Rams and 49ers Prove Tie Games Are Just Weird
by Patrick Imig (@patrickimig)
Cold Hard Football Facts' Muay Tie Master
The shocker of Week 10 was not an upset or blowout. It was the game that ended in "oh" and "eh".
The St. Louis Rams tied the San Francisco 49ers 24-24. St. Louis has now mastered new and wonderful ways to tie, after committing 12 penalties for the third time in four games. Two penalties proved fatal in overtime as an "illegal formation" negated an 80 yard reception for Danny Amendola that would have taken the Rams down to the two yard line.
The other costly penalty was a delay of game that negated Greg Zuerlein's 53-yard field goal to clinch the game in favor of a wide-right, 58-yard try.
TIE GAMES ARE AWKWARD
The end result that fails to produce an end-result produces "weird" feelings according to the players.
Said 49ers Safety Donte Whitner: "It feels weird. We're about wins around here."
Said Rams QB Sam Bradford: "It's a weird feeling. I've never been a part of a game like that before. I think the mood in this locker room is disappointment."
Said 49ers TE Vernon Davis: “It feels weird being a tie. I say that because it’s the first time it has ever happened to me and most of my teammates. It’s almost as if we didn’t play a game. That’s what it feels like at least.”
Weird. Real weird.
THIS TIE GAME HAD A SLICE OF MANY THINGS
Alex Smith left the game due to concussion.
Both teams missed game winning field goal attempts.
The Rams successfully executed and converted two fake punts for first downs.
For the season, Rams rookie punter Johnny Hekker is 3/3 for 42 yards and a touchdown with a picture-perfect 158.3 passer rating. He's not getting the hype that comes with rookie perfection.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE TIE GAME
In 1974, the NFL instituted one fifteen-minute overtime period for all games tied at the conclusion of four quarters. Any score in that overtime period resulted in sudden death defeat/victory.
Since that rule change, there have been 18 tie games, including three this century.
Nov. 11, 2012 - Rams 24, 49ers 24
Nov. 16, 2008 - Eagles 13, Bengals 13 (Donovan McNabb infamously stated after the contest that he didn't know a real NFL game could end in a tie).
Nov. 10, 2002 - Falcons 34, Steelers 34 (Game ended on the one yard-line after a 50 yard pass from Tommy Maddox to Plaxico Burress. Maddox is the only XFL MVP to ever compete in a tie game).
Even though every one of these games ended without a winner, both the 2002 Falcons and Steelers would make the playoffs. So too did the 2008 Eagles. In 2012, the 49ers are the NFC West frontrunners.
TIE GAMES PRODUCE HEADBUTTS GONE WRONG
Nov. 23, 1997 - Giants 7, Redskins 7 (Gus Frerotte suffered a concussion in this game after banging his head into the wall as part of a celebration gone terribly wrong)
Nov. 16, 1997 - Eagles 10, Ravens 10 (Neither team made the postseason. The starting quarterbacks that day were Bobby Hoying for the Eagles and Vinny Testaverde for the Ravens).
Nov. 19, 1989 - Chiefs 10, Browns 10 (In which Marty Schottenheimer returned to the Dawg Pound as the coach of the Chiefs and offered up a tie to rabid Clevelanders).
DID YOU NOTICE A PATTERN?
The last six tie games in NFL history have taken place in a 13-day span in the 11th month of the calendar year. Keep this in mind for your company's office pool tie-game pick-'em challenge.
The Eagles and Packers, by the way, have played in more tie games (4) than any team in history.
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