The NFL’s owners have passed the proposed rule change to shorten overtime from 15 to 10 minutes.
Overtime is going to be looking a lot different in the NFL this year as the proposed rule change has been passed.
With a whole five minutes being shaved off of overtime we can expect teams to take a new strategic emphasis on time of possession. If your team can control the football during overtime it gives the other team less time to score. A long opening possession can be a death sentence for teams that struggle to move the ball.
However, the NFL has yet to change the sudden death rules. Teams with the opening possession must score a touchdown if they want to end the game immediately. If they score a field goal the opponent will still have an opportunity to win or tie.
The expected result of this rule change is that the pace of play will be much slower in overtime games. Teams will settle for a field goal if it means their opponent has less of an opportunity to score or tie.
The NFL has changed rules in the past to prevent clock-milking. Many efforts have been made to speed the game up and it is interesting that this move is expected to have the opposite effect. Other than the five minutes they have taken from the overtime period.
Player reactions will vary with this change. Many of them are proponents of a true sudden death scenario or changing the rules to college style rules. Drew Brees said recently on the Dan Patrick show that he is not a fan of this change.
"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"
More ties could make for some more interesting and meaningful matchups toward playoff time. But It is easy to see why players aren’t enthused by the idea of games ending in more ties though. Winning is something that every player wants and the idea of less of that can’t be too exciting.
Last years leaders in time of possession per game should be excited with the overtime rule change. If the Eagles, Cowboys, and Raiders can continue to dominate in that statistic they should be able to force some interesting outcomes if their games reach overtime.