The League


Should the NFL Eliminate Ties?

After the Eagles and Bengals stumbled to a 13-13 stalemate Sunday, how would you change the rules of overtime?

Posted by Emil Steiner on November 17, 2008 12:09 PM

Anonymous: Ties should be returned to the NFL. Playing even-steven for 60 minutes should be rewarded to both teams. Ties make the playoff chase even mo...

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Make a Comment  |  All Comments (15)

Mason :

Keep the rules. One tie every 5 years is no cause for alarm.

Besides, what are you going to do after 15 min of OT? A field goal kicking contest?!?

bmeno :

I'd like to use this opportunity for two things. First, I'd like to write in my support to do away with ties in the NFL. Too much is at stake especially if you have two teams vying for a playoff berth in November/December. We've seen what each game can do to the playoff picture in mid-December.

Secondly, I'd like to express my appreciation to the NFL for their support of our Armed Forces, in particular, the Army. I'm active duty and I've deployed to Iraq 4 times and will head to Afghanistan in February. I've been deployed during 3 football seasons and I can tell you that televised NFL games bring a little bit of home to us and gives us a sense of normalcy that we don't often get. I would like to see more stories similar to the NY Giants and LTC Gadson. Again, thanks to the NFL for their support to our armed forces and thanks for the opportunity to blog.

Kerry :

It is a terrible system that fails to accomplish what it is supposed to do. We know it doesn't work, no one likes it, but we can't change it? I don't care if it happens every 6 years or every 10, it should never happen. Fix it now!

Alex35332 :

I say keep the OT but either just make it a full 15 min quarter. Or if 1 team scores two times in a row. But the whole win the toss get a FG win the game thing is weak.

buck :

the nfl already eliminated ties...coaches are not allowed to wear them on the sidelines...

spidey103 :

Ties are fun. The NHL should bring back ties and get rid of those bogus overtime losses.

koolkat_1960 :

Why should either team get a win in that crapfest? The tie is an appropriate result. :

Kerry wrote:
"It is a terrible system that fails to accomplish what it is supposed to do. We know it doesn't work, no one likes it, but we can't change it?"

Why does it "fail to accomplish" and what about it "doesn't work"?

I think it works perfectly; each team knows that there's a 15 minute overtime in which the first team to score, wins. The team that wins the coin toss makes a decision to kick (downfield or on-side) to receive, or to choose which side to defend, and first score wins. It's interesting and there's a time factor; if neither team can score in a quarter, if neither team can beat score in a fifth quarter, then perhaps neither team needs to get credit for winning.
Why would anyone want the college format? It's football with entirely different rules from the real game.
If you absolutely HAVE to have a tie breaker, play a fifth period, be it 10 or 12 minutes, and if there's no winner at the end of the fifth period, then play to sudden death; but, I'd still be content with a tie after the fifth quarter.

For that matter, I'd like hockey to go to an extra period instead of a shoot-out. It's as if a basketball game was decided by free throws instead of overtime. It cheapens the game.

koookoo 4 cowboys :

all i know is dat every team besides dallas and titans suck donky nutz 2 shty az teams was playing and neither 1 of dem is going to the playoffs so who gives a f and fuc the DEADskins and the new york midgets

Richardg2 :

There have been more than 1500 regular season games since the last tie (11/10/02). To change a rule because there is a tie .067% of the time is silly. To think that any set of rules can work 100% of the time is not possible. Change the rule and the likelihood is that some other unintended consequence would arise which is worse than the original problem. Exceptional situations make bad rules. Though as a society we think we always fix everything. It really isn't possible.


The Jets, Pats game was decided on a coin toss. Neither defense could stop the other; and the jets we're making 75% of there 3rd downs, so it was no surprise when the Pats didn't stop them on 3rd and 15.

Each team should get the ball at least once to be fair.

CappsHD :

I never understood the aversion to ties in the NFL and its professional farm system, NCCA college football, until it dawned on me that the problem is the cozy -- but rarely acknowledged, mentioned or spoken of -- relationship that American professional sports has with the institution of sports gambling. Apparently, ties mess things up for the sports bookies, so no more ties.

When the game clock expires at the end of the fourth quarter, the game is over. If the score is tied, so be it. Life will go on. The complete artificiality of "sudden death" during the regular season is painful to watch. It is contrived, it is silly, and it accomplishes nothing in the way of the game itself. The college method is horrible and, not to mince words, stupid, with the NFL system not much better, but at least merely dumb.

There were ties in American football for eons upon eons and life somehow managed to continue to happen. Ties in sports are a part of the game in some cases, baseball and basketball being notable exceptions for various reasons, usually long lost in antiquity.

Bring back ties in football, whether it is at the NFL or college level. If nothing else, it shortens the game. I realize that I am completely out of step on this, but the elimination of ties at the college level and the near-elimination at the NFL level, has not done anything to improve the game.

As for the remarks about gambling, there are reasons for that crawler reporting scores on the bottom of the television screen. Keeping those who gamble abreast of the scores and how the spread is working being far ahead of merely providing the mere non-gambling sports fan with information pertaining to the scores.

Anonymous :

Ties should be returned to the NFL. Playing even-steven for 60 minutes should be rewarded to both teams. Ties make the playoff chase even more interesting with that '½' in the GB column.

College footbal tiebreakers are a farce. How can Alabama still be ranked #1 when they were tied in regulation? I'd award .5 BCS points for a tie...

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