The Indianapolis Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs 19-13 in a rather low-scoring affair this week. The Buffalo Bills also beat the Tennessee Titans 14-7 in an even lower-scoring game. The under certainly came in, but neither of these two Week 5 games came even close to matching the lowest scoring games in NFL history.
That’s because there have been an incredible 73 games since the dawn of NFL football that ended in a 0-0 tie. Of course, none have seen such little scoring since 1943, when the New York Giants and Detroit Lions failed to score a single point against one another.
There have also been five 2-0 games in NFL history where just a safety was scored. However, none have happened since the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers 2-0 in 1938.
If oddsmakers did set over/under odds for these games, it’s highly unlikely it was anywhere near that low.
The lowest-scoring game in this millennium ended 3-0. It is one of 59 such games in NFL history, but going in, oddsmakers had no idea that so few points would be put on the board. They set the over/under at 38.5.
The massive under came in, just as it did for all the games on the following list of the top 10 lowest scoring NFL games in this millennium.
#10 Detroit Lions 7 Green Bay Packers 3 (2010)
Vegas had the 7-5 Packers as touchdown favorites over the 3-9 Lions. The over/under was set at 46.
However, neither team managed more than 300 yards in total offense and the Lions won by scoring the game’s only touchdown. It was a Drew Stanton 13-yard TD pass to tight end Will Heller in the fourth quarter.
Contributing to the lack of scoring for the Packers was the fact that star QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion in the first half and didn’t play the second.
#9 Kansas City Chiefs 7 Denver Broncos 3 (2012)
Oddsmakers figured on a relatively low-scoring affair setting the over/under at 37.5 and making the Broncos two-point favorites in this final game of the 2011-12 regular season. Just not this low scoring.
Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster scored a 21-yard rushing TD in the first quarter that held up.
The Broncos managed a third-quarter field goal and nothing else as then-QB Tim Tebow went 6 for 22 for a paltry 60 yards. He did rush for 16 yards on six attempts but lost a fumble in the process.
#8 Green Bay Packers 6 Philadelphia Eagles 3 (2000)
The Packers were 4-point favorites and the over/under was set at 42.5.
However, a battle of field goals ended with just nine points scored when Packers kicker Ryan Longwell hit a 38-yarder to win it with three seconds left.
Defense reigned as both teams had five sacks and the Eagles netted just 171 yards of total offense.
#7 Atlanta Falcons 6 Arizona Cardinals 3 (2004)
Another nine-point game defied oddsmakers’ thinking. They had the over/under set at 44.
The undefeated Falcons were also big point spread favorites at -11. They won it courtesy of two first-half field goals and the defense holding the winless Cardinals to under 250 yards of total offense.
#6 Cleveland Browns 6 Buffalo Bills 3 (2009)
Vegas had the Bills as 5.5-point favorites and the over/under set at 42. Vegas was dead wrong.
The Browns kicked a field goal in the first half and another with 23 seconds left after the Bills had one of their own in the third.
The Bills actually had 288 total yards to the Browns’ 193, but they turned it over three times and racked up 13 penalties for -75 yards.
#5 Cleveland Browns 6 Seattle Seahawks 3 (2011)
Oddsmakers nailed the Browns as three-point favorites but missed badly on the 41-point over/under.
It was another battle of field goals that the Browns won with a 53-yarder early in the fourth. The Seahawks managed just 137 total yards on offense and gave back more than half that with eight penalties for -68 yards.
#4 New York Jets 6 Pittsburgh Steelers 0 (2003)
Vegas had the Jets as three-point favorites and the over/under set at 36.
The Jets won it on two first-half field goals. Both teams combined to post less than 300 yards of total offense a game with 12 punts.
#3 Dallas Cowboys 6 Philadelphia Eagles 0 (2017)
The Eagles team that won the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl was held scoreless in this classic NFC East rivalry game. Vegas had Dallas as 3.5-point favorites and the over/under set at 41.
Despite the 6-0 score, there were no field goals. Dallas won it on a 20-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter and missed the extra point.
The Eagles didn’t even attempt a field goal. They punted seven times and turned it over three times, including once on downs. In fact, the eventual Super Bowl champs only crossed the 50-yard line once in the entire game. That drive ended with a punt from the Dallas 39-yard line.
#2 Jacksonville Jaguars 6 Indianapolis Colts 0 (2018)
Vegas set the over/under at 45.5 for this game and the Colts were four-point favorites.
Colts QB Andrew Luck went 33 for 52 and 248 yards but couldn’t help the team score. A team total of just 41 rushing yards did not help either.
Some 67,030 attended this game at TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, most of whom slept right through it.
#1 Pittsburgh Steelers 3 Miami Dolphins 0 (2007)
These teams put just a single field goal on the board in what would become the lowest scoring game in modern NFL history. It was no surprise that Pittsburgh scored that field goal since Miami was 0-10 at the time.
The surprise was that Miami stayed in this game. That is until the Steelers kicked the game winner with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Vegas had the Steelers as 16-point favorites and the over/under set at 38.5. In the end, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for just 165 yards. Plus, the Steelers gained only another 84 on the ground.
It was good enough, however, as Miami managed only 159 yards of total offense and fell to 0-11.