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NFL scoring discussion

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Sep 12th

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ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
In 1980, teams averaged 20.5 points a game. This year they're averaging 24.2 points a game, an increase of 3.7 points a game per team over a 38 year period, and increase of 18.0% over that time frame.

Why is scoring up so much? Well, clearly yards are easier to gain, especially by way of passing. In 1980, teams averaged 323.5 yards a game. In 2018, they're averaging 361.3. That's an increase of 11.7% over that time frame.

But what's not really being talked about much is the remarkable improvement over the years in terms of field goal kicking success.

In 1980, kickers averaged 1.1 field goals made per game (out of 1.7 attempts), making 63.6% of their kicks. In 2018, kickers are averaging 1.6 field goals made per game (out of 1.9 attempts), making 84.4% of their kicks.

So there's an improvement in scoring by a half a field goal per game per team, simply due to amazing improvements in kicking accuracy. That's 1.5 points per game per team just on better field goal kicking, independent of the rules favoring the offense and such. So we're seeing, with all this offensive explosion, just 2.2 points per game per team improvement per game. Not insignificant, but not nearly as much as I'd have thought.
 

XLIX

Pro Bowl Player
It is misleading to say it took 38 years to go from 20.5 to 24.2. Scoring stayed pretty darn consistent from 1980 to 2006. It was at that point where we started to see a noticeable comsistant increase. We went from 41 total PPG in 2006 to 48 PPG today. That’s a pretty big increase when multiplied by 256 games.

I also believe this is the greatest 1-year increase in scoring since the 40’s, but I may need to double check that stat.
 

DarrylS

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If you follow all the metrics and charts put up by the sports mediots, one might think that scoring was up an average of 10 points per game this year alone.. but all of this is somewhat skewed by a few teams that are highlighted on the news i.e. Saints, Rams and Chiefs.

Also observed from my big comfy couch is the increase in the length and accuracy of field goals by many teams.. 50+ field goals are more common than ever.
 

Clonamery

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It is misleading to say it took 38 years to go from 20.5 to 24.2. Scoring stayed pretty darn consistent from 1980 to 2006. It was at that point where we started to see a noticeable comsistant increase. We went from 41 total PPG in 2006 to 48 PPG today. That’s a pretty big increase when multiplied by 256 games.

I also believe this is the greatest 1-year increase in scoring since the 40’s, but I may need to double check that stat.
2006 = Goodell. @Joker
 

tasmlab

Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired
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Honestly I’m a little shocked that points and yards aren’t up more. I guess we focus on the Saints, Chiefs and Rams so much we forget about the crap teams who can’t buy a touchdown.

It would be interesting to see if the distribution of scores changed more over time even if the average only increased 4 points. Like, are there actually more super high scorers and bigger duds now, making the disparity seem larger but keeping the averages the same.
 

pheenix11

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WTH happened in the early 90’s with averages dropping?

 

jah

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Honestly I’m a little shocked that points and yards aren’t up more. I guess we focus on the Saints, Chiefs and Rams so much we forget about the crap teams who can’t buy a touchdown.

I haven't done the math and am too lazy to do so, but I wonder if the difference in the sharp 1 year increase is the presence of 3 historically good offenses when there's usually just 1 at most. It's certainly possible that in itself would be indicative of a leaguewide trend, but at the same time, you have to give those personnel people credit. All 3 teams really did build brilliant offensive rosters and coaching staff.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
In the two weeks since that crazy game, the average scoring per team in the NFL per game has gone from 24.2 down to 23.7.

Defense is back!
 

Sfpat

In the Starting Line-Up
While this is anecdotal, in the previous 5 years of our FF league we had game scores above 150 points about 4-5 times per year. This year it's 4-5 times per week
 

Angelpats

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Never got the hype either. Just a few teams scores lots of points consistently, each year. 40 years , 4 points increase, and it’s seems increase fg accuracy is a key contributor.
 

Coolade2

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
If you were a sports mediot , your stat would omit the poor teams .. Since the success side of the equation is where it is noticeble.

The discussion is also about if it's bad. One thing I've noticed nto help defense is pass break ups are given more latitude if hit is a little early. Which I like, because it rewards good coverage.
 

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