NFL Must Change Overtime Rules, No Game Should Ever End in a Tie

Jeremy SickelContributor IIINovember 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams turns to hand the ball off under pressure from Safety Donte Whitner #31 of the San Francisco 49ers in the second half on November 11, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The teams tied 24-24 in overtime.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Sunday afternoon's game between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers ended with the score knotted at 24. Though ties are rare in the NFL—the last happening in 2008 between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals­—it just seems odd that a football game can end in such a way.

While neither the Rams or 49ers actually deserved to win, no game should ever in a tie in the NFL.

The National Football League is the premier sporting attraction in the United States. Nothing against hockey or soccer, but football games should be played until a winner is decided.

Though the NFL has taken strides in making the overtime rules equally fair for both teams—the rule used to be that the first team to score wins—another measure is imperative to prevent a third column from cluttering the league's standings.

With only 16 regular season games played, ties do nothing in emphasizing the league's competitive balance.

However, finding the perfect conclusion might be easier said than done...or is it?

College football's current set up would be too maniacal for the professional ranks. And the NFL seems all-in on player safety, so adding time to the end of all games—just to determine a winner—would reek of non-importance to league officials and its players.

In theory, the NFL was spot-on with its modification of the outdated sudden-death overtime rule. But it only solved the notion of allowing both teams the reasonable opportunity of possessing the football.

With a winner needing to be determined during postseason games, the NFL should keep the rules uniform regardless of overtime games happening during the regular season or the playoffs.

Games are generally decided within the parameters set forth anyway, so player safety would seldom be an issue beyond the typical scope of the game, itself, being played.

The solution is simple for the NFL: with the overtime rule already in place for the postseason, simply extend it to the regular season.

Nobody wins when the final score ends in a tie.


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