The proposal to shorten NFL overtimes to 10 minutes was tabled for discussion later this spring. In John Harbaugh’s estimation, there really is no debate.
The Baltimore Ravens coach is “all for” reducing overtimes by five minutes.
“It’s a great idea,” Harbaugh said at this week’s NFL owners meetings. “The number of plays that these guys play, and to have to take that to the next week is really a competitive disadvantage. Guys get worn out. It’s hard to recover from one week to the next.”
The reason why the shortened overtime is being proposed is because there were six overtimes last season in which the extra period lasted more than 10 minutes. That’s the second-highest single-season total in NFL history.
There were eight teams involved in those extended overtimes who had to play the next week. In those following games, those teams were a combined 3-5, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who lost on a Thursday night after playing 13 minutes of overtime four days earlier.
“Ten minutes seems to me long enough to determine a sudden-death winner,” Harbaugh said. “Usually by 10 minutes, it seems like everybody is trying to survive the last five. It’s a hard game to play. I think that’s plenty.”
Harbaugh should know. Since he became Baltimore’s head coach in 2008, the Ravens have played 11 overtime games, the fifth most over that span.
But, wouldn’t a shortened overtime lead to more tie games?
“It wouldn’t bother me,” Harbaugh said. “Ties, they count in the standings, so it will determine outcome, so it’s OK.”