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How much does the overtime coin flip impact outcome?

Are the NFL overtime rules fair? We take a look at how often teams win the game after winning coin toss

Team captains for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills meet for the coin toss before a game on October 31, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 13-10. Photo by Josh Umphrey/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills put on a great show in the Divisional round, going into overtime after a wild offensive explosion from both teams to end regulation. But, after the Chiefs won the coin toss and then easily went down the field to score a touchdown, moving on to their third-straight AFC Championship game.

Compared to the rest of the game, the ending felt a bit anti-climatic for non-Chiefs fans and once again brought up the desire to change the overtime rules. However you stand on the rules, there is an argument to be made that both teams should get at least one possession even if their opponent scores a touchdown on their possession.

Under the current overtime rules the win-loss record for teams that win the coin toss is 86-67-10, per NFL Research. There is an advantage to winning the coin toss, but just at 52.8%. But, and this is an interesting but, if you just look at playoff games, the team that wins the coin flip has won 10 out of 11 games. Seven of those wins came on the first drive and didn’t give the other team a chance. So that’s the number we probably want to focus on.

It’s a small sample size, but seven out of the 11 playoff games that went into overtime (under the current rules) didn’t give the loser of the coin toss a chance to touch the ball. There are valid arguments for and against changing the overtime rules again, especially for the playoffs.