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article imageNFL: Rams, 49ers play to first tie since 2008

By Sean Fraser     Nov 12, 2012 in Sports
San Francisco - In the NFL, many things can happen, but one of the rarest things that can happen is a tie. The San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams did just that on Sunday, raising some confusion among players about the new overtime rules.
Sunday's mid afternoon clash between the Niners and the Rams was a back and forth affair. The Rams, the last place team in the NFC West, pulled out to an early 14 point lead in the first quarter. Things did not get better for San Francisco when starting quarterback Alex Smith took a nasty hit on a scrambling play that would cause him to leave the game with a concussion. He was replaced by two-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
With Kaepernick, the 49ers took the lead into the fourth quarter, scoring 14 points. St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford responded by throwing a late touchdown to take a three point lead. Niners' kicker David Akers added three points to tie the game with five seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime.
This season, the NFL adopted new overtime rules for the regular season, using the rules adopted for the playoffs in 2010. The rules allow each team to possess the ball at least once unless the team receiving the overtime opening kickoff scored a touchdown, which differed from the sudden death overtime rules of old.
The overtime period is timed, and if neither team scores more than the other before time expires, the game ends in a tie. The difference between regular season and playoff overtime rules is that in the playoffs, another period would start until one team scores.
The last tie occurred in 2008, when the Philadelphia Eagles tied the Cincinnati Bengals 13-13. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb admitted after the game that he did not realize games could end in a tie.
Players for both the 49ers and the Rams were confused about the overtime rules. Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola thought there would be a second overtime period. 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh said:
I don't know exactly how it feels, yet. I don't know quite how to feel right how. I've asked several people, some of our players. And I think they feel like I do. Don't know quite how to feel right now. But the way I feel is that it was a good football game. A hard-fought football game, and we came out even.
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