terrible that the Bills don’t get the ball. Also, as a Bills fan, I could do without Yet Another Painful Playoff Loss. Our fanbase deserves much, much better than this. 

393 Hey, look

The Bills weren’t so dysfunctional that they made TWO Hall-of-Fame players retire rather than continue playing for them ;-)

Also, wake me when you sell out 70,000 tickets to every game despite a 17-year playoff drought ;-)

400 Best ever?  The only one…

Best ever?  The only one that comes close IMO is the first round of 2002 (comeback wins by Steelers and Niners), but even that was just one day (I don’t even remember the other two games), not two days of 4 down to the wire games.

380 FO please send this open discussion to the NFL

You have a collection of avid, intelligent fans.  We disagree on so many things as you see from discussions of articles all season long.

Yet we all agree on one thing.  OT RULES SUCK!!!!  Both regular season and postseason

413 Er, no.


The only truly fair way would be to play a 10 min OT and whoever was ahead at the end wins.  But that risks a super long game that no one wants. The current system isn't perfect, but IMO it's about as good as you're going to do with the pressure to keep it as short as possible.


416 Then just do a modified…

In reply to by serutan

Then just do a modified version of the college rules but no FGs allowed (so that the team going second doesn't have an advantage in know exactly what they need). Or have teams go for two-point conversion until one gets it and the other doesn't. The current system isn't oriented toward keeping it as short as possible at all. We see long leisurely drives in OT all the time.

430 Also, college OT often isn't…

Also, college OT often isn't particularly "short".

Here's an idea: the teams alternate drives from their own 25-yard-line. Like they each get to start from a touchback. Makes it more like normal football. I'd wager in practical terms most games would end more quickly than in the college system, since stops are actually possible (and FG range for the pros is quite a bit longer).

432 That's all over-thinking it…

That's all over-thinking it. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, just keep playing until one team wins. No coin-flips, just turn the game clock off (like penalty time in soccer). To make it extra fun, once the clock runs out, no punting or kicking is allowed (except a necessary kickoff due to a tying score as the clock goes to zero).

441 That honest to god is my…

That honest to god is my preferred solution, but everyone complains that the end of regulation isn't "exciting" enough then. To be fair, we would have lost a lot of the urgency of a game like BUF-KC. But on the balance it is the fairest solution.

But if we take that out of consideration, we need to balance 1) not making the coinflip (or any random method) too important with 2) keeping it as similar as possible to the real game. I think the above plan works. Or just make it a FG kicking contest. But not that weird college short-drive nonsense.

450 The big advantages of doing…

The big advantages of doing this way: it's real football, it's super-simple, it isn't needlessly long, and it does not add any external randomness to the outcome.

The disadvantages: in some games, the ending will be less exciting because an easy FG with no time-pressure will win the game (which can happen in the current overtime rules as well).

That's why my favored version of this is to prohibit kicking after the clock hits zero. If time expires with the score tied, then the game is guaranteed to end on a touchdown or a safety, which will be dramatic no matter what. Even a first and goal from the one is no sure thing (one penalty/TFL/sack and who knows what will happen). And if a 4th and goal gets stopped at the one, now you have to play offense from the one AND YOU CAN'T PUNT! In this system, once you go to overtime, the only possible endings are awesome...

381 Biggest mistake of the game

Not squibbing the kickoff after the Bills took their last lead of the game. That would have taken all the time they needed off the clock, and then a win is basically guaranteed, since the Chiefs would have had time for only one play afterward, plus a Hail Mary. 

452 nah

the biggest mistake of the game was the Chiefs not having Mahomes take the snap on 3rd and 1, when a TD might have sealed the game.  

Other mistakes include: Chiefs' CB falling down on Bills' last TD.  Bills' lack of defense in last 13 seconds.  

It really shouldn't be too hard to stop a team from getting into FG range with only 13 seconds on the clock.  

384 Super

Super unimpressed by the Bills braintrust after that game.

Squib the kickoff with 13 sec. Play standard D on the One play they get after that.

Not to mention putting a governor on Allen for half the game.

387 That pretty much is the…

That pretty much is the playoffs. Unless the Rams can start Hochuli for them for two more games, the rest of the playoffs are going to be pretty bad.

453 I would not underestimate the 49ers

They've already beaten two teams they weren't supposed to beat.  They've got the highest weighted DVOA left in the playoffs.  (With apologies to Dallas, New England, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay.)  Certainly the Chiefs should be favored.  But remember who their coach is.  And that, in a close game with a 2-point lead, he had Travis Kelce take a snap.

388 Burn the OT rule

though a defense that couldnt stop the Chiefs going 40 yards in 10 seconds cant say they deserved better

396 Yes you are all correct on kickoff

Dumb strategy kicking touchback, if you squib kick they fall on it, wastes fraction of second, but if you kick high to the 10 they must fair catch and lose 15 yards or return it.  Still hate OT rules, but yes it should never have come to OT.

401 First time ever with the…

First time ever with the discussion thread up to 3 pages?  I hope this at least motivates the FO tech support people to something about the comment refreshing…or at least add reply notifications.

405 The simple fix to OT is to…

The simple fix to OT is to give each team a possession after which they go to sudden death if neither team has the lead.  It’s amazing how anticlimactic that game winning TD felt.

408 It would probably be more…

It would probably be more entertaining if they just made it a 10 minute period, with a tie at the end of that leading to another OT. It would definitely feel like an extension of the 4th quarter, and coaches would have to scheme accordingly.

434 This is my preferred…

This is my preferred approach, too, except I'd make it a full 15 minute quarter during the playoffs and not play OT at all in the regular season.  It doesn't matter squat if team play to a draw during the regular season - they were evenly matched, call it a tie and go on to the next game.  But for the playoffs, absolutely I want another 15 minutes of Mahomes and Allen slugging it out, and I want the winner to be the one who does best at the football stuff, not the coin toss stuff.  Players union would likely happily allow full quarter OTs for the playoffs in return for dropping OT during the regular season.

410 What a fucking bullshit…

What a fucking bullshit ending.  The bills d and coaches should hang their heads in shame for not being able to cover for 2 plays.  And the overtime rules need to go.


Also amazing game by Josh Allen too bad his defense let him down.

419 Bills defense on the last two drives of regulation

They should have just taken a page out of John Harbaugh's playbook and straight-up tackled Hill and Kelce on the last two plays. The clock would stop, the Bills would get flagged twice for a total of ten yards, and the Chiefs would have one play from their own 35. Game over, done, finished.

Think this, but with the roles reversed:

425 I believe this has been…

I believe this has been discussed previously, you likely can get away with this for 1 play which is truly all that was needed after the 19 yard reception to start the drive.

I believe, but I am not sure that If you do it again the refs can call unsportsmanlike conduct and reset the clock so no time elapses.

I hope that you bring this up in response to an article, I know FO staff can clarify the rule.

445 There was a rule change…

There was a rule change after that Super Bowl.


The defense shall not commit successive or repeated fouls to prevent a score.

Penalty: For successive or repeated fouls to prevent a score: If the violation is repeated after a warning, the score involved is awarded to the offensive team.

The refs could award a TD for doing that.

448 Right

But you could do it once without any real penalty. Would have been preferable to letting Hill get loose, barely covered.