NFL competition committee considers shorter overtimes

AFP
THe NFL will be looking further into the inaugural Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship at the MGM Grand hotel and Casino (AFP Photo/Tim Bradbury)

THe NFL will be looking further into the inaugural Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship at the MGM Grand hotel and Casino

THe NFL will be looking further into the inaugural Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship at the MGM Grand hotel and Casino (AFP Photo/Tim Bradbury)

New York (AFP) - A proposal to shorten overtime periods in NFL games from 15 minutes to 10 will be considered next week when the NFL's Competition Committee gathers during annual league meetings in Phoenix.

A report on the NFL's website said the committee will propose trimming one-third of the total time teams have to avoid a draw in pre-season and regular season contests.

The new shorter time period would not apply to playoff games, where the 15-minute time frame -- the same as a normal quarter in an NFL game -- would remain.

The committee's concern with shrinking the extra time period for regular-season games is because teams who play an overtime matchup on a Sunday might have short turn-around times ahead of a possible upcoming Thursday night matchup.

NFL officials said that of 83 regular-season games that went to overtime over the past five campaigns, 22 of them -- just over one in four -- went beyond 10 minutes.

Overtime rules were tweaked by NFL owners in 2010 for playoff games and in 2012 for regular-season contests so they were no longer sudden-death periods with the first team to score winning. If the team receiving the opening kickoff scores a field goal, the opposing team receives one possession to pull level with a field goal of its own or score a touchdown to win the game.

This year's Super Bowl was the first to go into overtime, with the New England Patriots scoring a touchdown on their opening possession of the extra period to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

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