The NFL’s overtime rules are expected to receive a major change in the form of how long the overtime period will last. NFL owners are expected to pass a proposal that would reduce the overtime period from 15 minutes to 10 during regular season games, per Judy Battista of NFL Media.
NFL owners are also expected to approve the proposal that was previously tabled to reduce regular season OT from 15 to 10 minutes.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) May 17, 2017
This was a proposal that was initially slated for a vote in March when the owners met for the Annual League Meeting, but it was ultimately tabled. The owners are meeting up again in May, and this time it’s expected they will vote on, and approve, this change.
We already know coaches want this rule to be passed, so it’s not surprising that it is expected to pass.
On the one hand, this change (if passed) does hold a bit of appeal. Teams will have to be more urgent than ever to go for the knockout blow, which could lead to some intense finishes. Then there’s the matter of player safety. The longer then are on the field, the more likely players are to get hurt, especially after 60-plus minutes of action.
Though, on the flip side, it’s hard to really get excited about overtime being cut by a third. What will likely end up happening is that more overtime games will end up in ties.
There are better ways to fix overtime than to make it shorter. We’ve discussed different ways to do this in the past, which you can read about here. Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t usually like to make any big changes, regardless of whether they could be better for the game.