Thursday, December 22, 2016

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)
St. Louis Rams12/10/199540BUF3
San Diego Chargers11/30/199740DEN8began with final 23 plays of record 25-play drive
New England Patriots11/12/198938NO4
Minnesota Vikings10/14/201238WAS3
Washington Redskins11/4/199037DET1Redskins came back from 38-21 down entering 4Q;
record 112 plays and then-record 39 first downs for game
Pittsburgh Steelers11/19/200637CLE1Steelers came back from 13-3 down to win 24-20
Cincinnati Bengals1/5/201437SD1AFC Wild Card Game
Buffalo Bills11/14/199436PIT2
Green Bay Packers10/14/199636SF2twice rallied from 3-point deficits; won in OT
Baltimore Ravens9/23/200136CIN3
San Francisco 49ers11/25/200236PHI0
Indianapolis Colts1/18/200436NE0AFC Championship Game
Denver Broncos10/31/200436ATL2Jake Plummer 499 passing yards for the game
New Orleans Saints11/9/200836ATL3
Indianapolis Colts11/2/201536CAR1came back from 23-6 down to force OT at 23-all;
lost 29-26
Tampa Bay Buccaneers10/28/198435KC7
Kansas City Chiefs11/24/199135CLE4
Chicago Bears11/16/199735NYJ2
Miami Dolphins11/23/199735NE3
St. Louis Rams12/11/200635CHI5
Detroit Lions9/23/201235TEN3recovered onside with 0:16 left;
tied game on Hail Mary; lost in OT
Tennessee Titans10/7/201235MIN2Titans called timeouts while the Vikings were attempting
to kneel out the clock with 2:00 left up 30-7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers9/25/201635LA Rams470-minute lightning delay with 2:00 left
Chicago Bears11/27/201635TEN2
New York Giants12/22/201635PHI1

* "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.

Other records:
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)

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