For the first time since 1997, the NFL saw two games ending in ties last season. In that 19-year span, there were 13 seasons with no ties at all, though the number of ties per season could continue to grow.
An NFL rule proposal is expected to pass that would shorten regular season and preseason overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Judy Battista reported Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting.
The proposal, along with 23 others, will be voted on by the 32 NFL owners at this week’s meeting.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained the thought process behind shortening overtime to The MMQB’s Peter King.
“Bill Polian came up to me this year at the Super Bowl with another rule, which we are proposing next week. Why does the overtime period have to be 15 minutes? Why couldn’t it be 10 minutes? So we put that in front of the competition committee,” Goodell said. “I thought it was a great idea, it really caught my attention. Why does it have to go 15? … The idea here is you want to force them to win it in regular time period. You don’t want them to risk going into the overtime. You don’t want them to be running out the clock into overtime, there’s a health and safety issue. That’s five more minutes a team is on the field when they might have to play on a short week.
“It made a lot of sense, we’ll see what the impact is. You might have a lot more tie games, we don’t know, we don’t think so. … That’s the element we are trying to bring into the game, which is more drama, more excitement, more complexity and strategy to our game.”
Only 5.6 percent of regular season NFL games have gone into overtime since it was created in 1974. If the issue is safety, then this new rule isn’t protecting a large percentage of NFL players. And if the NFL is trying to make a more entertaining product, then the introduction of more ties seems to be counterproductive.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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