NFL Must Get Rid of Ties, Completely Revamp Overtime Process

John RozumCorrespondent INovember 19, 2012

November 11, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher argues with line judge Ron Marinucci (107) during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The 49ers and the Rams tied 24-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

There have been way too many long overtime games during the 2012 NFL season.

And although the previous format can certainly be deemed unfair, because whichever team scored first won, the current protocol doesn't solve everything.

For one, just as we saw with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans, scoring doesn't necessarily put more pressure on a specific team. Teams can trade field goals or possessions all period and the momentum will never extensively shift.

In addition, the format can lead for more conservative play-calling as the period progresses.

The St. Louis Rams had the right idea of attacking early vs. the San Francisco 49ers; however, thereafter the period didn't offer much regarding a finish aside from two whiffed field goal attempts.

Well, to avoid the annoyance of ties on a team's record, the first step would be to get rid of the game clock. Overtime doesn't need to be timed, because ties are one thing college football avoids.

Aside from all the current controversy surrounding the BCS, at least we're not seeing schools with ties, as that simply increases the debate. Pro football, though, can become similarly intense regarding controversy because of ties.

Since it results in two teams not being able to decide a winner, that then enhances the odds of potentially creating a tougher tiebreak into the postseason. One fortunate aspect of the Rams-49ers contest are the disparity between those teams, and the same can be said had Jacksonville and Houston remained equal after overtime.

Still, what if a tie game were to occur between teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens? Sure, we'd have to progress through the entire tie-breaking procedure upon the regular season's conclusion, but nothing is ever guaranteed.

Instead, the NFL needs to implement the college football overtime rules.

It's the most equal of opportunities regarding additional play and scoring is induced.

Even better, there's no game clock to worry about, and therefore less pressure on the teams to execute play calls. This overtime format is even better regarding fantasy football, which would only add to the sport's popularity.

Offenses potentially earn more possessions and fans stick around longer as crucial down-and-distances consistently happen. There is no field position battle, and the only conservative play-calling is when setting up for a field goal.

Under the current rules, either team can play not to lose as a simple option. Meaning: punt the ball away and play defense. To a certain extent that is an advantage as well, because just like any time during regulation, winning the field position battle increases a team's chances at scoring.

Adopting the college format will completely revamp what the NFL now offers. Nonetheless, it's a more even-keeled approach to overtime, more fun to watch and just flat out better.

Oh, and there are no ties.


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