On a day of NFL rule changes, the league has passed another one that might not have the same level of significance that it might appear to have on the surface.
On Tuesday, the National Football League approved a rule that would reduce overtime from fifteen minutes to ten. This is apparently being done in the name of “player safety,” although there are probably significantly better ways of going about that.
The general possession rules for the overtime period will remain the same, from all indications. There will just be less time to get anything done in overtime.
A couple of months ago, we took a look at how this would have affected the Minnesota Vikings over the past five seasons, and the answer was “not that much.” Since 2012, the Vikings have played seven overtime games, compiling a record of 5-1-1 in those contests. With a ten-minute overtime, their record would drop to 4-2-1, with their 2013 tie against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field becoming a loss, and their 2013 win over the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome becoming a tie.
Only about 25% of the NFL games that have gone into overtime over the past five years have had an extra frame that went longer than ten minutes. So, while this rule sounds like kind of a big deal, it might not have that much of a real effect.
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