Lowest Scoring Game in NFL History
Thursday night’s season opener between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers was far from a classic barn-burner.
Green Bay was able to escape Soldier Field with a big 10-3 win over their bitter divisional rivals, but the post-game conversation seemed to gravitate towards the low score In fact, the 13 total points scored is the lowest total of a season opening game in 20+ years.
This defensive affair got us thinking… What is the lowest scoring NFL game of all time?
It took some research, but the answer to our question just might shock you!
The lowest scoring game in NFL history took place on November 7, 1943. 16,992 fans flocked to Briggs Field in Detroit to watch the New York Giants take on the Detroit Lions, with the two teams fighting for a 0-0 tie.
As imagined, the stats of this game were unbelievable.
The Detroit Lions had the most success on offense on the day, racking up six first downs from 130 total yards, 102 of which came on the ground.
The Lions threw the ball just 12 times, gaining only 28 yards through the air to go with an interception. Despite moving the ball more efficiently than the Giants, Detroit was unable to get on the board.
The visiting Giants were even worse on offensive. New York was held to 84 total yards, moving the chains just three times in the entire game.
With only three yards of passing offense, it’s not difficult to understand how this game ended without any points scored.
With 81 rushing yards on 40 rushing attempts, this offensive outing in Detroit has to go down as one of, if not the, worst performances in history.
In the classic matchup between Detroit and New York, no points were scored by either team, resulting in the lowest point total possible, tying the record for the lowest point total to be recorded.
While there has not been a 0-0 game since this infamous match in 1943, the scoreless matchup between the Lions and the Giants was not the first time a professional game had finished without a point scored.
In fact, there have been exactly 73 NFL games that have ended 0-0.
All of these scoreless draws took place in 1943 or before, with the implementation of overtime in 1940 assisting in the eradication of the 0-0 scoreline in the NFL.
This game was the last of its kind, as it took place in a different era of the NFL.
With the present-day expanded talent pool that the NFL has, it’s virtually impossible for two teams to record shutouts in the same game.
The league is filled with explosive athletes and whitty players who are coached by gameplanners who are being paid millions to get the ball into the endzone, but things weren’t always like this in the NFL.
Prior to the 1950’s there was typically one offensive set – the single-wing formation.
This run-heavy formation was predictable, and often led to physical matchups and low scoring games.
As the game evolved, offenses began to space out, throw the ball more, and develop more in-depth strategies for moving the ball.
These changes have resulted in offensive strategies that make it nearly impossible for a game to end 0-0.
Besides scoreless games, the next lowest point total in an NFL game is three.
There have been a total of six games that have ended with just three points scored, with the last occasion taking place in November, 2007, when the Pittsburgh Steelers shut out the Dolphins for a 3-0 win.
What defenses do you think have the best chance to record the most shutouts this season, and will there ever be another 0-0 game in history?
Let us know in the comments section below, and make sure to follow for more sports betting content.