Ex-VP of officiating has a simple solution for fixing NFL's overtime problem

One of the biggest changes that will be going into the NFL rulebook for the 2017 season involves overtime

During the annual league meetings back in May, the NFL's 32 owners voted to reduce the length of overtime from 15 minutes down to 10 minutes for the preseason and the regular season.  

The biggest downside to the rule change is that it's almost certainly going to mean more ties during the regular season. 

To give you an idea of how things could change, consider this: There were only five ties between 2012 and 2016. If the new 10-minute OT rule have been implemented during that period, that number could've potentially quadrupled. 

According to NFL Research, 22 of of the 83 overtime games that have been played since 2012 have gone on for more than 10 minutes, which means those games would've presumably ended in a tie if the new rule had already been implemented. 

That means we would've seen roughly 22 ties over the past five seasons if overtime had only been 10 minutes long as it will be going forward

The decision to shorten overtime was so controversial that not everyone in the league office was on board with it. Former NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, who now works for Fox, was still working for the league when the overtime vote went down, and it sounds like he didn't completely support it. 

During an interview with Colin Cowherd earlier this month, Cowherd brought up the topic of overime and suggested that the NFL should eliminate it. 

Cowherd then asked Blandino if anyone in the league office felt the same away as the radio host did. 

"Yours truly. I agree with you," Blandino said, via FoxSports.com. 

According to Blandino, the idea of axing overtime did come up during discussions in the league office, but it was quickly shot down. 

"We did talk about that," Blandino said. "I think there would be some serious backlash from the fans if we got rid of overtime … but when you really break it down and you say, 'OK, you've got to play to win in regulation,' I think ultimately that would be a good thing."

The NFL says it reduced the overtime period to help with player safety; however, Blandino said that if the league was really watching out for player safety it would make more sense to eliminate overtime. 

"We started talking about overtime and reducing it from 15 to 10 because we were worried about additional snaps, players playing a full quarter more of football and then potentially having to go play on Thursday," Blandino said. "Well, if we're worried about player safety, then eliminate overtime and play to win in regulation. It would make the last two minutes that much more exciting."

Blandino added that the elimination of overtime could potentially change a team's strategy at the end of a game. 

"If a team's sitting there with 30 [seconds] to go and the ball on their 20, and they know the game could end in a tie because there's no overtime, they're going to go for it, take chances, take risks," Blandino said. 

Blandino joined Fox in June after spending more than 20 years with the NFL. He started working his way up the NFL ladder in 1994 when he was hired by the league as an officiating intern. Blandino was promoted to VP of officiating in February 2013 and held that post until he resigned in April in a move that became effective on May 31

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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