Between attending Pats-Bucs in person and going to a wedding on Sunday, I feel super out of the NFL loop. I've watched Inside the NFL and chatted with the broskis, but nothing can replicate spending 10+ hours absorbing as much of the NFL as I possibly can.
I only watched part of the Pats-Texans game (last I saw, they were down 22-15) and didn't even realize they came back and won until I was a few Jack and Diets deep at the wedding. (We were too busy missing the shuttle and getting ready to stream!!) I checked my score app, saw Patriots 25 Texans 22, and was amped that they fought back to sorta get back in the mix (1-4 would've been a death sentence, but 2-3 with two losses by a combined 3 points still gives me hope).
I'm not stupid (when it comes to football). I know that pushing PATs back to the 15 from the 2-yard line and increased aggressiveness with two-point conversions both play a significant role in the increase of non-traditional football scores the last fiveish years. Still, when I saw that not only the Patriots won 25-22, but the Packers did as well, it blew my mind. Both are numbers you rarely see in NFL games. Upon further research, it turns out that this quirky score is pretty rare.
That caused me to go down a little rabbit hole. I'm a stat-head subscriber, that's how I got all those dismal Arizona Cardinal TE numbers a couple weeks ago, but the game score search feature is something anyone can use for free 99.
Pro Football Reference Master List of Every Score post AFL-NFL merger and tons of games from before that.
After seeing that a 25-22 final has occurred 11 times, I looked up what other scores have happened 11 times. Since the headings of the table are cut off, from left to right it's: final score, winning score, losing score, total points, point differential, the total number of occurrences for said score, a link to all games with that score, and the most recent event of that score.
Sixteen different scores have happened exactly 11 times before kickoff of Thursday Night Football (week 6). Some of them are pretty weird, like 36-20 and all those 33-whatever scores (it's crazy how often the Patriots played the most recent game in this section of rare scores). But seeing scores that have much more traditional football numbers like 38-34 and 16-9 happening the same amount of times as those, was for lack of a better term, mind-blowing.
Maybe it's just me, but I was fucking shocked to see how rare 38-34 was. I know that's very high scoring; I think that's what makes Bears vs. Jets being its most recent occurrence so surprising. Maybe it's just because I can remember two high-profile Patriot-Colts game that ended 38-34, but if you had asked me before I saw this chart I would've guessed there were at least 50 occurrences.
Of course, I had to dig a little deeper, and I think these will surprise you or at least are kind of interesting:
I hope you enjoyed my weird brain research! What's your favorite score in NFL history? I know mine :)
59-0 is up there too. Somewhat surprisingly that score's occurred four times in NFL history.