An extra period played when the two teams finish regulation with a tie score. Overtime starts with a new coin flip, and the team that wins the toss may elect to receive, kick or choose a direction of the field. During the regular season, overtime is sudden death. The first team to score wins the game. If the overtime period ends with the game still tied, the game ends, and a tie is awarded to both teams. The playoff overtime rules only allow sudden death in the event the team scores a touchdown on the first possession.
If the score is tied after regulation time ends, overtime occurs. Typically, the team that wins the toss in overtime will take the football since in the regular season all it takes is a field goal to win the game. The playoff overtime rules were changed because of the controversy of one team being able to lose without ever touching the ball or allowing a touchdown. In playoff overtime, if the first team scores a field goal, the other team will have a chance to respond. If the second team also scores a field goal, the game then becomes sudden death. In the playoffs, overtime continues until someone wins, but a regular season game can end in a tie.