National Football League competition committee considers shorter overtimes

NFL Competition Committee Reportedly to Suggest Suspension for Illegal Hits

In addition to full-time officials, the committee will also propose shorter overtime periods for the preseason and regular season, cutting them down from 15 minutes to 10. The committee will meet next week in Phoenix to discuss the potential change. If a team has the ability to put together a lengthy drive that nears the end of the 10-minute period, it could choose to run the clock down to nearly exhaust the period, leaving the opponent with almost no time left to put together a scoring drive.

The change in the NFL's rules for the extra period has resulted in one unintended effect: it has made it far easier for games to end in a tie. In the past, we've seen adjustments such as the touchback rule and lengthened extra-point distance, and further changes could be made relatively soon.

It's a weird solution proposed by the league, given that quarters are 15 minutes and that the Postseason overtime rules wouldn't change at all. If a team is forced to play an extra 15-minute period on Sunday, followed by another game four days later (on Thursday), then that team would be placed in a tough situation.

With both teams getting a possession in most games that went to overtime, the 2012 rule change dramatically increased the number of ties in the NFL.

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This hasn't been the first time this year that the National Football League has mentioned wanting to reduce the length of its games.

The idea is simply in the proposal stage right now - and not guaranteed to pass - but it's certainly one of the more intriguing potential rule changes in some time. Would the owners agree with the players on this issue?

The NFL competition committee also is considering hiring full-time referees in 2017, ESPN's Kevin Seifert reported Monday. However, if more teams start having ties because of the change, the rule will need to be repealed. Ties muddle the standings as well, giving inexact results when it comes to the head-to-head divisional matchups.

All this is going to do is create more ties, while not actually changing the style of play in overtime.

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