For Pete's Sake

A shorter overtime? NFL reportedly will vote on rule change

Chiefs celebrate overtime win in Denver

Kansas City Chiefs' players return to the locker room after defeating the Denver Broncos 30-27 on Sunday, Nov. 27.
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Kansas City Chiefs' players return to the locker room after defeating the Denver Broncos 30-27 on Sunday, Nov. 27.

If you are of a certain age, you may recall an episode of “The Simpsons” that revolves around soccer.

The family is watching television when a commercial for a soccer game comes on in the style of “Monday Night Football.” One of the selling points was this line: “And ties? You bet!”

This is important to note if you are an NFL fan, because the overtime rules may be changed, starting this fall. And it could mean more ties.

According to, owners will meet next week in Chicago and vote on at least two proposals. One would allow teams to bring back two players from injured reserve during the season. Teams currently can bring back one player.

The other change would involve a shorter overtime period.’s Kevin Patra reported that OT would be cut from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

“Slashing five minutes from the extra period comes with player safety in mind,” Patra wrote.

This is of particular concern to the league owners because a team could play a Thursday game after its overtime contest, and slicing five minutes would mean fewer plays on the field, naturally.

Could this lead to more ties? Of course. NFL Research tweeted that there have been 83 regular-season overtime games in the last five seasons, and 22 of them lasted 10 or more minutes.

This includes the Chiefs’ epic 30-27 win at Denver last Nov. 27 when Cairo Santos doinked a 34-yard field goal off the upright to win it.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos spoke on Wednesday about his overtime game-winning kick in Denver and the news of the Brazilian soccer team plane crash late Monday evening.

There were two ties in the NFL last season: Cincinnati and Washington ended 27-27 in London, and Seattle and Arizona tied 6-6. There were no ties in 2015 and one in 2014: the Bengals and Panthers tied 37-37.

The NFL last modified the overtime rule in 2012. That change required that each team have a possession (or have a chance to possess the ball) unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on its initial possession.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff