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high scoringing in the NFL this year

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  • high scoringing in the NFL this year

    it's definitely a new era with teams regularly putting up 40 points.

    I'm sure it's a combination of things, but i would argue it's way less about rules against hitting quarterbacks and receivers and much more about teams running more spread offense plays. like Tom Brady said, it's becoming college football.

    The other piece is simply teams are being more aggresive pushing the ball down the field given that the Jeff Fishers of the world are mostly gone and more coordinators are realizing you might as well copy what the Patriots (or dare I say Rams) are doing.

    for years I have brought up a game that happened in the late 90's or early 2000's where (if i recall correctly), the saints and packers both were chasing a wild card spot and were tied in wins and wins vs. common opponents, etc... and it was going to come down to point differential, assuming both teams won. (and both teams were pretty close in that category too - I think one team had a 3 point advantage.)

    low and behold, both teams put up close to 40 points that week and I knew then that you just need to plan to score 40 to score 40.

    I think it's a little of the Tiger Woods effect. now everybody plays the game differently after they've seen what is possible.

    again, just think it's more aggressive, spread offense than the fact that you can't hit a defenseless receiver or land on the QB.

  • #2
    I think you're probably right to an extent. Maybe six of one, half a dozen of the other. I do think the rules against hitting defenseless receivers or quarterbacks has played a role, but I agree that you're seeing more spread or college concepts in the NFL. I'd be curious as to why that is the case. Is it because of younger coordinators who translate that to the pro game? Is it because college players don't come to the NFL with a background in more traditional football, and coaches are playing to the strength of the personnel? Is it because coaches are trying to exploit weaknesses in the rules that favor more of an aerial game? It's an interesting topic, for sure.


    • #3
      I agree the game is evolving, but I can't agree with the it'll-take-40-points-to-win concept. Last year, on average, each NFL team scored 21.7 points per game. Way back 50 years ago (ie. 1968), that average was 20.5. After half a century of NFL football, the average score has only gone up 1.2 points per game.

      Having said that, while the overall range isn't too drastic, statistically speaking, we can see there has been a small uptick over the most recent years. Of the most recent 10 seasons, 8 of them have generated the only 8 seasons averaging over 22.0 points per game in the past half-century.

      So while scoring really has not gone up significantly, I do believe the perception of scoring has gone up quite a bit. And to that extent, I think the NFL Red Zone channel and fantasy football is a main reason. We used to just watch games to watch games, now we have the ability to watch only portions of the game that end in scoring.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.


      Related Topics


      • Nick
        Rams look to improve on slow starts
        by Nick
        Rams look to improve on slow starts
        October, 11, 2013
        By Nick Wagoner |

        EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Leads have been few and far between this year for the St. Louis Rams.

        The reasons for that are plenty but perhaps none are more glaring than the team’s ability to consistently get off to starts that would make a sloth jealous.

        Through the first five weeks, the Rams have been one of the slowest starting teams in the league. First quarters have been a veritable house of horrors on both sides of the ball and it’s forced the Rams to play catch up more often than not.

        “It’s something we’ve got to get better at,” left tackle Jake Long said. “Starting slow and having three and outs and having bad field position and getting down is something we can’t do. We are just shooting ourselves in the foot and digging ourselves in a hole that we have got to come out of. We have just got to start fast right out of the gate and we’ve been working on that. We’ll get better at it.”

        Long is probably right, the Rams will get better at it. Considering some of the numbers, they’d almost have to.

        In the first quarter this year, the Rams have scored 10 points, tied for 29th in the league with Carolina and Baltimore and better than only Arizona. The offense has posted 260 yards in the opening quarter, a whopping 52 yards per game. That total is 30th in the league.

        For perspective, Philadelphia leads the league in first quarter yards with 660. That’s 400 more than the Rams. That’s essentially a good game’s worth of offensive production.

        On defense, things aren’t starting much better. The Rams have given up 34 points, 27th in the league, and allowed 545 yards, 30th in the league, in the first quarter.

        The scoring margin of -24 places the Rams second from last in the NFL in that category in the opening frame.

        It’s a problem that seems to have no rhyme or reason amongst the players and coaches. Nobody seems to know why they start slow but at least they have some ideas on how to fix it.

        That’ll be easier said than done this week against Houston’s defense, of course.

        “Just what we’ve been doing,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “We’ve got to run the football to score points, but we’re also very much aware that we’re playing the No. 1 rated defense in the National Football League against the passing game. I don’t think they’ve allowed anybody to throw for 200 yards this year, so we’ve got to be smart and stay balanced and win the one-on-one matchups.”

        The good news for the Rams is Houston hasn’t exactly come out on fire in its first five games either.

        The Texans have scored 17 points and allowed 31 in first quarters this year, a -14 margin that ranks only above Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, the Rams and Washington.

        Houston’s struggles have come as a product of three first-quarter turnovers without...
        -10-11-2013, 05:59 PM
      • general counsel
        Rams open at 3 or 3 1/2 underdogs
        by general counsel
        Not a surprise on the point spread. I think the oddsmakers view this as an even game and new orleans is getting 3 points for home field. If this game was in LA, i think we would be 3 point favorites.

        Ramming speed to all

        general counsel
        -01-13-2019, 06:34 PM
      • r8rh8rmike
        Rams Offense Is Historically Impotent
        by r8rh8rmike
        Rams offense is historically impotent

        Tuesday, December 20, 2011

        It's not an illusion, the Rams' offense is as bad as it looks. In fact, with just two games remaining in the 2011 season, the Rams' lack of production has reached historic proportions.

        With a league-low 166 points scored, the Rams are on pace to score less than 200 points for only the second time since World II. If the Rams stay on their average of 11.9 points per game, they will complete the 2011 season with 190 points scored.

        And given the caliber of the defensive competition in their final two games, the Rams might be lucky to score at all.

        Entering their Monday night game at Candlestick Park, Pittsburgh was ranked No. 1 in the league in total defense and No. 2 in scoring defense. The Steelers' foe, San Francisco, was No. 4 in total defense and No. 1 in scoring defense.

        The Rams travel to Pittsburgh for a Christmas Eve game at Heinz Field. Then on Jan. 1, they ring in the New Year by playing host to San Francisco in the season finale at the Edward Jones Dome.

        The Steelers are in a knock-down, drag-out fight with Baltimore for the AFC North title. The *****, who beat the Rams 26-0 on Dec. 4, still could be in the running for a first-round playoffs bye when they face the Rams. So neither team might be resting any regulars when they play St. Louis.

        Before coach Steve Spagnuolo's arrival in 2009, you had to go back 65 years and two cities in franchise history to find a Rams team that scored fewer than 200 points. From 1937 through 1944, the Cleveland Rams never scored more than 196 points in any of the franchise's first seven seasons. (The Rams didn't field a team in 1943.)

        But in those days, the Rams played only 10 or 11 games a season, not 16. Even the 1982 Rams during that strike-shortened nine-game season managed to score exactly 200 points.

        So from the '44 Rams, who scored 188 points in a 4-6 campaign, one must go all the way forward in time to the '09 club —which scored 175 points — to find another Rams team that scored fewer than 200 in a season.

        In '09, Spagnuolo stepped into the considerable mess left by predecessor Scott Linehan, one replete with bad draft picks and failed free agents.

        The 2010 offense under rookie quarterback Sam Bradford was much improved, scoring 114 more points than the '09 squad, marking the second-best improvement in points scored in the NFL by a team from '09 to 2010.

        But despite the signing of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the drafting of two wide receivers and a tight end in Rounds 2-4, the trade for Brandon Lloyd and the signing of offensive lineman Harvey Dahl in free agency, the Rams have regressed noticeably in this injury-plagued 2011 season.

        As Dahl said after the Rams' 20-13 loss Sunday to...
        -12-20-2011, 08:10 PM
      • MauiRam
        Rams show comeback potential ..
        by MauiRam

        ARLINGTON, TEXAS • When the Atlanta Falcons zoomed to a 24-3 lead over the flabbergasted Rams last Sunday, I could sum up my feelings in one word: ballgame.

        As in, “Game Over.”

        The attitude of resignation formed over several years of watching a mostly hopeless team that couldn’t score, couldn’t prevent scores, couldn’t fight back, couldn’t come back.

        Between 2007 and 2011, the Rams played 80 regular-season games and won only 15. That’s the worst five-year record by a team in NFL history. I’m sorry to bring up harsh memories, but I’ll make it all better in a little while.

        During those dreadful years of absorbing so many Sunday smackdowns, the 15-65 Rams trailed at halftime in 46 games.

        They lost 45 of them.


        The 2007-2011 Rams had a 1-45 record when losing at halftime.

        If the Rams were down at the half, you could have left the stadium and gone home, or clicked the remote to another game. Or you could have cried or thrown a shoe at the TV set.

        But if you were hoping for a comeback, it was a lost cause.

        Now here’s the good news: that’s all changing under head coach Jeff Fisher. He’s bringing the Rams back as a franchise. He’s also bringing them back in games.

        The surprising Rams made it interesting last week at the Georgia Dome but ultimately came up short, losing 31-24. There are no moral victories. But with Fisher, there are comeback victories. And that’s something new.

        The Rams were losing at the half in 11 of Fisher’s first 18 games as head coach. But they’ve manage to rally and win four of the 11.

        The Rams have trailed at the end of the third quarter 12 times in 18 games but came back to win four of the 12, including the 27-24 victory over Arizona in the 2013 opener.

        So when the Rams and Dallas Cowboys kick off Sunday and the visiting team gets off to a slow or dysfunctional start, do not break the flat screen TV, do not be grumpy with family members, and do not lose hope.

        The comebacks don’t mean that the Rams are a Super Bowl contender or that Fisher’s work is done. They’re still trying to get over .500; Fisher is 8-9-1 since taking over in 2012.

        The comebacks do represent an obvious sign of progress, especially considering that the Rams have the NFL’s youngest team for the second consecutive season.

        And the Rams offense — loaded with skill-position players ages 25 or younger — is looking capable of putting up a flurry of points when the team falls behind.

        It’s a small sample, but the Rams are averaging 25.5 points per game. Their 51 points through the first two contests is the most by a Rams team in the opening two games since 2000.

        The Rams’ average of 19 points in the second half ranks fourth in the NFL. Their fourth-quarter...
        -09-21-2013, 10:45 PM
      • Keenum
        Some Statistics so far...
        by Keenum
        I did some research on just for the heck of it, and here are some vital/interesting statistics thus far.

        One thing I noticed, we are tied for the fewest penalties in the league (7) with Kansas City. We also have the fewest penalty yards at 45.

        We are +4 in the turnover ratio, behind only the Dolphins at +5.

        The rush defense is 14th in the NFL at 88 yards per game. Not too bad.

        Those are definitely positives... but the reasons for those stats could be as follows:

        We are currently 29th in points scored (13/game), 31st in pass yards per game and run yards per game (116 and 45), and dead last in total yards per game (161). We are only at 27% on third down conversions and only five other teams have a lower time of possession that us (27:12).

        Now be sure to take this for what it is worth... not much, but there could be a trend here. Stats are always skewed in the preseason, but we can probably get a few things from this. One thing that pops out immediately is how low we are on yardage. Of course the conservative offense/playcalling is to blame for that. Being so "careful" is also leading to less penalties. That's fine, but I think it is showing the team is afraid to take a chance.

        I remember my junior year in high school we had a coach that would make us run for every penalty we got in a game. In one game we were facing North Jackson, a powerhouse that was bigger, stronger, faster, and just an incredible team. They beat us easily, but we had no penalties for that game. Why? Well, we were coached to never commit a penalty... so we tried too hard to avoid penalties rather than just playing football. It was always in the back of our minds "If I get a penalty here, the whole team is going to have to run." We lost every game that year. It wasn't just because of us trying to avoid penalties, but it had a small part. (On a side note, we went 8-2 the next year and made the playoffs )

        I have been wondering since week one if the coaching staff is just scared to death of the players (especially the young ones, and especially Bradford) making mistakes. There is just no other reason I can think of as to why the playcalling has been this conservative, it has got to be because they do not want Bradford to make mistakes this early. I can understand that, but there seems to be a point where you have to stop worrying about making tons of mistakes, start having fun, and just play football. I really hope I see that out of the Rams tonight... no matter the score, no matter the situation, just go out there and play!
        -08-26-2010, 07:34 AM