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.[2] Prior to the rule change, any score by either team in overtime would end the game.[3] 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.[4]

Tie games were once frequent in the NFL, but have become uncommon due to a rule change in 1974 that extended the existing sudden-death overtime for post-season games into the regular season.[5] Only seven ties have occurred since the 1989 season, a statistic that has been attributed to the increasing accuracy of kickers.[6] Unlike in association football (soccer), where teams routinely play for ties due to the benefit of a point in the standings, NFL teams never play for ties; the sudden-death overtime system does not provide for an easy way to finish in a tie. Instead, ties are almost always the result of mishaps or mistakes from the teams involved. Tied games are considered to be the least desired outcome a football game can produce, in part due to an American cultural aversion to ties.[7] Due to the rarity of tied games, some players (such as former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb) that have participated in one have recounted that they did not think a tie was a possible result for an NFL game.[1][8] A tie has been recorded in both seasons since the introduction of the new overtime rules in 2012. These rule changes were originally implemented in 2010 to only playoff games in response to statistics that showed that since 1994, teams that won the coin toss won overtime 59.8 percent of the time, and won 34.4 percent of the time on the first possession on a field goal;[9] they were later extended to all regular season games.[10]

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.[11] Since 1974, there have only been 19 tied games, the most recent occurring in the 2013 season when the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings played to a 26–26 draw. The highest-scoring tie game since the rule change was the first one, a 1974 game where the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos tied 35–35. The Carolina Panthers, 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,[12] 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
1920[A][11]17
19217
19229
192313
19247
19259
192614
19276
19286
192910
19307
19313
193210
19335
19340
19354
19362
19373
19383
19393
19404
19412
19421
19433
19443
19451
19463
19472
19481
19493
19500
19513
19520
19533
19542
19553
19562
19571
19583
19591
19605
19613
19624
19635
19646
19652
19665
19679
19684
19695
19709
19718
19725
19737

Tied games (1974 to 2011)[edit]

Key
SymbolMeaning
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 highest-scoring tie game under modern rules.[6]
2September 19, 1976Minnesota VikingsLos Angeles Rams10–10
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.[7]
4October 12, 1980Tampa Bay BuccaneersGreen Bay Packers (2)14–14
5October 4, 1981Miami DolphinsNew York Jets28–28
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.[15]
7October 24, 1983St. Louis CardinalsNew York Giants20–20Only overtime tie to date on Monday Night Football.[16] 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.[17]
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.[18]
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.[19]
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.[20]
17November 16, 2008Cincinnati BengalsPhiladelphia Eagles (4)13–13Bengals kicker Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field goal with seven seconds left in overtime.[21]

Tied games (2012 to present)[edit]

List of tied games from 2012 on
No.DateHome teamAway teamScoreNote(s)
1November 11, 2012San Francisco 49ers (2)St. Louis Rams (2)24–24St. Louis had a game-winning field goal taken away because of a penalty. Both teams missed field goal attempts in the overtime period.[22]
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.[23]

Notes[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ No official standings were recorded throughout the 1920 season and teams played games against opponents outside of the league.[13]
  2. ^ The 1982 season was reduced from 16 to 9 games due to a 57-day players' strike.[14]
Footnotes
  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". NFL.com. 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. ^ Piascik, Andy (2005). "Old and New Style: Winning Percentages". The Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 27 (5). Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b Graham, Bryan Armen. "An argument in favor of tie games". Fan Nation. SI.com. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Rules proposal passes on 28–4 vote". ESPN. March 24, 2010. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ "NFL passes overtime rules to reflect postseason, all turnovers now reviewed". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "1920 APFA Weekly League Schedule". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "All-Time Records of Current NFL Franchises" (PDF). Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ "NFL Champions". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1981-1990". NFL.com Baltimore finished with zero wins, eight losses, and one tie. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ Christopulos, Mike. "Packers blow lead; Colts earn 20–20 tie," Milwaukee Sentinel, Monday, December 20, 1982.
  16. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (October 23, 2012). "Amped Up For "Monday Night Football"". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ Litsky, Frank. "Mistakes Hurt Giants in Tie," The New York Times, Wednesday, October 26, 1983.
  18. ^ "Eagles 10, Ravens 10," Chicago Tribune, Monday, November 17, 1997.
  19. ^ Schremmer, Mak (November 13, 2012). "Redskins Pro Bowler remembered for bizarre celebration". The Joplin Globe. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ 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". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Gregory, Sean (November 12, 2012). "Unusual Ending: How the NFL Got a Tie Game". Time Magazine. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ "NFL roundup: Patriots refuse to quit, ties still happen, and the Buccaneers are... good?". Statesman Journal. November 24, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 

General references[edit]

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