If I ruled the NFL, I would change the overtime rule to make it the same as college football.

In week six of the season, back on Oct. 12, the Carolina Panthers squared off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

With the score tied at 34 at the end of regulation the game went into overtime.

The Bengals struck first in overtime with a field goal going ahead by three points.

Then with just over two minutes left in overtime the Panthers tied it up with a field goal of their own.

Michael Conroy / AP Photo

Michael Conroy / AP Photo

With the clock running out, the Bengals kicked a field goal to win the game and it missed wide right. With the score knotted up at 37 at the end of the overtime, you would think that both teams would be getting ready for a second. But the game ends with both teams receiving a tie.

The NFL changed the overtime rule back in 2012, before the change the game would end in overtime if a team scored in any way. The new rule still has the game end if a team scores a touchdown. What is different is that if the team that gets the ball first scores from a field goal then the other team gets an opportunity to score themselves.

This rule is better but not entirely fair to both teams. Both teams should get an equal opportunity on the offensive end.

What is still bad about this rule is that games can end in ties.

Back in 2008, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals ended the game in a 13 to 13 tie.

Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was getting ready to go back out on the field for a second overtime.

In the press conference after the game he explained that he didn’t know that NFL games could finish in ties.

“I’ve never been a part of a tie. I never even knew that was in the rule book,” McNabb said after the game, “It’s part of the rules, and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately, with the rules, we settled with a tie.”

McNabb went on to say  “In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the professional ranks it would end that way.” In college football the overtime rule is very different from the NFL.

Each team gets an equal opportunity to score and the game never ends in a tie. Each team gets a possession starting at the 25-yard line, with no clock they have to keep the drive going by getting first downs.

Drives can be ended with scores, turnovers or turnovers on downs. If the score is still tied after two overtimes then each team must go for a two-point conversion starting in the third overtime.  This is put in place so that games do not drag on.

If I ruled the NFL, I would make the overtime rule like college football.

Games would be much more exciting because each team would get an equal opportunity, overtimes would be more exciting for fans and most important — there would be no ties.


Mike Miezejeski can be contacted at mmiezejeski@keene-equinox.com

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