List of NFL tied games

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In the National Football League (NFL), a tied game occurs when a regular season game ends with both teams having an equal score.[1] If a game is tied after regulation (60 minutes, divided into four quarters of 15 minutes), a 15-minute sudden-death overtime period is held. Under current overtime rules adopted in 2012, "teams . . . have the opportunity to possess the ball at least once in the extra period unless the team that receives the [first] overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession". The game can also automatically end on a safety. If the team that received the first opening kickoff instead scores a field goal, the other team has an opportunity to tie or surpass that score; if they are able to tie the score, the next team to score any points wins.[2] Prior to the rule change, any score by either team in overtime would win the game,[3] which proved to grant a substantial advantage to the team that won the coin toss.[4]Ties have counted as a half-win and half-loss in league standings since 1972; before that, ties were not counted in the standings at all.[5]

Tie games were once frequent in the NFL, but have become uncommon because of a rule change in 1974 that extended the existing sudden-death overtime period for post-season games into the regular season.[6] Only seven ties have occurred since the 1989 season, a statistic that has been attributed to the increasing accuracy of kickers.[7] Unlike in association football, where teams routinely play for a draw (due to benefit of a point in the standings), NFL teams rarely play for ties. In general, tied games in the NFL are frowned upon by both teams and fans.[8] Due to the rarity of tied games, some players have not known they were allowed in the NFL, such as former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who said after a tie game against the Cincinnati Bengals that he did not know a tie was a possible result.[1][9]

From 1920 to 1973, the NFL had a total of 258 tied games. Only three seasons (1934, 1950, 1952) went without a tied game, while five seasons (1920, 1923, 1926, 1929, 1932) had at least ten ties. The most ties, 17, occurred in the 1920 season.[10] Since 1974 there have only been 20 tied games, the most recent occurring in the 2014 season when the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals played to a 37–37 draw. A tie game has happened in each of the three seasons since the overtime rules were altered in 2012. The Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks are the only current NFL teams that have never recorded a tied game; the New England Patriots have never recorded a tie in an NFL game, but recorded nine ties as members of the American Football League (AFL). The Chicago Bears have played to 42 ties, the most of any NFL team,[11] while the Green Bay Packers have recorded the most ties since the 1974 introduction of overtime with five.

Tied games (1920 to 1973)[edit]

List of tied games per season from 1920 to 1973
SeasonNo. of ties

Tied games (1974 to 2011)[edit]

Team (X)Denotes the number of times the team has tied a game since 1974.
List of tied games from 1974 to 2011
No.DateHome teamAway teamScoreNote(s)
1September 22, 1974Denver BroncosPittsburgh Steelers35–35First regular-season overtime game in NFL history as well as the second highest-scoring tie game under modern rules.[7]
2September 19, 1976Minnesota VikingsLos Angeles Rams10–10With about a minute left in overtime, Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton's pass is intercepted by Rams linebacker Rick Kay at the Los Angeles 1-yard line. The Rams then concede the tie with the ball deep in their own territory.[13]
3November 26, 1978Green Bay PackersMinnesota Vikings (2)10–10Both teams finished the season with an 8–7–1 record. Minnesota won the NFC Central over Green Bay by virtue of a 1–0–1 head-to-head record.[8]
4October 12, 1980Tampa Bay BuccaneersGreen Bay Packers (2)14–14
5October 4, 1981Miami DolphinsNew York Jets28–28Jets kicker Pat Leahy missed a 48-yard field goal as time expired in overtime.[14]
6December 19, 1982Baltimore ColtsGreen Bay Packers (3)20–20Baltimore, which eventually finished its season at 0–8–1,[B] overcame a 20–6 fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime. Packers' Jan Stenerud missed wide right from 47 yards with 2:00 left to seal the draw.[16]
7October 24, 1983St. Louis CardinalsNew York Giants20–20Only overtime tie to date on Monday Night Football.[17] Cardinals' Neil O'Donoghue missed three field-goal attempts in the extra period from 45, 20 and 42 yards, the last two in the final 66 seconds.[18]
8November 4, 1984Detroit LionsPhiladelphia Eagles23–23
9October 19, 1986Atlanta FalconsSan Francisco 49ers10–10
10December 7, 1986Philadelphia Eagles (2)St. Louis Cardinals (2)10–10
11September 20, 1987Green Bay Packers (4)Denver Broncos (2)17–17
12October 2, 1988New York Jets (2)Kansas City Chiefs17–17
13November 19, 1989Cleveland BrownsKansas City Chiefs (2)10–10
14November 16, 1997Baltimore RavensPhiladelphia Eagles (3)10–10Each team had an unsuccessful field-goal attempt in the overtime; Ravens' Matt Stover missed wide right from 53 yards with 2:21 remaining, Eagles' Chris Boniol also wide right from 40 yards on the last play of the match.[19]
15November 23, 1997Washington RedskinsNew York Giants (2)7–7Only overtime tie to date on a Sunday night and lowest-scoring one under modern rules. Redskins' Gus Frerotte injured himself by headbutting a stadium wall while celebrating his team's lone touchdown.[20]
16November 10, 2002Pittsburgh Steelers (2)Atlanta Falcons (2)34–34Atlanta mounted a 17-point comeback to force overtime. Pittsburgh wide receiver Plaxico Burress was stopped a yard short of the end zone on the final play of overtime.[21]
17November 16, 2008Cincinnati BengalsPhiladelphia Eagles (4)13–13Bengals kicker Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field goal with seven seconds left in overtime.[22]

Tied games (2012 to present)[edit]

List of tied games from 2012 to the present
No.DateHome teamAway teamScoreNote(s)
1November 11, 2012San Francisco 49ers (2)St. Louis Rams (2)24–24While this was the first tie under the modified overtime rules, it would have been a tie under the old rules, as neither team scored in the extra period. St. Louis had a game-winning field goal taken away because of a penalty. Both teams missed field goal attempts in the overtime period.[23]
2November 24, 2013Green Bay Packers (5)Minnesota Vikings (3)26–26The Packers scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 23 and force overtime. Both teams scored a field goal in the overtime period, resulting in a final score of 26–26. First tied game in which both teams converted field goal attempts in the extra period.[24]
3October 12, 2014Cincinnati Bengals (2)Carolina Panthers37–37Both teams scored a field goal in the overtime period. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal attempt as the overtime period expired. The game was the highest-scoring tie game in NFL history since the institution of overtime[25] as well as the first one since 1988 to occur in a month other than November.


  1. ^ No official standings were recorded throughout the 1920 season and teams played games against opponents outside of the league.[12]
  2. ^ The 1982 season was reduced from 16 to 9 games because of a 57-day players' strike.[15]
  1. ^ a b Campbell, Dave (November 13, 2012). "Rams-49ers tie likely not enough to alter NFL rule". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NFL overtime rules". March 28, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Chase, Chris (March 28, 2012). "NFL passes new overtime rules for regular-season games". Shutdown Corner. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rules proposal passes on 28–4 vote". ESPN. March 24, 2010. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ Piascik, Andy (2005). "Old and New Style: Winning Percentages". The Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 27 (5). Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ Jonsson, Patrick (November 12, 2012). "First NFL tie since 2008, between Rams and 49ers: What is this, soccer?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Chase, Chris (November 12, 2012). "All recent NFL ties have happened in mid-November and other interesting facts". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Graham, Bryan Armen. "An argument in favor of tie games". Fan Nation. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ Farrar, Doug (November 12, 2012). "49ers and Rams players fail the test when asked about overtime rules". Shutdown Corner. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "1920 APFA Weekly League Schedule". Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "All-Time Records of Current NFL Franchises" (PDF). Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ "NFL Champions". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ Rollow, Copper (September 20, 1976). "Viking-Ram tie all Fran's fault". Chicago Tribune. 
  14. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (October 5, 1981). "Jets and Dolphins play to a 28-28 tie". New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1981-1990". Baltimore finished with zero wins, eight losses, and one tie. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Christopulos, Mike. "Packers blow lead; Colts earn 20–20 tie," Milwaukee Sentinel, Monday, December 20, 1982.
  17. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (October 23, 2012). "Amped Up For "Monday Night Football"". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  18. ^ Litsky, Frank. "Mistakes Hurt Giants in Tie," The New York Times, Wednesday, October 26, 1983.
  19. ^ "Eagles 10, Ravens 10," Chicago Tribune, Monday, November 17, 1997.
  20. ^ Schremmer, Mak (November 13, 2012). "Redskins Pro Bowler remembered for bizarre celebration". The Joplin Globe. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ Bouchette, Ed (November 11, 2012). "Steelers settle for tie as Vick rallies Atlanta from 17-point deficit in fourth quarter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Eagles QB Donovan McNabb infamously stated at the post-game press conference that he didn't know games could end in a tie. "Eagles, Bengals play to NFL's first tie in six years at 13-13". Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Gregory, Sean (November 12, 2012). "Unusual Ending: How the NFL Got a Tie Game". Time Magazine. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ "NFL roundup: Patriots refuse to quit, ties still happen, and the Buccaneers are... good?". Statesman Journal. November 24, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Carolina Panthers vs. Cincinnati Bengals - Box Score - Oct. 12, 2014 - ESPN". ESPN. October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 

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