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NFL Overtime Proposition Misses The Point

[lead align=”default”]Proposed changes to the NFL overtime procedures ignore the fact that the NFL’s overtime is inferior in the first place.[/lead]

Let’s be honest, though: overtime in the National Football League is better than it used to be. In the old days of a few years ago, they’d flip a coin and whichever team scored first won. You could drive into field goal range and end it without the other team getting the ball. At least now the other team gets the ball, unless a touchdown is scored. It results in more ties, but both teams might get the ball.

The Roger Goodell braintrust wants to experiment with 10-minute overtime as opposed to 15. Their motivations are perhaps more financial for wanting the game to be softer now (so they don’t get sued later).

NFL Overtime Changes: More Ties?

As you might imagine, the end result of this could be more ties. With the rule change giving the coin toss loser the ball in most situations, overtimes are going longer. To put the more-ties theory to the test, we looked at last season: five overtimes that determined a winner were decided in the final five minutes.

Meaning, in addition to the two ties that happened last season, you’d have five more for a total of seven. There haven’t been seven ties in a season since 1973, when overtime didn’t exist.

10 minutes instead of 15 is just a more compact version than what we have now, except more games probably won’t be decided. Other than potentially reducing the length of a game, it serves no purpose.

NFL Overtime Changes: A Better Way

I am firmly planted on my soapbox in saying that the college football overtime system is ideal. Their adaptation of it is not appropriate for the NFL, but the concept satisfies all parties. There is a winner (and loser), overtime could potentially be settled quickly, both teams are guaranteed the ball, and it’s exciting.

In college, they stick the ball on the opposing 25 yard line, in part because college kickers stink. They don’t in the NFL, so a better positioning might be the 40 or 50. Rather than experimenting with a shorter version of a flawed overtime system, they should try an iteration of this. Then, and maybe then, we can stamp out ties forever.

If the other way is tested, it’s almost a pointless test since most people already know what the answer will be. Yet, they like tinkering with things in Goodell’s NFL, so they’ll do what they want.

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