Do NFL preseason games have overtime?

What happens if NFL preseason games wind up being tied at the end of regulation? Is there overtime?
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

For the crowd of San Francisco 49ers fans (and NFL fans) out there who feel as if preseason games don't matter at all, this article might support your argument.

NFL preseason games serve a number of purposes. They help players and coaches get reacclimated to the long, grueling nature of the regular season. The exhibition bouts also serve as evaluatory evidence for players on the fringes of the roster, and the bulk of players from both teams in any given game playing after halftime are essentially fighting for their careers.

And, of course, there's the sheer entertainment value. Niners football is back after months of it not being a Sunday constant.

These NFL preseason games, however, do not meet one purpose: serious competition.

The game outcomes and final scores ultimately don't matter at all.

Is there overtime in NFL preseason games?

Should the clock strike zero at the end of the fourth quarter of any given preseason game, and the score between two teams is tied, the game effectively ends in a tie.

There is no overtime whatsoever, which is notably different than the rules that govern regular-season NFL games.

Read more: When does the 2023 NFL preseason start?

Nobody wants OT in preseason games either. Coaches wouldn't care for it, and players wouldn't want to expose their bodies to increased injury risk. Considering the overwhelming majority of players playing in the fourth quarter aren't likely to sniff an NFL roster anyway, most fans probably wouldn't want to watch overtime when the quality of football simply wouldn't be that good.

If you've ever closely watched the fourth quarter of any preseason game, you'd probably be reminded why an overtime period would be absolute drudgery.

In all reality, it's probably a very good thing there isn't any sort of overtime for these otherwise meaningless exhibition bouts.

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