The Sports Daily
Field goals shouldn’t be allowed on first possession in 10-minute overtime

Get ready for more ties in the NFL. Get ready for the NFL standings to look like soccer and hockey standings. Get ready for playoff tiebreakers to be even more head-spinning than they are now.

NFL owners are likely to reduce overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

With both teams having a chance to possess the ball in overtime unless the team winning the coin toss scores a touchdown, there inevitably will be more ties with each team getting only one possession in many cases.

The reason for this change is to eliminate the possibility of a team playing five quarters of football on a Sunday and then having to play Thursday against a team that only played four quarters of football on Sunday.

Here’s how a 10-minute overtime can work. Don’t allow the team that wins the coin toss to kick a field goal on its first possession and require both teams to go for two on touchdowns.

That way, the team that wins the toss still can win the game with a touchdown but would be discouraged from milking most of the 10 minutes grinding out the clock and setting up for a field goal. That team would have to go for it on fourth down every time or punt. This also would diminish the reward for the team that benefits from the luck of the coin toss.

If a touchdown isn’t scored or the defensive team doesn’t win it with a touchdown on the first possession, then true sudden death kicks in the way it does now with field goals allowed. If a touchdown is scored on the first possession, then the other team will have to match those six or eight points for the game to continue.

The other solution would be to end Thursday Night Football. A lot of players would like that idea, but it probably wouldn’t go over too well with Roger Goodell and the owners.