You never know what will happen in the NFL. With the way scoring works — three points for a field goal and six for a touchdown — teams can get weird final scores. Every so often, a game ends in a score that’s never happened before. In his first five seasons coaching the Seahawks, Pete Carroll made weird final scores seem common. Here’s how.
What is scorigami?
First developed by SB Nation writer Jon Bois, scorigami is simply the act or art of producing a final score that has not previously happened in an NFL game.
Obviously a final score of 27-17 is common; it’s happened 106 times through Week 8 of this season. But a score like 5-3 is almost unheard of. It’s only happened once back in 1925.
Even in the NFL’s 100th season, we still get scorigamis with games ending in first-ever scores. In fact, there was a scorigami during Week 8 in the Panthers-49ers game. San Francisco’s 51-13 victory was a first in NFL history, making it the 1,052nd unique score to occur in the league.
Pete Carroll’s scorigami streak
Carroll took over as the Seahawks’ head coach in 2010, and he had an unusual scorigami streak during his first five seasons with the team. From 2010-14, his Seahawks teams had exactly one first-time score in each of the five seasons.
In 2010, the Seahawks beat the Cardinals 36-18 to get a scorigami. Then, in 2011, it was a 36-25 Seahawks victory over the Giants that did the trick. In 2012, the Seahawks blanked the Cardinals 58-0, which had never been done before. In 2013, the Seahawks got another scorigami by beating the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. Then, in 2014, Carroll’s scorigami streak continued when the Seahawks beat the Packers 36-16.
Scores that have never happened
With 100 seasons of NFL action in the books, it’s hard to believe some scores have never happened. But this is the case. In some instances, it’s because a score is so high that teams rarely reach it. For example, no NFL team has ever scored 71 points, so any final score involving 71 has never happened.
A more realistic score that hasn’t happened is 36-9. Nine is a fairly common score that would result from three field goals or a touchdown (with a missed PAT or two-point conversion) and a field goal. The 36 part is the number that isn’t easy to achieve because teams don’t often score that many points. Don’t be surprised if an NFL game eventually ends 36-9; it’s just a question of when it will happen.
Odd scores that happened once
Then, you have the scores that are rare but have happened at some point. On the low-scoring end of things, there was once an 8-5 defensive battle, with the Falcons beating the Rams in 1994.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was once a 73-0 shutout. That game, on Dec. 8, 1940, saw the Bears defeat the Redskins with the highest score an NFL team has ever achieved at the time. Then there’s a more middle-of-the-road score with a single occurrence, such as the Eagles’ 32-26 victory over the Oilers on Oct. 2, 1988.