Potential overtime change still percolating

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In March, the Competition Committee recommended that owners reduce overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes during the preseason and regular season. Not enough owners agreed.

So with another ownership meeting looming, where do things stand? Cowboys COO, executive V.P., and director of player personnel Stephen Jones, who also serves as a member of the Competition Committee, addressed the issue during a visit to PFT Live.

“I think some of the membership, and we certainly respect that as a committee, really felt like there might have been some other things that should’ve been looked at in terms of solutions to overtime,” Jones said. “Obviously, when we looked at it, it was from a player health and safety standpoint. Playing five full quarters, which I think happened either two or three times this year where they went the distance, and actually one team turned around and played a game on a Thursday, then you’re looking at what’s in the best interest? And then you say, ‘Hey, if you cut that back to 10 minutes how many games would that effect?’ And then ultimately, ‘How bad is it if a game does end in a tie?’ [Editor’s note: Really bad.] Those were some of the things we looked at.”

So why didn’t the proposal pass?

“I think we were challenged by some of the group and membership to look at other possibilities and opportunities and that’s what we’re doing and we’ll see if we’re ready for a vote,” Jones said. “If we’re not, it may not get changed this year.”

Hopefully, they’re looking into a proposal that came from outside the Competition Committee, the confines of the league, or anyone with any good sense whatsoever.

54 responses to “Potential overtime change still percolating

  1. Hopefully not. A 2 point conversion contest would be even dumber than what they do in college football. Please don’t ruin Football with terrible ideas.

  2. If the league is as worried about “Player Safety” as they bray about, they would eliminate OT all together.

    If you can’t win it in 60 minutes you deserve the tie.

  3. Interesting that the owners of the NFL are constantly thinking about ways to get their consumers to play more for LESS. Most college game consist of about 20% more plays per game because of the differences in clock stoppages for first downs and other rules. So at the get go, the college fan gets more for their money in football entertainment.

    Over the years the league has constantly tried to lower the number of plays that occur each game in order to protect their assets.

    This is just another one.

  4. Just play an extra period of football. Make it have whatever amount of time you like…..10 minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever. If they are tied at the end of the OT period in the regular season, the game ends in a tie. In the playoffs, you keep playing extra periods until there is a winner at the end of the period.

  5. There shouldn’t be overtime in the preseason.
    As for the regular season, 10 min, 15 min, hey whatever it takes BUT the rule that needs changing is both teams should get at least 1 possession regardless of offenses scoring touchdowns or field goals. A defensive score ends the game.

  6. If they’re serious about player safety concerns for overuse, they’ll can the weekly Thursday games completely.

  7. Go back to the original overtime rules when this was a “man’s” game. This country is not about being fair-it’s about whoever works hardest and smartest in all facets and is bad to the bone to the end………………………

  8. Sudden death. First team to score wins. Spare me the kindergarten playground “but that’s not fair!” stuff. This is real life for grown men. Life isn’t always fair. You had 60 minutes to beat your opponent. If you couldn’t, and you lose a coin flip and never see the ball in OT, that’s your fault. You should have beaten them in regulation. Put on your big boy drawers and move on. First team to score wins. Period.

  9. Agreed with redislander10. 1 full overtime and that solves everything. Who doesn’t love more football anyway? At least one possession a piece per team – I don’t get why it would matter if a TD or FG is scored that determines if the other team doesn’t get a possession?

  10. If you really want to shorten games and lessen player risks then just scrap OT until the playoffs. After all, overtime games are not overly frequent – and given there’s only 16 regular games, then tied games become great inital tie-breakers come the seeding for Divs & Wildcards, avoiding many of those silly tie-breaking determinators. And of course it avoids a team getting too much luck with coin tosses, the result of which can be especially painful/unfair in games against a divisional opponent.

  11. Overtime should be an arm wrestling competition. Each team picks their strongest dude, set up a table at the 50 yard line…….sprinkle in some cheerleaders (cuz why not) and let those two dudes decide it. 😉

    Arm wrestling will then become a vital part of the NFL Combine! It will make no less sense than any of the other stuff they have the guys do in their underwear……

  12. Its like they go into the morning meeting at 345 Park Ave and the first question they ask every day is “how can we make the game worse and alienate fans?”

  13. I think the only change should be to do the coin flip for OT right after the opening coin flip. In the event OT is anticipated, both teams will already know who won the flip during the 4th quarter. Maybe a team goes for a 2 point convert to win or a long FG because they already know they won’t get the ball first in OT. The NFL could almost go back to sudden death if they did that.

  14. The fact that OT is an option significantly affects strategy and play calling. They should have some recent data on how often it appeared a team went for the tie in the final minutes. Eliminate OT for this season with the addition that both teams are credited with a loss. Coaches will be forced to go for the win. Variance in field goal scoring would make it less likely of a tie. FG’s greater than 60yds = 4 points, inside of 25 = 2. Same with extra points. Vary the scoring on the distance and method.

  15. Someone explain to me why the college overtime rule isn’t the best idea. This 2 pt conversion contest is gimmicky at best, not to mention the need for the officials to constantly run from one side of the field to the other. I’d generally be okay with the sudden death nature, but league officials have diluted the game so much and have tilted to scales so significantly in the offense’s favor I no longer think that is a fair shake. Every time a college game goes to overtime it is an instant nail biter. Makes for amazing television.

  16. If tied at the end of regulation, they flip a coin to determine (1) who gets the ball first or kicks off and (2) which end of the field they want. Teams may defer on whether to receive or kick off to get a better end of the field. Each team gets two minutes with the ball. Team A kicks off to Team B, just like you do to start the game. Team B will have two minutes to score. If Team B scores, then they kick off to Team A and Team A gets two minutes to score. If both teams score TDs or FGs, then game ends in a tie. If Team B gets stopped, there is no punting, they just then kick off to Team A. If Team B turns the ball over to Team A and Team A scores, then game over. If Team B turns the ball over to Team A, but they do not score, Team A can elect to take the ball where it is, or have Team B kick off.

    This method (1) eliminates any advantage of the coin flip winner (actually, it may be preferable to take a certain end of the stadium, rather than to kick or receive); (2) keeps overtime to just 4 minutes of play; (3) still allows for some excitement; and (4) is not as gimmicky as college OT or any other suggestions, such as a two-point conversion or FG competitions. The only drawback is that some games may still end in a tie, but that, to me, is not that big of a deal.

  17. It is so transparent and ludicrous watching Goodell try to portray himself as caring about the health of the players. Gimme a break.

  18. How about you mount the Olympic rings where the goal posts are and assign a value to each ring.

    As the kick is made the opposing team can launch any where from 1 to 5 large helium balloons.

    If the kick is blocked the opposing team gets 5 points for 1 balloon all the way down to 1 point for 5 balloons.

  19. Leave it the way it is for goodness sakes. An exception has already been made from the original rule which lasted about 60 years or better which was true sudden death. The coin is flipped and first team to score wins.

    Now it’s if a field goal is made on the first possession the other team gets a shot to match it. Okay, I don’t like it but I get it. Receiving team’s offense or kick returner only has to go 40 yards or so for winning field goal so other team wants an opportunity.

    But if the receiving team drives for a touchdown then tough, they deserve to win the game and your team doesn’t.

    I get it that the Falcons hated to lose that game in that fashion but their offense would have had a chance if their defense had stepped up and stopped Brady and the Pats from driving the length of the field. It’s not like the kick returner returned it all the way for a touchdown. The Pats moved the ball and the defense allowed them to so tough crap. If that drive had stopped dead on the two yard line and N.E. got three points then there wouldn’t even be a discussion about any of this right now. But because Atlanta allowed them to go the whole way somehow they got shortchanged. Please.

  20. getnakedandrunwild says:

    Each team gets one guaranteed possesion. Then the game goes to sudder death. What is wrong with this simple concept?

  21. Since the Saints beat the Vikings in overtime in the ’09-’10 Champ game, the owners voted to change the rules so both teams get a chance on offense. They need to go back to sudden death format. They shouldn’t have changed it the first time!

  22. He lost me at “Obviously, when we looked at it, it was from a player health and safety standpoint.”

    What a pile of crap.

  23. The are three issues here — player safety, ties, and sudden death rules that result in one team never getting a possession. Here’s the obvious solution:

    1. eliminate Thursday games aside from Thanksgiving

    2. Each team is guaranteed a possession. From there it is sudden death.

    3. If there’s no winner at the end of 15 minutes, we get a tie.

  24. “You play to win the game”

    Herm -Sudden Death- Edwards

  25. Whatever OT format the league decides on, ties should be prevented if at all possible. More importantly, make it relatively quick. The players have already spent 4 quarters of exhaustive combat, and the longer you play, the odds increase for injury.

    Hey Roger, cancel Thursday Night football! It’s a terrible diservice to player safety and yes, they are the straw that stirs your billion dollar drink. PS, The TNF football games suck!

  26. If player safety is so important, make it like soccer with free kicks. Each team takes turns kicking 50 yard FG’s until one team misses and the other team makes it.

    That would put a premium on the kicker position and make Viking fans very nervous, if they can’t make a 27 yarder to win a playoff game, what the hell are they going to do with 50 yarders?

  27. You ask your two best players before the game to play video game football and the winner gets the ball first if it goes to OT. If the video game ends in a tie, you ask your two second best players to provide the names and phone numbers of a blood relative. Which relative answers the phone first determines who gets the ball first in OT.

  28. A LOT of people on here are against the way they break regulation ties in college. Can anyone rationally explain why that’s such a bad idea of they don’t like ties and think the games run too long already?

  29. Overtime is fine as it is.

    If you kick off and stop the opponent from scoring a TD you get a huge advantage in either knowing you are playing 4 down football until you get into field goal range OR a simple field goal wins the game. If you can’t stop them you lose.

    And for the regular season, people hate ties so shortening the period isn’t going to make more games end.

  30. If concerned about safety:

    1. Use safer helmets ALREADY on market;

    2. End Thursday games unless BOTH teams are coming off a bye-week;

    3. End over-time or make it one drive each unless defense scores on first drive.

  31. How about the home team wins if tied after regulation. Give home field advantage a purpose. If you’re going to come into our house, you have to actually win or by default you go home a loser.

  32. So they want more ties? Some people can’t stand prosperity, they can’t leave well enough alone, and they end up killing the goose that laid their golden eggs.

  33. Play a ten minute over time and then if it is a tie go to a field goal contest like the NHL does with shootouts. Start at the 30 and if both make it move to the 35 and so on-so forth.

  34. The problem with going to a field goal contest just raises the importance of having an accurate long range kicker. Do you really want to lose a game because a gust of wind at the wrong time blew your 55 yard field goal wide left?

  35. College has the best OT system. College is also a vastly superior product than the NFL. These are both facts that only true football fans know.

  36. Sudden death. First team to score wins. Spare me the kindergarten playground “but that’s not fair!” stuff. This is real life for grown men. Life isn’t always fair. You had 60 minutes to beat your opponent. If you couldn’t, and you lose a coin flip and never see the ball in OT, that’s your fault. You should have beaten them in regulation. Put on your big boy drawers and move on. First team to score wins. Period.
    Hard to argue with that in my book. But losers always cry “no fair, we were cheated.”

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