The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks played 15 minutes of overtime in October, but couldn’t break their 6-6 tie. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians would’ve preferred if it took 10 minutes to reach that conclusion.
“I think it’s a safety thing,” Arians said. “You look at our game with Seattle, we could not practice that week, we did a walkthrough. We had 100 plays on offense and I’m sure the defense was about the same. If you have to come back and play Thursday night, you have no chance to even be ready to play a ball game.”
One of the concerns raised about the new rule change is the possibility that the receiving team could get the opening possession of overtime and milk the majority of the clock before kicking a go-ahead field goal. While the other team would be entitled to a possession of their own, that team could be left with little clock left to work with.
“People are worried about 10-minute drives,” Arians said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 10-minute drive. I guess there have been a couple. If you get the ball ran on you for 10 minutes, you deserve to lose anyway.”
Had the overtime rule been in effect in 2016, Arians may not have had to tinker with his playcalling much. After the Arizona and Seattle traded field goals, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer connected with J.J. Nelson on a 40-yard pass play that left the team 5 yards from the end zone with just over five minutes left in overtime.
The Cardinals let the clock run to 4:22 before calling timeout, a minute before Chandler Catanzaro missed a 24-yard field goal that would’ve won the game for Arizona.
With less time to work with, Arians likely would’ve made different decisions. And there’s a possibility that more ties could be on the horizon for all teams with the change.
“Will it lead to more ties? Hell, who knows?” Arians said.
Back-to-back ties happened in 2016 for the first time in two decades, and there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to it. So Arians is probably right with his “who knows?” approach.