Safeties in overtime

Safeties in overtime

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The Miami Dolphins defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night in a manner that has occurred only two other times in NFL history, via a safety in overtime. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake’s takedown of Andy Dalton with 6:42 remaining in the extra quarter gave Miami a 22-20 victory. The much needed win for the Dolphins halted a four-game losing skid and evened their record to 4-4 on the season. 

Here is a look at the other two overtime games in NFL history that ended on a safety.

Nov. 5, 1989 — Minnesota Vikings 23, Los Angeles Rams 21
The host Vikings held a 18-7 advantage early on in the fourth quarter but the Rams were able to reel off two TD drives to take a 21-18 lead with only 28 seconds remaining in the game. Minnesota made the best out of those remaining ticks on the clock as Wade Wilson connected on a 43-yard pass to Hassan Jones which set up a 40-yard field goal by Rich Karlis to send the game into OT.

In the extra period, the Rams won the toss and naturally elected to receive. A three-and-out drive however forced Los Angeles to punt. Things went terribly wrong when Dale Hatcher’s punt was blocked by Mike Merriweather. The ball subsequently rolled out of the end zone which equated to a safety for the Vikings.

Nov. 14, 2004 — Chicago Bears 19, Tennessee Titans 17
The visiting Bears, despite gaining just three first downs, led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bears scoring occurred on a 45-yard interception return by Michael Haynes and a 75-yard punt return by R.W. McQuarters. The Titans were then able to take a 17-14 lead with a Gary Anderson field goal and a 47-yard pass from Billy Volek to Drew Bennett. Chicago responded with their longest drive of the contest, 69 yards, and tied the game with a 29-yard field goal by Paul Edinger with just 52 seconds remaining.

In OT the Bears won the toss but were able to only gain one first down.  Chicago’s punt pinned the Titans inside their own 10-yard line. On third down, after an incomplete pass and a sack that moved the team back to the five-yard line, Volek was again sacked but this time fumbled the ball. Titans running back Fred Miller was able to recover the ball but was tackled in the end zone by Adewale Ogunleye for a safety.

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