Is there anything worse than watching your favorite NFL team lose a game on Sunday? Trick question. Yes, there is. Watching your favorite team play four hours of football and finish with a tie might be even worse than a loss.
A tie can leave such an empty feeling in your stomach. What’s even worse is football is the only major American sport besides soccer in which it’s even possible to tie. You would think Roger Goodell and company could figure out a way to fix that problem by now, but ties are still happening today. So, how many ties have there been in NFL history, and which team has the most?
A history of ties in the NFL
Ties in the NFL date all the way back to 1920 when the league was founded. In the inaugural season of the NFL, there were an absurd 17 ties league-wide. There were 10 or more ties in five of the first 13 seasons of the NFL, and there was at least one tie in every season until 1934.
Ties were so prominent in the early years of the NFL because overtime didn’t even exist at that time. Before OT, teams played out the regulation time and the final score at that point stood.
In 1974, the NFL adopted a sudden-death overtime period to cut down on ties, and it worked wonders. From 1974-1979, there were only three ties across the entire league.
The overtime rules have shifted multiple times in the last 46 years, but ties are still a possibility in professional football.
How many ties have there been in NFL history?
Before the NFL added an overtime period in 1974, ties ran rampant across the league. There were 256 ties from 1920, when the league was founded, to 1973, the last season without OT.
Since overtime was adopted in 1974, ties have drastically decreased in regularity. There have only been 26 ties in 46 years since OT joined the fold. Over the course of NFL history, there have been 282 ties in 100 years.
Only three seasons have seen more than one tie since 1974, which is a huge upgrade from life before overtime.
The Green Bay Packers have the most ties in the NFL since overtime was introduced
The Green Bay Packers might be one of the winningest franchises in NFL history, but they also have a knack for finding their way into a mediocre result.
Since 1974 when overtime was introduced, the Packers have tied six games, the most in the NFL over that span. Amazingly, three of those games came against their division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Aaron Rodgers has tied the Vikings twice in his professional career in Green Bay.
The last Packers tie came in 2018 against the Vikings, of course. The NFC North foes battled to a 29-29 draw in Week 2 that season.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference