Ties are a rare occurrence in the NFL, as the pitiful performance by the Rams and 49ers was one of few since 1974—the year the NFL implemented a 15-minute overtime period if games were undecided after four quarters.
There have been only three ties since the year 2000. With a tie becoming a reality once again thanks to some strange happenings in the Rams-49ers game, now would be a great time to review the three most recent ties in NFL history.
Let's take a look.
10 years ago, when the Falcons faced-off against the Steelers, Michael Vick was still the quarterback in Atlanta and Bill Cowher was still the head coach in Pittsburgh with Tommy Maddox as his quarterback.
Maddox exploded for a franchise record 473 passing yards and four touchdowns, but it was Vick who brought back the Falcons with 17 points in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime.
Both teams would attempt field goals in the overtime period, only to have both attempts blocked. Maddox would almost bring the Steelers to victory with one second remaining in the overtime period, completing a 50-yard pass to Plaxico Burress(pre-prison—who also recorded a franchise record 253 yards). But he fell a half-inch short as the ball didn't cross the plane.
No one from either side was pleased with the tie, but it was the most exhilarating of the three being detailed here, as it was between two exceptional football teams who fought to the bitter end and a 34-34 tie.
An end without a winner.
It feels like yesterday that the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles traveled to Cincinnati to face Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bengals in one of the most miserable games in recent memory.
Behind the leg of David Akers, the Eagles tied the game up late in the fourth quarter, sending the game to a horrific overtime period that saw both teams combine for just over 80 yards.
It was the Bengals that had the final legitimate chance to win the game as a roughing-the-passer penalty gave the Bengals' Shayne Graham a chance at a 47-yard field goal. Graham whiffed under the pressure with seven seconds left and a McNabb Hail Mary pass fell short.
The only good thing to come out of the most recent tie besides the catastrophe in San Francisco Sunday is this gem courtesy of Donovan McNabb:
The Eagles and Bengals ended overtime with a 13-13 score, much to the surprise of the clueless McNabb.
November 11, 2012: St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
On Sunday the Rams and 49ers played to a 24-24 tie, the first since the newly implemented sudden death rules that allow both teams to posses the football if one team only manages a field goal.
The Rams surprised the 49ers on the road by playing physical football, but were aided by San Francisco losing starting quarterback Alex Smith for the for a good portion of the game after he suffered an early concussion.
Both teams played sloppy football in the overtime period, with Sam Bradford completing an 80-yard bomb to Danny Amendola, but it was negated by an illegal formation penalty.
Which tie was the worst?
St. Louis would hit the game-winning field goal, but also have it negated by a penalty. Rookie Greg Zuerlein would miss the subsequent attempt. David Akers, a recurring theme in recent tie games, would miss his own game-winning attempt.
The laughably-bad contest was marred by horrendous time-keeping by the stadium official and referees, who at one point cost both teams 72 to 90 seconds as the play clock was allowed to run during the instance of a dead-ball situation.
So not only were both teams equally bad, it was as if the replacement referees made one last appearance as well.
The Rams and 49ers left everything on the field Sunday, but thanks to mediocre officiating that cut the contest short and a silly rule, neither left Candlestick Park a winner.