The National Football League (NFL), known from 1920–21 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA), is an American football league based in the United States. In the NFL, a tied game occurs when a regular season game ends with both teams having an equal score. 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". If that team instead scores a field goal, the other team has an opportunity to tie or surpass that score. Prior to the rule change, any score by either team in overtime would end the game. 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.
Tie games were once frequent in the NFL, but have become increasingly uncommon due to a rule change in 1974 that extended the existing sudden-death overtime for post-season games into the regular season. Only six ties have occurred since the 1989 season, a statistic that has been attributed to the increasing accuracy of kickers. 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; ties are most often 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. 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.
From 1920 to 1973, the NFL had a total of 256 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. Since 1974, there have only been 18 tied games, the most recent occurring in the 2012 season when the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams played to a 24–24 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 Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles share the lead for the most tied games since the rule change, with each team having played in four tied games.
Tied games (1920 to 1973) 
Tied games (1974 to present) 
||Denotes the number of times the team has tied a game from 1974 on.
- ^ No official standings were recorded throughout the 1920 season and teams played games against opponents outside of the league.
- ^ The 1982 season was reduced from 16 to 9 games due to a 57-day players' strike.
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