And the Winner is… Nobody?
Overtime in NFL football is as exciting as any other overtime situation. The rules differ from sport to sport, league to league. In the NFL, overtime is a one-shot deal. Win, lose, or… tie.
Sunday’s game of the Cincinnati Bengals at the Philadelphia Eagles marked a moment in NFL history that has not occurred in the past six seasons—an overtime game ending in a tie.
The last NFL game that ended in a draw was in 2002, when the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers tied 34-34 after an exciting overtime matchup between then-quarterbacks Michael Vick and Tommy Maddox.
Today’s game was a bit less than stellar, with several mistakes preventing both teams from putting up the points to win. Kicker Shayne Graham, who had kicked two field goals in the game, missed a 47-yard attempt with only seconds left in overtime. Graham had not missed a field goal yet this season.
Players including Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb admitted they had no idea that the game would not continue into another overtime period but end with a 13-13 final score. The last time the Eagles played to a tie was in 1997 against Baltimore. Cincinnati had not played to a tie since 1969.
McNabb completed 28 of 58 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown and threw three interceptions. McNabb had only thrown five total interceptions in the first nine games of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick, backup Quarterback for the Bengals, threw for 29 of 44 pass attempts and had one touchdown. Fitzpatrick started in place of injured Quarterback Carson Palmer, still out with a severe elbow injury that may require season- (or career?) ending surgery.
The Bengals have been plagued with injuries this year, including the loss of their starting quarterback. Cincinnati Wide Receiver Antonio Chatman was injured in the second quarter of today’s game. He was taken off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury, but x-rays were negative, and the team reported Chatman had feeling in all extremities. He was to be hospitalized at least overnight.
Bengals Wide Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught Cincinnati’s only touchdown of the game, ending with 12 receptions for 149 yards.
The Eagles, now 5-4-1, will face the 6-4 Baltimore Ravens next Sunday.
The Bengals, desperate for their second win of the season after starting the year 0-8, instead carry a 1-8-1 record to Pittsburgh to face the 6-3 Steelers on Thursday.