NFL Shortens Overtime to 10 Minutes

This morning when I was driving to work, big news broke. The NFL has shortened overtime to 10 minutes instead of the usual 15. I don’t like the change. I don’t understand it really – other than they think this will correlate to less injuries or something.

It’s going to lead to more outright ties, which are bad for the standings and the league. I’m a firm believer of you play until there is a winner. That said, this brings up an interesting wrinkle:

If last year had been played under such rules, the playoffs would have looked different, as Tampa Bay’s late loss to the Raiders would have ended in a tie, and would have put the Bucs in the postseason instead of the Lions.

Three games last season were decided in the final minute of overtime, which will now be a tie. This rule also doesn’t work well with the whole “both teams get a possesion” thing. Many drives last six or seven minutes. Then what happens? Do you play until the next team’s drive is final and the clock is on 00:00 the whole time?

Andrew Brandt at MMQB makes the case for eliminating overtime altogether.

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