Sports Outside the Beltway

Eagles, Bengals play to NFL’s first tie in six years at 13-13

There aren’t always winners and losers in the NFL. From AP-

Donovan McNabb expected to keep playing until someone scored, no matter how long it took. Mercifully, the NFL’s rules set a time limit on terrible play.

Eagles 13, Bengals 13. It couldn’t have ended any other way.

McNabb fumbled and threw three interceptions in regulation Sunday, and the Bengals botched the only scoring chance in overtime, leaving the equally inept teams with the NFL’s first tied game in six years.

Cincinnati’s Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in overtime, falling to the ground as the ball sailed a few inches wide to the right. It was a fitting finish to a game played like the very definition of a tie. Despite all the shanked punts and trick plays, this one went nowhere.


It was the first tied game in the NFL since Nov. 10, 2002, when the Falcons and Steelers finished 34-34 with Michael Vick and Tommy Maddox matching each other pass for pass. In this one, the teams matched each other gaffe for gaffe.

The Eagles (5-4-1) have yet to win a close game this season, going 0-4 with a tie in games decided by less than a touchdown. McNabb had a big hand in this one, matching his career high with three interceptions and setting up 10 of Cincinnati’s points.

He nearly had another pass picked off in overtime, but Johnathan Joseph dropped a potential interception near midfield. Each team had three chances in the extra 15-minute quarter, but only the Bengals (1-8-1) got close enough to try a field goal.

They missed it, leaving them with only their second tied game in franchise history. They played Houston to a 31-31 tie in 1969, their second season.


Philadelphia hadn’t finished with a tie since a 10-10 game against Baltimore in 1997.

Ties became rare in the NFL after the overtime rule was instituted in either 1972 or 1973. I’ve actually attended a tied game. One between Miami and the New York Jets that was played on 10/04/81 and ended in a 28-28 tie.

A tie may make things interesting for the Eagles come playoff time. The Bengals aren’t going anywhere in the postseason.

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