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NFL Shortening Overtime Leads to 3 Potential Consequence

NFL owners have approved a rule change that will shorten the overtime period from 15 to 10 minutes. The aim of the change is to cut down on injuries. It may not seem like a big change (how many OT games are decided in the last five minutes of the extra period, after all?) but it could have big ramifications on overtime strategy, and, therefore, the outcome of games.
 
Here are three possible consequences of the proposed change…
 
More ties (duh)
 

 
This is just common sense: The less time teams have to separate themselves, the more likely we’ll end up with a tied score. While ties may cause some confusion for the fans when trying to sort out the playoff picture, seeing more ties isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if it leads to a decrease in injuries, which it should theoretically do. If we do get more ties, fans will eventually get used to them and eventually accept them. Soccer fans aren’t complaining.
 
Conservative play-calling
 

 
With fewer opportunities to touch the ball on offense, coaches will have to value the possessions they do get. We’ll see more teams trying to grind the clock out on the ground, knowing that even if they fail to score the other team won’t have much time to work with. A quick three-and-out, on the other hand, would leave plenty of time on the clock. Football coaches are already notorious for “playing not to lose,” and the shortened overtime period will give them more reason to do so.
 
Return of game-winning field goals on the first drive


 
The league all but eliminated these from the game when it implemented its new overtime rules back in 2012, but, as Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith explained, the switch to a 10-minute overtime period could, theoretically, bring them back.
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