Ties in major sports is quite rare in modern times, soccer aside. Baseball and basketball at almost every level can not end in a tie. Hockey also eliminated ties at most levels of play with shoot outs following overtime periods. And even football has eliminated the tie with a repetitive overtime sequence of possessions to determine a winner in high school and college contests. But the NFL has maintained rules that allow for the possibility of a tie in regular season contests.

In the NFL and NCAA football, ties were much more common before overtime rules were instituted. The NFL adapted a clock based version of overtime in 1974 which has changed over time, including shortening the extra time from 15 to 10 minutes in 2017. The NCAA had rare overtime games beginning in the 1970s for certain scenarios, but started their version of possession based overtime to always determine a winner in 1996. This system has also had some alterations over the years.

So how many times have the Detroit Lions played to a tie in their team history? The team’s frequency playing to a draw in history reflects the changes in rules to include overtime. In fact, they have only had two ties in the modern overtime era. One in 1984 and one in 2019. Their game on September 8th, 2019 was the first time in 35 years the Lions played to a tie. Here are the records via Wikipedia.

Detroit Lions All-time Tie Games By Year:

Ties before overtime was instituted

  • 1935 - 2
  • 1940 - 1
  • 1941 - 1
  • 1943 - 1
  • 1944 - 1
  • 1951 - 1
  • 1954 - 1
  • 1958 - 1
  • 1959 - 1
  • 1961 - 1
  • 1963 - 1
  • 1964 - 2
  • 1965 - 1
  • 1966 - 1
  • 1967 - 2
  • 1968 - 2
  • 1969 - 1
  • 1971 - 1
  • 1972 - 1
  • 1073 - 1
  • TOTAL - 23

Ties since overtime was instituted

  • 1984 - 1
  • 2019 - 1
  • TOTAL - 2