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In what would end up as the first tie of the 2014 NFL season, Carolina and Cincinnati both were hot out of the starting gate. The Panthers received the opening kickoff and went on a 16-play, nine-minute, 86-yard touchdown drive to start the game. We can look at the development of the drive using our Markov model:
The Panthers converted four third downs (plays 3, 6, 13, and the touchdown score on play 16). The biggest play of the drive was a 3rd-and-13 conversion after a Vontaze Burfict roughing the passer penalty, increasing the touchdown probability from 16.4% to 58.1%.

Not to be outdone, the Bengals would take over with 5:45 left in the 1st quarter; they would march down the field for the second and only other drive of the opening period. Cincy ran 6:24 off the clock, for a 14-play 69-yard touchdown drive, and also managed to convert four third downs.
Andy Dalton essentially doubled the Bengals' touchdown probability on each of his third down conversion passes (plays 3, 6, 9, and 12). On 3rd-and-7 from the CAR 44, Dalton hooked up with Dane Sanzenbacher for a 15-yard first down, taking Cincy from a likely punt (49.0%) to a likely touchdown (40.9%) or field goal (34.2%). 

The two teams went back and forth the entire game - the biggest lead by any team was seven points in a game where 74 points were scored. Thanks to a missed Mike Nugent chip shot in overtime, the teams came away with the much displeasing tie.

So, how many times since 2000 have there only been two drives in the first quarter? 20 times. That's 0.5% of the time:
Of those 20 times, only twice did both drives result in a touchdown. Seattle versus Atlanta in Week 15 of 2010 and Indianapolis versus Cleveland in Week 7 of 2012

Keith Goldner is the Chief Analyst at numberFire.com - The leading fantasy sports analytics platform - and creator of Drive-By Football.  Follow him on twitter @drivebyfootball or check out numberFire on Facebook. Check out numberFire's new iOS App in the app store now.