Point/Counterpoint: Should the NFL adopt college rules for overtime?

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FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2018, file photo, Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins warms up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay, Wis.(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)

With two tie through the first three weeks of the NFL season, two of our writers discuss whether or not the NFL should adopt the College overtime rules.

Michael Logan: Clearly, the NFL needs to change the overtime rules, yet again. In the off season, the NFL decided to change the overtime quarter to 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes. No one likes a tie and it is almost as if both teams come away losers. After an ugly start to the season, the Cleveland Browns tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then, the very next week, a hobbled Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers tied with the Minnesota Vikings. It is not what the fans or the players want. So why continue to do it? The NFL must revert back to a full 15-minute quarter for overtime, not necessarily make the jump to college rules.

Kevin Arnold: I think it’s time the NFL adopted the same overtime rules that college football uses. The NFL moved away from the 15-minute overtime period to reduce the risk of injury for players and with the current landscape of the NFL — their battles with head-injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) specifically — I don’t see them reverting back to this. The risk of injury is reduced with college overtime rules as overtime can end rather quickly (minimum of two plays), and with the ball starting at the 25 yard line, there’s no long drives filled with running the ball – the types of drives that tend to lead to more injuries.

Logan: Starting at the 25 yard line is too much like a video game. Sure it works in college I guess, but this is the NFL. If you want to win the team should be able to march down the field, and if they can’t, they should be able to make a field goal. The NFL is certainly looking to minimize head injuries and I cannot blame them for it. However, is minimizing overtime by five minutes really going to help save football players from concussions and CTE? I don’t know if there is any proof of that at this point. All I am saying is, if you can play 70 minutes, adding the extra five for overtime is not going to kill anybody. The NFL should realize that they botched the overtime rule and revert back to its original form.

Arnold: The key phrase in all that was “if you want to win.” NFL teams haven’t been winning in overtime which seems to be the fans’ biggest issue. College football games don’t end until there is a winner, plain and simple. Granted, games become longer (the same problem with baseball and extra innings) but at least after a hard fought game, someone comes out on top. Plus, college overtime is just more entertaining. Teams sometimes feel more inclined to go for the end zone when they start from the 25, like Alabama in the national championship last year. NFL overtime would definitely improve if Roger Goodell and the owners decide to adopt the college football overtime rules.


Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kevin.arnold@uconn.edu.

Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.

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