Marvin Lewis’ Third Tie Draws Him Even With Bart Starr Under Modern OT Rules

With both the Steelers and the Ravens on their bye week, the AFC North had only two teams, and two games to play, and nobody won—although only one of them lost. The Cincinnati Bengals drew the Redskins to a tie, marking the third time in Marvin Lewis’ career that he has managed to draw even with an opponent.

Since the NFL merger and the advent of the modern game, nobody has had more tie games over the course of a coaching career than has Lewis, though ties were substantially more common prior to 1974, when the league adopted sudden death overtime rules.

The league has seen back-to-back weeks now with a game ending in a tie, yet there have been only 22 ties since 1974. There have been a bit more ties lately, and that may tie back to the 2011 rule change in which an opening-drive field goal does not result in an automatic victory.

Lewis is, in fact, the only active coach to have drawn even with an opponent multiple times, although 10 additional active coaches have been involved in a tie game. Only Dan Reeves since the advent of the sudden death overtime rules has been involved in multiple ties.

That is aside from Bart Starr, who after he retired from his playing days led the Packers for nine seasons as their head coach, from 1975 to 1983. Starr managed to draw three ties over the course of his coaching career, although he only posted two winning seasons. Who would have thought that the Packers would be a better team when Starr was their quarterback?

So that is at least one thing that Lewis has with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Both Lewis and Starr have managed to draw three ties under the modern formulation of the overtime rules. It should be noted, however, that one of Lewis’ ties, in 2014, came in a game in which both teams scored a field goal, so that would not have gone as a tie pre-2011.

The Bengals and Redskins traded ties and leads throughout the game, with Washington striking first with a touchdown before Cincinnati responded with one of their own. After a Washington field goal, the Bengals added two touchdowns to hold a 20-10 lead (due to a missed extra point) before the Redskins struck with two touchdowns of their own to make it 24-20.

The Bengals responded with a fourth touchdown to make it a 27-24 game, but Washington tied it with about a minute to play. The Redskins missed a 34-yard field goal that would have won the game in overtime, so you can thank a missed extra point and a missed field goal from about extra-point distance for the result.

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