According to Sporting Charts, between 1990 and 2015 (that is, not including the 2015 season), regular season shutouts occurred about 3.2% of the time, or about 8 games per season. Playoff shutouts are a bit less frequent, occurring seven times since 1990 (or about 1.3% of the time).
In other words, shutouts are very rare in both the regular season and the playoffs. There have been 995 regular-season games over that period, with only eight shutting out one team for all game long. The most recent example was last Sunday's match up between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Brady and his teammates beat their opponents by a final score of 28-24, without allowing a single point.
In the postseason, there have been 107 games played so far, and seven have ended in shutout victories. The first such game was played in 1958 between the Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears. The Colts defeated the Bears 34-0.
The next year, the 1959 NFL Championship Game saw another one-sided affair as the Green Bay Packers beat the undefeated Minnesota Vikings 31-0. So far this season, the Houston Texans are playing exactly like the 1995 Chicago Bears when they went 12-0 - they also have a perfect record after the first week of the season.
In 2019, 268 games, or nearly 11% of all games, were shutout. Since Major League Baseball expanded to 30 clubs in 1998, there have been between 193 and 353 shutouts every season (excluding 2020), or between 7.9 and 14.5 percent of all games ending in a shutout. By percentage of games played, the highest number of shutouts in a season is 13.4% by the Chicago Cubs in 2008. The lowest number of shutouts per 100 games played has been 2.0 by the Houston Astros in 2007 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018.
The most consecutive seasons with at least one shutout game is five by the Yankees from 1999 to 2003. The Los Angeles Dodgers have four consecutive seasons (2016-2019) with at least one shutout game.
There have been three perfect games in MLB history: Jackie Robinson's no-hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947; Sandy Koufax's against the Chicago White Sox on August 28, 1963; and Tom Seaver's against the New York Mets on October 12, 1977. All three pitchers were members of the Los Angeles Dodgers team.
Robinson's no-hitter is the only one ever thrown in an official game. The other two took place in exhibition play (i.e., not counting any contribution to a regular-season game).
In American football, at least five teams have been shut out for a full season, and four teams have shut out all of their opponents in a season (the longest of these being the 1933 Providence Huskies' ten-game perfect season in which they did not give a single point). The Philadelphia Eagles are the only team to have ever been shut out seven times. They did so during their first two seasons (1892–93). The Buffalo Bills are the only other team to have been shut out six times, doing so during the 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2008 seasons.
In college football, Penn State has done so three times, most recently in 2014 when they were shut out by Ohio State, 34-0. Previously, Michigan had been shut out twice, once in 1897 and again in 1998. Notable examples before these years include Harvard in 1873 (who they held to zero points), Yale in 1879 (by the same score), and Princeton in 1885 (also by zero points).
The Pittsburgh Pirates had the best record in baseball in 1898 but were shut out by their opponent, the Chicago Cubs, 0-3. This was also true in 1900 when the Pirates finished with the best record in the league but were shut out by the Cubs 0-3. The Pirates did not win another game until they ended the series sweep by winning the final game of the season on October 2nd.
From 2000 through 2009, 89 (3.5 percent) of the 2,544 regular season NFL games were shutouts. The most recent game to be played between these two teams was won by Pittsburgh 26-16. Their last meeting was at Heinz Field in the 2014 AFC Championship where the Steelers defeated New England 24-21 to advance to their third Super Bowl victory.
The only other time these two teams have met in the playoffs was in 2003 when Buffalo lost 16-13 at Tom Brady's first game as a Patriot.
These are the only two meetings between an NFL team and a college football team from the University at Buffalo. The Patriots are 4-0 against the Bills/Sabres franchise.
Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was selected MVP after that season. He went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. His record of 31-19 as a starter is still very good for fourth all-time.
Brady is coming off his second consecutive win vs. the Ravens with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He has a record of 6-1 against Buffalo/Sabres franchise.
There were five last season, with the St. Louis Rams being shut out in two of them. In 2011, the Raiders, Redskins, and Seahawks were the other three teams to be shut out in a game. Since 2000, the fewest shutouts were four in 2004, while the most shutouts in a season since 2000 were 15 in the 2006 regular season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets set the modern-day record for most shutouts in a season (16) during the 2006-07 season. If a shutout is achieved while deploying several goaltenders, the shutout will be attributed to the team that shuts out the opponent. However, no single goalkeeper will be credited with the shutout.
In American football, a shutout is uncommon but not extraordinary. In order to keep an opponent scoreless in American football, a team's defense must be able to consistently shut down both pass and run attacks throughout a game. The challenge of completing a shutout is exacerbated by the numerous ways in which a side might score during the game.
This century has seen four NFL teams go without a defensive shutout. The Washington Redskins had the longest dry spell, having not defeated an opponent since 1991.
In 1908, the St. Louis Cardinals held the record of being shut out 33 times in one season. Only five teams in Major League Baseball history have gone an entire season without recording a single shutout victory. The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox each had a league-best six such games during the 1918 season.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds both had four consecutive shutouts recorded from July 30 to August 4, 1940. Each team's scoreless streak came to an end when Joe DiMaggio of the Yankees hit his famous 56th home run of the season during a game against the Indians on August 7, or something like that. It was reported as September 1 at Cleveland's Progressive Field but it can be seen on YouTube with a video stream provided by MLB.com that it actually happened two days earlier in New York City. Either way, this mark is now second only to the Cardinals' shutout streak from 1908, as noted by ESPN Stats & Information.
In addition to these two clubs, three other teams had three consecutive shutouts: the 1920 Brooklyn Robins, the 1936 Boston Bees/Braves, and the 1937 Washington Senators. Each of these teams has its own unique story regarding their shutout streaks, so we'll talk about them one by one.