Reader Mail: Most Plays In A Quarter (Updated 12/22/16)
|The Bears ran 35 plays in the 4th quarter in last week's game against the Titans. Is this a record?|
No, but it's close. Most of the following, like the Bears, were failed comebacks from large deficits.
Most plays in a quarter, 1983-2016:
(all 4th quarters unless noted)
* "Plays" by NFL definition include runs, passes (including sacks), and field goals. Punts, kickoffs, and plays nullified by penalty are not included.
** "Non-plays" as used here includes punts and plays nullified by penalty.
Most plays in a first quarter: 33, Dallas Cowboys, 10/16/1983 vs. Eagles
Most plays in a second quarter: 33, five teams (Denver Broncos, 10/20/1985 vs. Seahawks; Dallas Cowboys, 10/17/1993 vs. 49ers; Houston Oilers, 9/17/1995 vs. Browns; Indianapolis Colts, 12/7/2003 vs. Titans; Arizona Cardinals, 10/7/2007 vs. Rams)
Most plays in a third quarter: 33, Cleveland Browns, 10/4/1987 vs. Patriots (replacement game)
Most plays in an overtime: 29, St. Louis Cardinals, 10/24/1983 vs. Giants (missed 3 field goals in 10-10 tie)
Most plays in a double overtime: 4, Cleveland Browns, 1/3/1987 vs. Jets (AFC Divisional Round)
[Pre-1983 record: 9, Miami Dolphins, 12/25/1971 vs. Chiefs (AFC Divisional Round)]
Most plays in a game: 112, Washington Redskins, 11/4/1990 vs. Lions
Most plays in a regulation game: 98, three teams (San Diego Chargers, 10/19/1986 vs. Chiefs; Green Bay Packers, 10/26/1986 vs. 49ers; Pittsburgh Steelers, 12/8/2002 vs. Texans)
Fewest plays in a quarter: 1, San Diego Chargers, 1/11/2009 vs. Steelers (3rd quarter, AFC Divisional Round) (intercepted on only play from scrimmage and muffed a punt)
Fewest plays in a first quarter: 3, many teams
Fewest plays in a second quarter: 2, New York Jets, 11/20/2005 vs. Broncos (fumbled on second play of only drive; also punted to open quarter and later fumbled kickoff)
Fewest plays in a third quarter (regular season): 2, Denver Broncos, 9/9/2012 vs. Steelers (71-yard TD pass on only drive)
Fewest plays in a fourth quarter: 2, Pittsburgh Steelers, 12/26/1987 vs. Browns (field goal on first play of quarter, intercepted on only other play)
Fewest plays in a game: 28, Cleveland Browns, 9/12/1999 vs. Steelers (first game for expansion Browns; lost 43-0)