Ties are a rarity in the NFL, and quite frankly, eliminating them from football games wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
The Pittsburgh Steelers took on the winless Detroit Lions today, and to everyone's dismay, the game ended in a tie. The overtime quarter went back and forth with turnovers aplenty, but neither team could score to end it. In a way, the Steelers may have given the Lions their first "win" of the season.
Since 2017, there have only been five tie games, including today's game. But not every game that has ended in a tie has been so uneventful. Here's a look at the top five NFL games that have ended in a tie.
Which tie game has been the best?
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos - 22 September 1974
One of the highest-scoring tie games in NFL history happened in 1974 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos. The final score of 35-35 was significant in the fact that it became the second-highest tie game in history, but it was also the first tie game since the merger that created the NFL.
A wide-right field goal during the sudden-death portion of overtime by Broncos kicker Jim Turner led to the game ending in a tie. Mean Joe Greene knocked out Charley Johnson with a tackle. The Steelers came back from a 21-7 deficit. The first overtime in the incarnation of the NFL was an exciting one, to say the least.
Atlanta Falcons vs Pittsburgh Steelers - 10 November 2002
The game between the Falcons and the Steelers in 2002 was one for the ages. Tommy Maddox of XFL fame had signed with the Steelers for the 2002 season. He would go on to lead them to the playoffs and win Comeback Player of the Year. Maddox threw for a franchise-high 473 yards in the game. He coupled that with four passing touchdowns, but that still wasn't enough to seal the deal. The Falcons, behind the fireworks of a prime Michael Vick in the fourth quarter, helped tie the game with 17 unanswered points.
Even more exciting than all of this was Plaxico Burress being stopped at the one-yard line in the final seconds of the overtime quarter. The final score was 34-34.
St. Louis Rams vs San Francisco 49ers - 11 November 2012
A young Sam Bradford met a young Colin Kaepernick, who was sent in after Alex Smith was knocked out with a concussion. The game led to controversy, with Coach Harubaugh staying with Kaepernick over Smith for the rest of the season. Missed kicks from both Greg Zuerlein and David Akers ended the game with a tie.
Although the tie was not ideal for anyone, it would stand, as the rules for overtime had just changed. Only one 10-minute quarter was allowed, and this game was the first of many that ended in a tie under the league's altered overtime rules. Zuerlein's game winner was negated due to a penalty, and his second attempt was no good.
Carolina Panthers vs Cincinatti Bengals - 12 October 2014
The Bengals and the Panthers made history by having the highest scoring tie in NFL history. The final score of 37-37 still remains the highest in a tie. The game was full of drama as Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard attempt in the final seconds of overtime.
Adam "Pacman" Jones had a 97-yard return TD that led to a tie deep in the quarter, and a pair of field goals by both kickers sent this high scoring affair into overtime. Both Mike Nugent and Graham Gano kicked field goals in overtime, but under the new overtime rules, no team could simply win with a first possession field goal.
Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers - 16 September 2018
Divisonal rivalries are always great, and even more so, the deep rivalry between the Vikings and the Packers. The game marked only the second time since the 1974 season that two games would end in a tie in consecutive weeks.
Mason Crosby was iced by the Vikings at the end of the fourth quarter, missing his second attempt and taking the game into overtime. Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goals in overtime that would have sealed their victory. The Vikings went 8-7-1 on the season and this tie allowed the 9-7 Eagles to make the playoffs over them. Had the Vikings won this game, they would have also finished 9-7 and would have had the tiebreaker over the Eagles.