Likely to the disgust of both fanbases, the Week 12 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings ended in a 26-26 tie, after the two teams exchanged field goals in overtime.
It's the first time in a long while for either team to finish with a tie, per ESPN Stats and Info.
Vikings: 1st tie since 1978 (against Packers). Packers: 1st tie since 1987 (against Broncos)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 24, 2013
For those fans scratching their heads at the rare outcome, Fox's officiating guru Mike Pereira confirmed that, yes, NFL games can indeed end in ties.
Have gotten several tweets -- in the regular season, if OT ends in a tie, that's it. Tie game.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 24, 2013
Should an NFL game be able to end in a tie?
Although the NFL tinkered with its overtime rules a couple of years ago, the only significant change was that if the team that received the ball in overtime first kicked a field goal on the first drive, the other team would have an opportunity to respond.
But if the score is still tied after the 15-minute overtime period, that's it. This isn't college football, where as many overtimes can be used as possible until a winner is declared.
It's a result fans generally don't see, so of course, there were plenty of jokes to be had.
Not Bill Walton can't wait to hand out the participation ribbons.
Vikings/Packers ends in a tie! No winners, no losers! Break out the orange slices & Capri Suns because the PC police LOVE this!— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) November 24, 2013
Bomani Jones of ESPN's Around the Horn wondered which player would claim he didn't know the overtime rules after the game.
time to find out who on the packers and vikings knew that ties could happen in the nfl!— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) November 24, 2013
Donovan McNabb famously stated after a tie in 2008 that he had no idea that games ended without a winner in the NFL.
Sure enough, some of Packers players were unaware of the NFL's overtime procedure, per Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko.
This is nothing new but still hard to believe: I heard multiple Packers admit they expected a second overtime, didn't know they could tie.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) November 24, 2013
One of the Packers who didn't know OT rules was starting TE Andrew Quarless: "I thought we was gonna go to another overtime. I never knew."— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) November 25, 2013
The silver lining here, as Warren Sapp pointed out, is that the San Francisco 49ers went to the Super Bowl last season after tying the St. Louis Rams. Maybe it's a sign.
Just last year a team with a Tie, went to the Super Bowl!— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) November 24, 2013
The result will likely cover up what was a great comeback from the Packers. They were in a 23-7 hole going into the fourth quarter, but stormed back to tie the game with a Mason Crosby field goal with 50 seconds remaining.
Quarterback Matt Flynn did a great job of igniting the Packers' comeback after he replaced Scott Tolzien. ESPN's Skip Bayless had no doubt the backup would thrive this weekend under center.
As I said Friday, if Matt Flynn had started for Pack today, they'd have won. At least he came in 3rd q, got 'em a tie, kept 'em alive.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 24, 2013
The Vikings got 200 total yards (146 rush yards, 54 receiving yards) and a touchdown from Adrian Peterson and rushed for 232 total yards.
Eddie Lacy rushed for 110 yards and a score for the Packers.
Plenty of fans and experts alike will be debating the merits of the NFL's overtime system come Monday morning following this game. It will be interesting to see if the NFL decides to tweak the system once again to prevent any more ties from occurring.