Starting from the 2012 NFL season, the overtime procedure was modified to give each team a chance to possess the football unless the team with the first possession of the ball scores a touchdown or a defensive score occurs. One of the biggest concerns is that this system has produced a tie game each of the last three seasons. I have a proposal for an NFL overtime system that eliminates ties and makes this period interesting.
This system is similar to the college football overtime in that each team gets to possess the football at a specified part of the field and the team with the higher score after the period wins. Also, starting with the third overtime, both teams must go for a two point conversion following a touchdown. However, my proposed system takes into account the increased range of NFL kickers as well as the increased mental capacities of NFL quarterbacks with two key differences.
Possession takes place at the 50 yard line as opposed to the 20 yard line
In college football, kickers have a much lower percentage of converted field goals than in the NFL. Hence, the 20 yard line is not considered chip shot distance for college kickers. However, most NFL kickers would make a field goal from the 20 yard line and this would pose a problem for the team that went first in overtime and did not score any points or simply scored a field goal. If you place the ball at the 20 yard line and the team with the first possession scored 0 or 3 points, it would be very easy for an NFL kicker on the other team to tie or win the game. If you place the ball at the 50 yard line, you have to move the ball a certain distance just to get the kicker in range. The other team is not guaranteed a victory. I feel this adds a more dramatic element to the overtime period.
Each team will have only two minutes to work with in each period
A team having possession of the ball at the 20 yard line with unlimited time does not give the quarterback and the rest of the team a chance to showcase their intelligence and physical capacity under pressure. By giving only two minutes from the 50 yard line with only one timeout to each team, the overtime periods move quicker and force each team to be more intelligent and athletic.
Imagine it this way, It’s your team’s turn in the overtime period and you are down by seven. Your quarterback does not have all the time in the world to make it to the end zone in order to force the next overtime. The clock ticks with each play and he has to make tough decisions when it comes to finding open receivers as well as taking the clock into consideration. He cannot make conversative plays and will likely have to make big throws in order to gain significant yardage in a short period of time. The big plays light up the crowd and the quarterback has a chance to get some well needed experience in terms of competing under intense pressure.