The NFL is reportedly planning to shorten regular-season overtime periods from 15 minutes to just 10 when the proposal is expected to be approved next week. The goal is to reduce the number of snaps players have to take in a given week before having to turn around and start another game in six days.
It’s a smart move in that regard, but many people are concerned about the likely increase in the number of ties throughout the season. Of the 13 games that went into overtime last season, six were longer than 10 minutes – meaning nearly half would have been ties.
One person who isn’t a fan of this development is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a future Hall of Famer. He doesn’t quite understand what the league’s thought process was going into this, but he doesn’t like the idea of more ties.
“I’m not sure what the thought process was going into it, but just from what I see I would disagree with it because more games are going to end in ties now,” Brees said on Thursday’s ‘Dan Patrick Show.’ “That additional five minutes, especially with the way the rules changed, to where in essence both teams get a possession, unless somebody goes down and scores a touchdown right away. So, I think what we already saw with the new rules of, if a field goal can’t win it on the first possession, we’ve seen more ties.
“I can think of at least three or four off the top of my head from the last few years that have resulted in ties based on that new rule. So now make it to where it’s just 10 minutes as opposed to 15, I think that changes things, and I think you’ll probably see more ties.”
Brees is right: There will be more ties. That will frustrate fans and it’ll probably annoy players who have to go through 70 minutes of battle to come away without a win or loss. It almost makes the entire game feel … pointless.
So what’s the solution? Well, that’s a good question, and one that has been asked many times as the NFL has tinkered with rules for several years. The current format is viewed as an upgrade over the past sudden-death rule, but that’s not a unanimous opinion. For the most part, both teams get a possession in overtime unless, as Brees said, the first team scores a touchdown.
In college, both teams are guaranteed a possession no matter what. They go back and forth trying to get into the end zone, kicking a field goal if they’re unable to do so. Brees is a fan of this format and would like to see it in the NFL.
“I like it. I like it. I mean, it’s exciting, right?” Brees said. “And you’re limiting the number of plays as well when you give a team the ball at the 20-, 25-yard line. And they’re already in the red zone, they’re already in scoring position, whether it’s a field goal or a touchdown. I think you’re reducing the numbers of plays, it’s exciting for fans, you know it’s situational football. So I wouldn’t be opposed to us doing something like that.”
There isn’t a consensus from fans or players about which direction the NFL should go when it comes to overtime rules, but Brees isn’t the only one calling for the league to implement college football’s style. Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews also said the same thing last year.
We probably won’t see that change any time soon, or possibly ever, but there are supporters in favor of it.