EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When the MetLife Stadium game clocks turned to zeroes to signify the end of the Giants-Washington Commanders game Sunday, players and coaches on both sides seemed uncertain about what they should do. They lingered at their respective bench areas before gradually heading to the middle of the field for the customary postgame greetings.
The teams had just played a 20-20 tie, an outcome that satisfies no one in the NFL. Yes, it's better than loss. But it's also worse than winning the game. And no one can say for certain what the long-term implications are of a deadlocked game.
But, to turn a phrase, ties happen. Since the NFL instituted regular-season overtime in 1974 – including shortening the maximum length of the extra period from 15 to 10 minutes in 2017 - 29 games have ended in a tie.
The Giants played in three of them. The first was the 20-20 Monday night stalemate in St. Louis on Oct. 24, 1983, a game best remembered for Cardinals kicker Neil O'Donoghue missing three field goal attempts in overtime – two of them in the final 1:06, including, inexplicably, a 19-yarder.
On Nov. 23, 1997, the Giants and Washington played for 75 minutes and managed just one score apiece in a 7-7 game. The, um, highlight was Washington quarterback Gus Frerotte celebrating his one-yard touchdown run by head-butting the wall at what was then called Jack Kent Cooke Stadium and forcing himself out of the game with a sprained neck.
Nothing that bizarre occurred Sunday, when each team punted twice in overtime before Graham Gano's 58-yard field goal attempt fell short on the game's final play.
The Green Bay Packers have played in an NFL-high six overtime games since 1974. Eight teams have played none.
Since that season, 20 teams with at least one tie have made the playoffs. That group includes the 1997 Giants, who won the NFC East title with a 10-5-1 record in Jim Fassel's first year as head coach. The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers, who finished 10-3-1, are the only team to win the Super Bowl with a tie in their record since the advent of regular-season overtime.
The highest-scoring tie game in history was played on Oct. 16, 1964, when the Boston Patriots and Oakland Raiders battled to a 43-43 deadlock in Fenway Park. As for the lowest scoring games, many contests in the NFL's early years ended 0-0.
On Nov. 2, 1926, the Giants and Canton Bulldogs finished their game knotted at 7-7, the first of the Giants' 34 ties in their 98 seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the NFL's fourth-highest total. The Chicago Bears have played a league-high 42 ties.
The Giants played a franchise single-season high two ties in 1928, 1932, 1937, 1947, 1960 and 1964.
On Nov. 25, 1956, the Giants and Bears played to a 17-17 tie in the home team's first season in Yankee Stadium. Five weeks later, the 8-3-1 Giants crushed the Bears on the same field, 47-7, in the NFL Championship Game. The Giants' last game in the stadium was against the Eagles on Sept. 23, 1973. It was a 23-23 tie.
One more tie note: With the result Sunday, the Giants' tie game split is fittingly stalemated at 17 home games and 17 road games.
*The Giants also have an even split in regular-season overtime games – 21 at home, 21 as visitors. They are 23-16-3, including 10-10-1 at home and 13-6-2 on the road.
*The Giants Sunday played their first overtime game since Oct. 3, 2021, when they defeated the Saints in New Orleans, 27-21.
*The Giants-Commanders tie was the NFL's only overtime game in Week 13. The 2022 season is the third season since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974 to feature an overtime game in at least 11 of the first 13 weeks, joining 2010 (12 of the first 13 weeks) and 2003 (11 of 13).
*The Giants' most frequent overtime opponents are the team they will host on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles. They are 6-2 in regular-season overtime games vs. Philly. They have not been as successful against their other NFC East opponents. The Giants are 2-3 vs. Dallas and 2-2-2 against Washington in overtime games.
*Washington tied the game on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Jahan Dotson with 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the first game in which the Giants led in the fourth but did not win since Nov. 1, 2021, at Kansas City, where a 17-14 advantage dissolved into a 20-17 defeat.
*Daniel Jones completed 80.6 % of his passes Sunday, his second-highest percentage of the season and his career (85.0% at Tennessee). He is one of five quarterbacks with multiple games completing more than 80% of his passes this season, joining Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill, Jacksonville's Trevor Lawrence, Cleveland's Jacoby Brissett, and Seattle's Geno Smith.
*Jones joins Baltimore's Lamar Jackson and Arizona's Kyler Murray as the only quarterbacks this season with a 300-yard passing game and 100-yard rushing game.
*Jones had a career-high 12 rushing attempts vs. Washington (including one kneel-down on the final play of the fourth quarter), the fourth time this season he set a personal standard for carries in a game. He had 10 against Carolina on Sept. 18 and Green Bay on Oct. 9, 11 at Jacksonville on Oct. 23 (when he rushed for a career-high 107 yards) and 12 on Sunday.
*Jones led the Giants with 71 rushing yards vs. the Commanders, the second time this season and 13th game in his career he was the team's top rusher. Jones ran for 50 yards against Detroit on Nov. 20.
*Four of Jones' top seven rushing totals have occurred this season – 107 at Jacksonville, 79 vs. Dallas, 71 vs. Washington and 68 vs. Chicago.
*Jones' 1,522 career rushing yards is the record for a Giants quarterback.
*Jones' 522 rushing yards are a single-season Giants quarterbacks record and the fifth-highest tally among NFL passers, following Chicago's Justin Fields (905), Baltimore's Lamar Jackson (764), Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts (609) and Buffalo's Josh Allen (581).
*Jones and Saquon Barkley each had a team-long 21-yard run. It was the third time this season and the 14th time overall Jones had the Giants' longest run (either alone or with a teammate). The Giants had two players with their longest run for the first time since Nov. 4, 2019, when Jones and wide receiver Golden Tate each had a 16-yard run vs. Dallas.
*On Sunday, Hodgins became the 20th different player to catch one of Jones' 56 touchdown passes.
*Barkley is fourth in the NFL with 1,055 rushing yards and fifth with 1,296 scrimmage yards.
*Gano (58) and Washington's Joey Slye (52) each missed long field goal attempts Sunday after entering the game with two of the four longest success streaks on 50+ yard tries dating back to last season. Slye had hit an NFL-high seven in a row, while Gano joined Seattle's Jason Myers and Houston's Ka'imi Fairbairn with six straight. Neither Myers nor Fairbairn attempted a 50-yarder in Week 13.
*The Giants are 7-2-1 in one-possession games in this season, tying them with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons for the most (10) in the NFL.
*The Giants overcame an early 10-0 deficit to tie and then take the lead on Sunday, while the Packers and Las Vegas Raiders each won after falling behind by at least 10 points. There have been 39 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win or tie this season, the most such games through the first 13 weeks of a season all-time.
*In the last two games, Dallas' Ceedee Lamb and Washington's Terry McLaurin each finished with 106 receiving yards against the Giants. This is the first time Giants opponents gained at least 100 receiving yards in consecutive games since Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019, when Chicago's Allen Robinson had 131 yards and Green Bay's Allen Lazard followed with 103.
*The Eagles will arrive in MetLife Stadium Sunday with an 11-1 record and one of the NFL's most prolific offenses. In their last two games, the Eagles rushed for 363 yards vs. Green Bay and passed for 386 net yards against Tennessee. They are the third team in history to exceed 350 rushing yards in one game and 350 passing yards the next. Oddly, all three teams did it in the final game in November and the first game in December.
The first team to do it was the 1959 Giants, who ran for 351 yards vs. Washington on Nov. 29 and threw for 401 a week later against Cleveland. The only other team to do it was the 1987 Los Angeles Raiders. They rushed for 356 yards at Seattle on Nov. 30 and threw for 350 yards vs. Buffalo on Dec. 6.
*The Giants' 11 recoveries of opposing fumbles tied them with Dallas for the NFL lead. Their four interceptions tie them with Las Vegas for the league's second-lowest total, one more than New Orleans.