League on pace for record-setting scoring
It’s never been easier to score in the NFL.
At the midpoint of the season, the league is on pace to set records for most points, touchdowns and touchdown passes in a single season. Teams have scored 6,440 points, 736 touchdowns and 473 TDs in the air through Week 9.
The increase in offensive production follows the lowest-scoring season this decade. Teams averaged 21.7 points per game in 2017. That’s up to 24 points this season. A total of 12 teams are averaging at least 27.5 points per game led by the Chiefs (36.3), Saints (34.9) and Rams (33.2).
There are several reasons scoring has soared. A combination of new rules and rule adjustments over the past few years favor offenses. The league has banned helmet-to-helmet contact, implemented a defenseless receiver rule and a body-weight rule against players making sacks, outlawed low hits on quarterbacks and emphasized illegal contact penalties.
There’s also been an influx of innovative, offensiveminded coaches — Sean McVay, Doug Pederson, Kyle Shanahan — and talented young quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, among others.
Five quarterbacks — Mahomes, Goff, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers — are on pace to throw for 5,000 yards. That only happened nine times previously in league history. Ten QBs have a passer rating over 100, double the total last season.
Games are not only featuring more scoring but there’s been plenty of close, down-to-the-wire action. Seventy-one games were decided by one score, eight points or less. That’s the fifth-most through nine weeks. Thirty-seven games have been decided by a field goal, which was fourthmost at this point. Ten games have reached overtime and 36 teams have rallied to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Close, high-scoring games are exciting for fans, especially the millions who spend billions of dollars to play fantasy football.