On Sunday, November 24, 2013 we saw the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers play to a 26-26 tie. We also saw this happen in 2012 between the St Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers (finished 24-24 in Week 10). These both happened despite the new overtime rules which give each team a chance to win as long as neither team scores a touchdown. We almost saw the ultra rare two ties in a week happen until the New England Patriots hit a field goal with just over 2 minutes left in overtime to beat the Denver Broncos. The last time we had 2 ties in the same week was Week 2 in 1973.
By the way, last time there were two ties on the same NFL day was Week 2 of 1973.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) November 25, 2013
What is most surprising about the overtime rules is that the NFL players do not know them. At the beginning of each overtime that is played in the regular season it is stated “we will play one (1) overtime period.” It cannot get any clearer that, but in order to avoid confusion from both players and fans alike I have an idea in where each game will end with a winner. Here is my idea:
1. Adopt the College overtime rule that both teams will get a possession regardless of whether the first team scores a touchdown or not.
2. Move the starting point back to the 50 yard line for NFL overtime games. (College overtime starts at the opponents 25 yard line).
3. Give each team one (1) timeout for each overtime period.
4. Require teams to go for 2-point conversions in overtime with no extra points allowed. (In college, teams are required to go for 2-point conversions starting with the 3rd overtime).
5. Play until you have a winner, thus eliminating ties.
The rules above are basically the college overtime rules, but there are a few modifications. If the NFL truly wants to make sure each team has a chance to win in overtime they might as well just move to the college overtime system. This way we can avoid the “I did not know an NFL game can end in a tie” debacle we saw from Donovan McNabb.