A LOT has to go wrong for an AFL team to score only 14 points in a game.
Welcome to North Melbourne's horror Saturday night against Geelong at the Cattery, complete with self-inflicted wounds, the lowest total in club history and a 55-point defeat.
The Kangaroos were smashed 47-26 in the clearances (their worst differential since round 18, 2017), won 25 fewer contested possessions, and lost the inside-50 count by 28 (the club's equal-worst differential since the 2016 elimination final).
Scott Thompson walks off GMHBA Stadium. Picture: AFL Photos
Being hammered so uncharacteristically in the contest put North on the backfoot from the get-go – and forced many of its forays to begin from defensive 50, which became a revolving nightmare.
This was, perhaps, best represented in the Cats having the ball in their attacking half a whopping 17 minutes longer than the Roos, as well as scoring 42 points from forward-half possession gains.
The problem for North coach Rhyce Shaw was his players didn't just struggle with Geelong's defensive structure and pressure.
They also made blunders when they had plenty of time to make a decision.
Captain Jack Ziebell and high-priced recruit Jared Polec were among the chief culprits, whether rushing kicks forward or simply making poor choices as the pressure heightened.
Only four Roos rated positively in Champion Data's kick rating metric, which assigns a percentage to the chance of players successfully completing every kick.
That is the equal-second-fewest in the AFL this season, behind Adelaide, which had just three players kick better than expected in round seven against Fremantle.
HOW THE ROOS KICKED AT THE CATTERY
Under Shaw, North Melbourne moved the ball through the corridor from defensive 50 less than any other team between rounds 11 and 20 – just 8.6 per cent of the time.
That percentage ballooned in desperate circumstances against Geelong, with the Roos taking the corridor option almost three times as often.
It didn't end well, including Polec and Ziebell gifting the Cats respective shots at goal in the third term with elementary errors when trying to bring the ball 'inside'.
THE RUN HOME How high can these Dogs go?
Damningly, North's shot-at-goal (-35.4 per cent) and field kicking (-13.1 per cent) ratings were both the worst of the round.
And rounding out the Roos' forgettable night was that a season-high 21 of their 34 giveaways were unforced.
The coaching job just got real for Shaw.
Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw. Picture: AFL Photos
NORTH MELBOURNE'S BALL MOVEMENT
R20 vs Geelong
Club season rank
Scores against from defensive-half turnovers
D50 to In50
D50 to score
Defensive mid to In50
Defensive mid to score
Bombers shoot blanks
Essendon was even worse than North Melbourne on Saturday night.
The Bombers' 104-point loss to the Western Bulldogs made them the first top-eight team to lose by triple-digits since Fremantle in round nine, 2017.
There were some staggering numbers, with the Bulldogs racking up 125 more disposals (biggest club differential since round 12, 2016), 36 extra contested possessions (best since 2016 semi-final) and 29 more inside 50s (most since round 21, 2017).
NINE THINGS WE LEARNED Is there method to Port's madness?
Essendon's percentage has plummeted from 104.3 to 93.8 in the past fortnight, courtesy of the Bulldogs defeat and the previous week's 59-point thumping from Port Adelaide.
The 21 straight goals the Bombers conceded – after they kicked the first of the game – certainly didn't help.
The Bombers were even worse than the Kangaroos. Picture: AFL Photos
MOST UNANSWERED GOALS IN A GAME
Wet-weather scoring plunge
If you thought the weekend's modest scoring was significant then you were right.
Greater Western Sydney's 29 points, Essendon's 33, North Melbourne's 14 and Carlton's 45 – scored in the wet, and even some snow – combined to deliver a first in the AFL for 23 years.
Round 16 of the 1996 season was the last time there were three scores fewer than 33 points and four of 45 or less.
Bouncing between the arcs
There wasn't much memorable about Collingwood's 17-point victory over Melbourne on Saturday, but there's one reason it stood out.
The two teams combined for the least inside 50s in any game this year: 87, with the Magpies having 44 and the Demons 43.
It was also the least from any match since round 19, 2017, when Gold Coast and Richmond had 79 between them.
FEWEST COMBINED INSIDE 50S IN A GAME THIS SEASON
Melbourne vs Collingwood
St Kilda vs Carlton
Collingwood vs Gold Coast
Melbourne vs West Coast
Hawthorn vs Greater Western Sydney