NFL Playoff Overtime Rules






NFL playoff overtime rules differ from NFL regular-season overtime rules because games cannot end in a tie. Thus, there are slight changes in NFL overtime playoff rules.

  • If there is a tie score following the end of the first overtime period, there will be another overtime period. This continues indefinitely until there is a score to end the game.





  • There are 2-minute intermissions in between each overtime period. There is no halftime intermission after the second overtime period.


  • There is no coin toss to begin the third overtime period. Instead, the team that lost the coin toss in the first overtime will decide whether to receive, or which end zone to defend. The only exception is if the team that won the coin toss deferred, which is highly unlikely.


  • Each team has three timeouts during each two overtime periods. The second and fourth overtime periods have the same rules as the second and fourth quarters in regulation.


  • If there is a fifth overtime period, there will be yet another new game, and rules will revert to the first overtime rules. As with the first overtime, the visiting captain will call the coin toss.















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