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NFL Considering Shortening Overtime

The rule change is one of many that will be discussed at the league’s Owners Meetings

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Starting next week, all sorts of National Football League muckety-mucks will be gathering in Phoenix, Arizona for the league’s annual Spring meetings. At those meetings, there will be numerous rule proposals that will be voted on, but maybe none as important as the one that we’ve gotten word about through the media.

According to numerous sources, the NFL is discussing shortening the overtime period for both preseason and regular season games from fifteen minutes to ten minutes. Postseason games would remain unaffected, as those games would still have fifteen minute overtime periods.

Like any rule change, this rule would have to get acceptance from 24 of the 32 NFL owners in order to be implemented for the 2017 NFL season.

In the five season stretch that the folks from NFL Research references above, the Minnesota Vikings have been involved in seven games that went into overtime. How would any of those games had changed under this new rule? Let’s take a look.

2012, Week 1 - Vikings defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 26-23

-Blair Walsh connected on what turned out to be the game-winning field goal about four minutes into the extra session. Jacksonville got an opportunity to score and could not. So, no change here.

2013, Week 12 - Vikings tie the Green Bay Packers, 26-26

-Mason Crosby put the Packers ahead with a 20-yard field goal about four and a half minutes into the overtime period. Blair Walsh’s answer from 35 yards out came with just under four minutes remaining. So, under the new rule, this would have gone from a tie to a loss for Minnesota.

2013, Week 13 - Vikings defeat the Chicago Bears, 23-20

-Blair Walsh hit the game-winner in this one with just 1:43 remaining on the game clock after neither team scored prior to that in extra time. So, under the proposed rule, this game would have gone from a victory to a tie for the purple.

2014, Week 8 - Vikings defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 19-13

-No change here, as rookie Anthony Barr recovered a fumble and ran it into the end zone less than a minute into the overtime period.

2014, Week 14 - Vikings defeat the New York Jets, 30-24

-No change here, either, as an 87-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Jarius Wright gave the Vikings the win on their first possession of overtime.

2015, Week 9 - Vikings defeat the St. Louis Rams, 21-18

-Walsh connected on his 40-yard attempt with a little more than nine minutes left in the extra frame, so no change to this result, either.

2016, Week 9 - Vikings lose to the Detroit Lions, 22-16

-When Golden Tate dove into the end zone to score the decisive touchdown in this one, there were still about eight minutes left in the overtime period, so no change here either.

So, under the current rule, the Vikings have gone 5-1-1 in overtime during the past five seasons. Under the newly proposed rule, that record would have dropped to 4-2-1, with the 2013 Green Bay game becoming a loss and the 2013 Chicago game becoming a tie. Not a drastic change, particularly considering that both games that would have been changed were a part of a 2013 season that was already basically a dumpster fire on every level.

What do you think about the overtime rules in the NFL potentially being changed?


What do you think of the NFL potentially shortening overtime from 15 to 10 minutes?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Good idea, the overtime period is too long as it is now.
    (102 votes)
  • 37%
    Bad idea, teams need enough time to settle things on the field.
    (225 votes)
  • 45%
    Scrap the whole thing and go with the college overtime system.
    (271 votes)
598 votes total Vote Now