When is the last time a team with a regular season tie reached the Super Bowl? The San Francisco 49ers enter today’s Super Bowl with a 13-4-1 record (including playoffs). While it’s been a while since a team has played in the Super Bowl with a tie, it’s not unprecedented.
In the 38 seasons since the NFL started playing overtime in the regular season, 18 games have ended in a tie, for an average of about one tie every other year.
The 49ers and Rams finished their first meeting in a 24-all draw on Nov. 11, the first tie in the NFL in nearly four seasons, and only the third since 1997.
It has been 25 seasons since the last team with a tie reached the Super Bowl — the 1987 Denver Broncos, who went 10-4-1 in the regular season before reaching Super Bowl XXII, where they lost to Washington.
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The 1976 Minnesota Vikings and 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers also reached the Super Bowls with ties, with Minnesota losing and Pittsburgh winning.
Prior to 1974, it was much more common for teams to have ties in their record. Two other Super Bowl teams — the 1971 Miami Dolphins and the 1970 Baltimore Colts — had ties during that era. The Colts won while the Dolphins lost.
The record for most ties for an NFL champion is probably safe for the foreseeable future, however. The 1932 Chicago Bears played six tie games, including three scoreless matches to start the season. The Bears finished with eight shutouts in their 14-game schedule, including a 9-0 win over the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans in the league’s first playoff game.