NFL – A Statistically Improbable Game

Cardinals vs. Seahawks (in Glendale, Arizona)

Inside the National Football League, a draw is extremely rare.

On Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, the Seattle Seahawks matched-up against the Arizona Cardinals. The game concluded with a 6-6 tie; a record for lowest scoring tie since 1974.

Even more impressive, the Cardinals played to a 6-6 tie four other times throughout their history: on Sunday vs. the Seahawks, in 1972 at Philadelphia, 1970 at Kansas city, in 1937, and also in 1927 – totaling 5 games. The total number of 6-6 tie games since 1970 is three.

In 1974 the NFL added overtime rules to help decide tie games.  Since the implementation of the rule, 526 regular season games have been decided in overtime.  The odds of a game ending in a tie are 0.17%, or 1 out of 590 games. Since 1970, (and the merger), only three NFL games ended in a 6-6 tie.

As if the end-result wasn’t enough, Seattle’s Bobby Wagner blocked a second-quarter field-goal attempt by Chandler Catanzaro in spectacular fashion, by jumping over center Aaron Brewer. Not to mention another blocked kick, a punt, by the Seahawk’s Tanner McEvoy.

The average number of field goals blocked in the 2016 NFL season is currently 2.33%, (mostly by the Miami Dolphins, who blocked nearly 17% of all opposing field goals).

Games with two blocked kicks are incredibly rare, but some claim that one of the blocks shouldn’t count.

The replay showed a tiny bit of contact with the offensive player’s foot and the defender’s back. According to the rules, contact is not allowed in this situation.

There was a flag on the play,  which was picked up by the referee. The play was ruled clean. When it comes to leapfrog, the rule-book is hazy and uncertain. Contact and using a player as an object is decidedly not allowed, but where does grazing a jersey with one toe fit in? 

Since landing on a player is not allowed, and Brewer did not land on Wagner, there was no foul. Many fans, as well as the Cardinal’s head coach were livid. And understandably so.

It is plays like these that often decide close games.

Alex is a freelance writer and student of life. He spent some time attending University in NYC after high school where he studied Physical Education. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine on October 6, 1991 (25 years old) and moved to America when he was 9 years old. He started writing when he was in college, mostly by helping friends with their school papers. He enjoys music and plays guitar. He also composes for the classical guitar and produces original electronic music. He spent some time writing original books, but never published. His interests include reading books and playing basketball. If you would like to know more, ask a question, or simply say "hi", you can send him an e-mail at: [email protected]