The Chiefs beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl and even people who liked the outcome didn’t like the ending. With a little under two minutes left, the score tied, and the Eagles out of time outs, running back Jerick McKinnon broke free and headed for the end zone; but he stopped at the 2 yard line and took a knee, setting up the opportunity for the Chiefs to run down the clock to nothing and then kick a chip-shot game-winning field goal. Had McKinnon scored a touchdown, the Eagles would have been 7 points down, but Jalen Hurts would have had the chance to try to make it back up the field, with no time outs left, and even the score.
That’s football! That’s what people want to see! Instead, we got the Chiefs taking a knee.
What if McKinnon weren’t allowed to do what he did? That is — what if a touchdown play that the defense chose not to contest simply counted as a touchdown? Or, more simply — what if the defense, at any time, were allowed to concede a touchdown as “uncontested,” give up 6 points and the conversion, and force a kickoff?
It would be kind of like the intentional walk of football. Or even more specifically the intentional bases-loaded walk, where you give up points on purpose to achieve a larger strategic goal. But the uncontested touchdown rule, instead of avoiding a thrilling faceoff between the tiring pitcher and the fiercest slugger, would avoid… the weak fart of an ending we just saw.
I think teams would hardly ever do this. In fact, I can’t really think of any situation where a team would do this other than the exact situation that came to pass in this Super Bowl. And I think the Super Bowl would have been better football if the rules had given Philadelphia this option.
And if you *really* wanted to make this option rare, you could require that the uncontested touchdown include an uncontested two-point conversion.