Bossy Lobster

A blog by Danny Hermes; musing on tech, mathematics, etc.

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How Many Ways to Make a (Football) Score

While watching today's Seahawks-Vikings game, my wife asked:

How did the Seahawks score 9 points? Did they get a field goal and miss an extra point after a touchdown?

I had been head down coding and didn't know the answer. I quickly jotted down the possibilities (like solving the coin-change problem with coins of value 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8) and told her it could be one of four outcomes:

  • Field Goal (3), TD with missed PAT (6)
  • 3 Field Goals (3 x 3)
  • Safety (2), TD (7)
  • 3 Safeties (3 x 2), Field Goal (3)

I decided it'd be fun to make a tool to answer this question for any score (not just 9). Enjoy

Give me a score, I'll count the ways

  1. 1 x Field Goal, 1 x TD with missed PAT
  2. 3 x Field Goal
  3. 1 x Safety, 1 x TD
  4. 3 x Safety, 1 x Field Goal