Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers descend to Earth as NFL scores plummet

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers look like shells of themselves, and the NFL score is down.

It is not a coincidence.

NFL teams averaged a league-record 24.8 points per game during the 2020 season. Quarterback play was at an all-time high.

Hall of Famers like Brady, Rodgers and Drew Brees were still racking up points as young stars like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Justin Herbert emerged or dominated in their own right.

Plus, veterans like Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger were still throwing him in the yard, though many of them refused.

That season, Rodgers won MVP with the Packers ranked first in scoring (31.8), Brady’s Bucs third (30.8), and Brees’ Saints fifth (30.1).

Unfortunately, the lesson learned so far in 2022 is that nothing lasts forever and these guys are human – even though seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady, 45, had begun convincing NFL fans otherwise. .

And now, for seven weeks of the 2022 season, teams are averaging just 21.7 points per game – just the second league-wide drop below 22 points since 2009.

Brady is still among the NFL leaders in passing yards. But his divorce from model Gisele Bundchen on Friday confirmed the genesis of what many league sources have been saying since July: that the Buccaneers quarterback seems distracted and less invested.

In Green Bay, Rodgers is in shock without former No. 1 receiver Davante Adams (Raiders). This week, he publicly called out coach Matt LaFleur to bench his teammates.

“I think guys who make too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing,” Rodgers said on The Pat McAfee Show. “I have to start cutting some reps. And maybe the guys who aren’t playing, give them a chance.

Neither of the quarterback’s arms died. But their teams and offenses are in disarray, averaging an identical 18.3 points per game with a combined 6-9 record.

Granted, some league sources saw the 2020 NFL season as a scoring aberration because offenses didn’t have to deal with crowds on the road as Covid-19 emptied NFL stadiums.

The retirements of Rivers and Brees, declines of other QBs, and Watson’s elimination from the game due to sexual harassment and assault allegations also changed the landscape.

But the teams’ score was still hovering at 23.0 points per game in 2021 as well, when the fans returned. And again, a constant element was two of the best quarterbacks of all time playing like this, converging with the rise of the game’s brightest young stars.

Brady played at MVP level last year and the Bucs scored 30.1 points per game, which ranked them second in the NFL. Rodgers earned his second straight MVP award with 26.5 points per game for the Packers.

There are more empirical explanations for the drop in scores, obviously, which the NFL also observes and assesses on a weekly basis.

Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL competition committee, said Oct. 18 that “red zone efficiency” was down league-wide. Teams are scoring more field goals and scoring fewer touchdowns inside the 15, he said.

In the first six weeks of the season, teams scored touchdowns on just 56.5% of their trips in the red zone, the lowest mark since 2017, according to CBS Sports.

They also only scored points in the red zone – either a TD or a basket – 84.6% of the time, the lowest percentage since 2009 (the 10-year average was 87%).

NFL executive Troy Vincent said in the first six weeks of the season there were also fewer offensive snaps per game (152) than last season (155). “Plays and passes” are usually correlated to scoring, Vincent said.

However, pass-to-rush radio and yards per play haven’t fluctuated too much over the past three years. On average, teams are throwing 34.3 passes per game on 26.4 carries per game this season, gaining 6.2 yards per pass and 4.5 yards per carry on a total of 60.8 offensive plays per game.

They threw 34.4 passes per game compared to 26.6 carries in 2021, gaining 6.2 yards per pass and 4.3 yards per carry on 61 offensive plays per game. It was similar, but not identical, to 2020 numbers: 35.2 passes for 26.9 carries, with 6.4 yards per pass and 4.4 yards per carry, on 62.1 offensive plays in 2020.

McKay said the NFL has always wanted its average game point total to be at least 40 points, but “as the game modernized and the ball started getting thrown more, the number went up to 45. “.

The current average of 43.4 points per game does not yet worry the league. But they look at it.

“At 42 or 43, are we worried about it? I’m not,” McKay said. “But I think if we come to the end of the year and he’s 41, then you want to go back and say what happened here? How did this number get here? Because we are always ready to make adjustments. We still want to be in that soft zone, which for us is sort of 43 to 46 or 47.”

The NFL can make any rule adjustments it wants. But if the league has lost the current iterations of Brady’s Buccaneers and Rodgers’ Packers as elite offenses for the foreseeable future, those are two of the all-time greats that disappear from the picture.

And that will mean fewer points. He certainly has so far.

Kadarius Toney’s Giants trade sent a positive message to the locker room that didn’t go unnoticed: Brian Daboll doesn’t care if a player is undrafted or a first-round pick. If a player doesn’t apply and commit, Daboll will go find someone else who

The Giants remain open to all options as the deadline approaches, but they can’t spend a lot of draft picks or money on a player they acquire. Denver TE Albert Okwuegbunam has been mentioned by ESPN as a possible good fit after Daniel Bellinger’s eye injury.

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It’s something to watch out for. Selling strategically for the future continues to make sense, but GM Joe Schoen doesn’t have much to give. Darius Slayton, whom Schoen dangled in the spring and summer, is playing well and is one of the Giants’ only healthy receivers in a badly needed position. So a swap makes less sense now. I still asked Slayton if he was wondering now. His response: “I couldn’t help it then. [if it had happened]I can’t do anything about it now.

He focused on backing up last week’s touchdown take in Jacksonville with another good game in Seattle. “It’s been a minute,” Slayton said of his first TD catch since Week 17 of last season. “It was nice to be back in the box.” WR coach Mike Groh said on Friday: “Darius was very reliable in everything we asked him to do.”

Patriots WR Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and Jets WR Denzel Mims, are lesser names who could be traded before Tuesday’s deadline to teams looking for smart additions to their skill set. Agholor has a Super Bowl pedigree that dates back to the Eagles days

Denver pass defenseman Bradley Chubb and Cleveland guard Kareem Hunt are two of the biggest names to watch. Super Bowl contenders like the Bills, Eagles, and Chiefs are teams to watch for help or luxury skills. And never count on Rams GM Les Snead

The Indianapolis Colts bench from veteran QB Matt Ryan to Sam Ehlinger means just as much to the future of general manager Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich, in my opinion, as it does to the quarterback, depending on how takes place the rest of the season.

Titans third-round rookie QB Malik Willis makes his first NFL start on Sunday against the Texans with starter Ryan Tannehill (illness, ankle) a last-minute scratch.

“People in this society sometimes have a hard time hearing the truth.” – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, on the return of his calling teammates

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