In the National Football League (NFL), a tied game occurs when a regular season game ends with both teams having an equal score after one ten minute overtime period.[1] 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.[2] NFL teams rarely play for ties. In general, tied games in the NFL are frowned upon by both teams and fans.[3] Tie games in the NFL were fairly common until a 1974 rule change added one 15-minute sudden death overtime period to regular-season games if they were tied after regulation.[4] Under the original overtime rules, any score by either team in overtime would win the game.[5] The rules were modified in 2012 to prevent a field goal from the team that won the kickoff from ending the game,[6] and in 2017 to shorten the extra period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes for regular season games.[7]

From 1920 to 1973, there were a total of 256 tied games. Since overtime was introduced in 1974, there have been 28 tied games. Four seasons (1986, 1997, 2016, and 2018) have two ties since the introduction of overtime. The most recent tie game occurred on September 11, 2022, when the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans played to a 20–20 draw. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who joined the NFL in 1995, are the only current NFL team that has 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). Including the Patriots, eight current NFL franchises in operation prior to 1974 have not recorded a tie in the overtime era. One of these eight teams, the Chicago Bears, still holds the NFL all-time record for most ties, having played 42 tied games prior to 1974. With six tied games, the Green Bay Packers have recorded the most ties since the 1974 introduction of overtime.

Tied games (1920–1973)

National Football League

From 1920 to 1973, there were no overtime rules during the NFL regular season.

Season No. of ties
1920[A][9] 17
1921 7
1922 9
1923 13
1924 7
1925 9
1926 14
1927 6
1928 6
1929 10
1930 7
1931 3
1932 10
1933 5
1934 0
1935 4
1936 2
1937 3
1938 3
1939 3
1940 4
1941 2
1942 1
1943 3
1944 3
1945 1
1946 3
1947 2
1948 1
1949 3
1950 0
1951 3
1952 0
1953 3
1954 2
1955 3
1956 2
1957 1
1958 3
1959 1
1960[B] 5
1961 3
1962 4
1963 5
1964 6
1965 2
1966 5
1967 9
1968 4
1969 5
1970[C] 9
1971 8
1972 5
1973 7

American Football League (1960–1969)

Like the NFL at the time, the rival AFL did not use overtime to resolve ties during the regular season. Upon merging with the NFL in 1970, its records and history were incorporated into that of the older league.

Season No. of ties
1960 1
1961 1
1962 1
1963 3
1964 3
1965 5
1966 4
1967 2
1968 1
1969 3

Tied games (1974–2011)

In 1974, the NFL introduced a single sudden death 15-minute overtime period for all games that were tied at the end of regulation. During these seasons, a total of 494 regular season games went to overtime, 17 (3.4%) of which ended in ties.[10]

Key
Symbol Meaning
Team (#) Denotes the number of times the team has tied a game since 1974.
No. Date Away team Home team Score Note(s)
1 September 22, 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Denver Broncos 35–35 First regular-season overtime game in NFL history. As of 2022 it remains the most recent tie recorded by a team (the Steelers) that went on to win the Super Bowl.[11]
2 September 19, 1976 Los Angeles Rams Minnesota Vikings 10–10 With about a minute left in overtime, Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton's pass was intercepted by Rams linebacker Rick Kay at the Los Angeles 1-yard line. The Rams then conceded the tie with the ball deep in their own territory.[12]
3 November 26, 1978 Minnesota Vikings (2) Green Bay Packers 10–10 Both teams finished the season with an 8–7–1 record. The Vikings won the NFC Central over the Packers by virtue of a 1–0–1 head-to-head record.[3]
4 October 12, 1980 Green Bay Packers (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14–14
5 October 4, 1981 New York Jets Miami Dolphins 28–28 Jets kicker Pat Leahy missed a 48-yard field goal as time expired in overtime.[13]
6 December 19, 1982 Green Bay Packers (3) Baltimore Colts 20–20 The Colts, who eventually finished their season at 0–8–1,[D] overcame a 20–6 fourth-quarter deficit. Packers kicker Jan Stenerud missed wide right from 47 yards with 2:00 left to seal the draw.[15]
7 October 24, 1983 New York Giants St. Louis Cardinals 20–20 Only overtime tie to date on Monday Night Football.[16] Cardinals kicker 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]
8 November 4, 1984 Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions 23–23
9 October 19, 1986 San Francisco 49ers Atlanta Falcons 10–10 Atlanta failed to score on three possessions inside San Francisco's 12-yard line in the second half before scoring the tying touchdown with 1:33 left in regulation.
10 December 7, 1986 St. Louis Cardinals (2) Philadelphia Eagles (2) 10–10
11 September 20, 1987 Denver Broncos (2) Green Bay Packers (4) 17–17 Game played in Milwaukee.
12 October 2, 1988 Kansas City Chiefs New York Jets (2) 17–17 Jets running back Freeman McNeil lost a fumble at the Chiefs' 15 yard line in the final minute of overtime.[18]
13 November 19, 1989 Kansas City Chiefs (2) Cleveland Browns 10–10 Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery, one of the most accurate kickers during the 1989 season, played poorly on the sloppy turf of Cleveland Municipal Stadium. He missed a 45-yard field goal that would have won it for the Chiefs with four seconds left in regulation. In overtime, he had a chance to win the game on a 47-yard attempt with 3 seconds left, but missed that one as well.[19]
14 November 16, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles (3) Baltimore Ravens 10–10 Each team had an unsuccessful field-goal attempt in overtime; Ravens kicker Matt Stover missed wide right from 53 yards with 2:21 remaining, Eagles kicker Chris Boniol also missed wide right from 40 yards on the last play of the game.[20]
15 November 23, 1997 New York Giants (2) Washington Redskins 7–7 First overtime tie in the league's Sunday Night Football slot. Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte injured himself by headbutting a stadium wall while celebrating his team's lone touchdown.[21]
16 November 10, 2002 Atlanta Falcons (2) Pittsburgh Steelers (2) 34–34 Atlanta mounted a 17-point comeback to force overtime. Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress was stopped one yard short of the end zone on the final play of overtime.[22]
17 November 16, 2008 Philadelphia Eagles (4) Cincinnati Bengals 13–13 Bengals kicker Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field goal with seven seconds left in overtime. At the post-game press conference, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said that he did not know games could end tied.[23]

Tied games (2012–2016)

In 2012, the league instituted a modified sudden death overtime system. A total of 83 regular season games went to overtime during these seasons, 5 (6.0%) of which ended in a tie.[24]

No. Date Away team Home team Score Note(s)
1 November 11, 2012 St. Louis Rams (2) San Francisco 49ers (2) 24–24 The Rams had a game-winning field goal taken away because of a penalty. Both teams missed field goal attempts in overtime.[25]
2 November 24, 2013 Minnesota Vikings (3) Green Bay Packers (5) 26–26 The Packers scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Both teams scored a field goal in the overtime period.[26]
3 October 12, 2014 Carolina Panthers Cincinnati Bengals (2) 37–37 Both teams scored a field goal in the overtime period. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal attempt as time expired in overtime.[27]
4 October 23, 2016 Seattle Seahawks Arizona Cardinals (3) 6–6 Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro and Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missed consecutive field goals from short distances late in overtime after having each made one earlier in the period. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw a Hail Mary pass that was knocked out of the endzone at the end of overtime.[28]
5 October 30, 2016 Washington Redskins (2) Cincinnati Bengals (3) 27–27 First overtime game played at Wembley Stadium in London, and the first tie game played outside the United States.[29] Neither team scored in the overtime period. Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 34-yard field goal in overtime which would have won the game.

Tied games (2017–present)

In 2017, the NFL shortened overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes for preseason and regular season games with the intent of reducing the risk of injury.[30] As of week 5 of 2022, a total of 74 regular season games went to overtime under these rules, 6 (8.1%) of which ended in a tie.

No. Date Away team Home team Score Note(s)
1 September 9, 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers (3) Cleveland Browns (2) 21–21 Both Steelers kicker Chris Boswell and Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez missed field goals in the final two minutes of overtime. This was the first Week 1 tie since 1971. This tie ended a 17-game losing streak for the Browns that dated back to the 2016 season.[31]
2 September 16, 2018 Minnesota Vikings (4) Green Bay Packers (6) 29–29 Packers kicker Mason Crosby made what would have been a game-winning field goal as time expired in regulation, but the Vikings called timeout before the play and Crosby missed his second attempt, sending the game to overtime. Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goals in overtime, one as time expired, and was waived by the team the next day.[32] The Vikings finished 8–7–1, with the tie ultimately costing them a playoff berth as a 9–7 record would have been good enough to tie the Philadelphia Eagles (whom the Vikings beat later in the season) for the final playoff spot.
3 September 8, 2019 Detroit Lions (2) Arizona Cardinals (4) 27–27 The Cardinals trailed by 18 points during the fourth quarter. Both teams kicked a field goal in the extra period. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an incomplete pass that nearly resulted in an interception for Cardinals cornerback Tramaine Brock with 5 seconds remaining, ensuring the tie.[33]
4 September 27, 2020 Cincinnati Bengals (4) Philadelphia Eagles (5) 23–23 The teams combined for just 45 yards of offense and six punts in the overtime period.[34]
5 November 14, 2021 Detroit Lions (3) Pittsburgh Steelers (4) 16–16 This tie ended a 12-game losing streak for the Lions dating back to 2020. The Steelers lost two fumbles in Detroit territory during the overtime period. Steelers running back Najee Harris noted in the postgame press conference that he did not know an NFL game could end in a tie.[35]
6 September 11, 2022 Indianapolis Colts (2) Houston Texans 20–20 Indianapolis scored 17 unanswered points in the final 11 minutes of regulation. Neither team scored in the extra period.[36] Indianapolis released kicker Rodrigo Blankenship after missing a potential game-winning field goal in overtime.[37]

Tied games per team

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In the following table, all American Football League records are included, but not records from leagues not incorporated into the NFL's official history such as the All-America Football Conference. Defunct NFL teams are not included. Records are currently up to date as of the end of Week 5 of the 2022 regular season.

Team[E] Joined
NFL/AFL
Ties Last tied game
before
1974[F]
Overtime
era
Total[F]
Arizona Cardinals 1920 36 4 40 September 8, 2019
Atlanta Falcons 1966 4 2 6 November 10, 2002
Baltimore Ravens [G] 1996 N/A 1 1 November 16, 1997
Buffalo Bills 1960 8 0 8 December 10, 1972
Carolina Panthers 1995 N/A 1 1 October 12, 2014
Chicago Bears 1920 42 0 42 September 24, 1972
Cincinnati Bengals 1968 1 4 5 September 27, 2020
Cleveland Browns [G] 1950 9 2 11 September 9, 2018
Dallas Cowboys 1960 6 0 6 November 27, 1969
Denver Broncos 1960 8 2 10 September 20, 1987
Detroit Lions 1930 31 3 34 November 14, 2021
Green Bay Packers 1921 32 6 38 September 16, 2018
Houston Texans 2002 N/A 1 1 September 11, 2022
Indianapolis Colts 1953 6 2 8 September 11, 2022
Jacksonville Jaguars 1995 N/A 0 0 None
Kansas City Chiefs 1960 10 2 12 November 19, 1989
Las Vegas Raiders 1960 11 0 11 October 22, 1973
Los Angeles Chargers 1960 11 0 11 October 28, 1973
Los Angeles Rams 1937 19 2 21 November 11, 2012
Miami Dolphins 1966 3 1 4 October 4, 1981
Minnesota Vikings 1961 7 4 11 September 16, 2018
New England Patriots 1960 9 0 9 October 8, 1967
New Orleans Saints 1967 5 0 5 October 22, 1972
New York Giants 1925 31 2 33 November 23, 1997
New York Jets 1960 6 2 8 October 2, 1988
Philadelphia Eagles[H] 1933 22 5 27 September 27, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers[H] 1933 18 4 22 November 14, 2021
San Francisco 49ers 1950 12 2 14 November 11, 2012
Seattle Seahawks 1976 N/A 1 1 October 23, 2016
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976 N/A 1 1 October 12, 1980
Tennessee Titans 1960 6 0 6 October 3, 1971
Washington Commanders 1932 26 2 28 October 30, 2016

Notes

Notes
  1. ^ No official standings were recorded throughout the 1920 season and teams played games against opponents outside of the league.[8]
  2. ^ The American Football League was founded in 1960 and played as a separate league until 1969, after which it merged with the NFL. The modern NFL considers the 1960s history and records of the AFL to be a part of its own, however, AFL tied games are tabulated separately in this section.
  3. ^ The AFL and NFL merged in 1970. As a result, the number of NFL regular season games played that season increased to 182, compared to 112 NFL games and 70 AFL games in 1969.
  4. ^ The 1982 season was reduced from 16 to 9 games because of a 57-day players' strike.[14]
  5. ^ For simplicity, each team in this table is listed with only its current name, which in several cases is not the same as where the team was based and/or the name the franchise used when some or all ties were recorded.
  6. ^ a b Due to the exclusion of defunct NFL teams from the table, the sum of this column is an odd number.
  7. ^ a b The NFL recognizes the Ravens as having joined the league as an expansion franchise (albeit one that acquired the existing roster of the Browns) founded in 1996 and the Browns as having suspended operations for three seasons before resuming play in 1999.
  8. ^ a b For the 1943 season, the Eagles and Steelers temporarily merged, recording one tie. For the purposes of this table, the merged team is considered defunct and the tie is not counted for either franchise.
Footnotes
  1. ^ Campbell, Dave (November 13, 2012). "Rams–49ers tie likely not enough to alter NFL rule". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Piascik, Andy (2005). "Old and New Style: Winning Percentages" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 27 (5): 21–23. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 2, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Graham, Bryan Armen (November 17, 2012). "An argument in favor of tie games". Fan Nation. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  4. ^ Jonsson, Patrick (November 12, 2012). "First NFL tie since 2008, between Rams and 49ers: What is this, soccer?". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Chase, Chris (March 28, 2012). "NFL passes new overtime rules for regular-season games". Shutdown Corner. Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  6. ^ "NFL overtime rules". National Football League. March 28, 2012. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Thomas, Jeanna (May 23, 2017). "NFL voted on rule changes for the 2017 season, and we graded each one". SBNation.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "NFL Champions". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "1920 APFA Weekly League Schedule". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  10. ^ "Team Game Finder Query Results". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  11. ^ Chase, Chris (November 12, 2012). "All recent NFL ties have happened in mid-November and other interesting facts". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 24, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  12. ^ Rollow, Copper (September 20, 1976). "Viking-Ram tie all Fran's fault". Chicago Tribune. § 5, p. 1. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  13. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (October 5, 1981). "Jets and Dolphins play to a 28–28 tie". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  14. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1981–1990". NFL.com Baltimore finished with zero wins, eight losses, and one tie. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  15. ^ Remnick, David. "Colts, Packers Grind Past Overtime to Tie," The Washington Post, Monday, December 20, 1982. Archived December 16, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved December 15, 2018
  16. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (October 23, 2012). "Amped Up For Monday Night Football". Arizona Cardinals. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Litsky, Frank (October 26, 1983). "Mistakes Hurt Giants in Tie". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Chiefs Tie Jets With Late Touchdown Pass, 17-17". Los Angeles times. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  19. ^ "Lowery, Chiefs Fit to Be Tied, 10–10". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. November 20, 1989. p. C6. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  20. ^ Larimer, Terry. "Eagles, Ravens Got What They Deserved: The 10-10 Tie Is What Eagles, Ravens Deserved; Hoying 26-for-38 For 276 Yards In First Start As Teams Played 75 Minutes And Had Only One TD Apiece," The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), Monday, November 17, 1997. Archived December 16, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved December 15, 2018
  21. ^ Schremmer, Mak (November 13, 2012). "Redskins Pro Bowler remembered for bizarre celebration". The Joplin Globe. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  22. ^ Bouchette, Ed (November 11, 2012). "Steelers settle for tie as Vick rallies Atlanta from 17-point deficit in fourth quarter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  23. ^ "Eagles, Bengals play to NFL's first tie in six years at 13–13". ESPN. Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  24. ^ "Team Game Finder Query Results". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  25. ^ Gregory, Sean (November 12, 2012). "Unusual Ending: How the NFL Got a Tie Game". Time. Archived from the original on November 17, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  26. ^ "NFL roundup: Patriots refuse to quit, ties still happen, and the Buccaneers are... good?". Statesman Journal. Salem, OR. November 24, 2013. Archived from the original on November 25, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  27. ^ Orr, Conor (October 12, 2014). "Bengals, Panthers have highest-scoring tie game ever". National Football League. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  28. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (October 24, 2016). "Cardinals, Seahawks settle for historic tie after wild OT". National Football League. Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  29. ^ Orr, Conor (October 30, 2016). "Redskins-Bengals London duel ends in 27–27 tie". National Football League. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  30. ^ Ruiz, Steven (May 23, 2017). "3 possible consequences of the NFL shortening overtime to 10 minutes". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 3, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  31. ^ Shook, Nick (September 9, 2018). "Browns don't lose, but tie Steelers in wild, sloppy affair". National Football League. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  32. ^ "Packers, Vikings settle for OT tie, 29-29". packers.com. September 16, 2018. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  33. ^ "Murray, Cardinals settle for 27-27 tie vs. Lions". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  34. ^ "Bengals, Eagles play to 23-23 tie". ESPN.com.
  35. ^ "Najee Harris: I didn't know you could tie in the NFL". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  36. ^ "Texans-Colts game ends in tie: Here's how often a deadlock has occurred in Week 1". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  37. ^ Arthur, Jake (September 13, 2022). "Report: Colts Waiving Rodrigo Blankenship". Sports Illustrated.

General references