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Super Bowl overtime rules: What happens if regulation ends in a tie?

What if the Bucs and Chiefs go to overtime in Super Bowl 55? What if they go to five overtimes? We’ve got you covered.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Super Bowl overtime functions in much the same way as it does during the regular season. When the NFL amended the rules in 2010, they made it so both teams had a chance to possess the ball, except in the instance of a touchdown on the opening possession.

That remains true in the playoffs and for the Super Bowl, but it does function slightly different compared to the regular season, and has been tweaked over the years. With the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55, you might want a refresher.

That remains true in the playoffs and for the Super Bowl, but it does function slightly different compared to the regular season, and has been tweaked over the years. With the in Super Bowl 54, you might want a refresher.

Playoff games cannot end in a tie, and neither can the Super Bowl. After the opening possession, any score can still end the game, but if it goes scoreless through an entire overtime period, they will move into a second.

And then a third. And then a fourth. After the opening possession and regardless of how many overtimes are needed, it’s still sudden death rules (a safety, field goal, touchdown or points awarded by officials end the game) through all of those periods.

There is a two-minute warning at the end of the second overtime, and another at the end of the fourth. There is no halftime after the second overtime period, but there is a two-minute intermission between each overtime.

For the third overtime period, the captain who lost the initial overtime coin toss gets to choose to possess the ball or which side of the field to defend. If, somehow, a fifth overtime is required, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.

Each team also gets three timeouts for every two overtime periods.

It’s worth noting, of course, that a Super Bowl had never even went to overtime before Super Bowl 51, which saw the New England Patriots stun the Atlanta Falcons in a comeback from a 28-3 deficit.