Record Scoring Adding To Excitement In Both NFL, NBA
The NFL at the midpoint of this season is "on pace to set records for most points, touchdowns and touchdown passes in a single season," following the "lowest-scoring season this decade" last year, according to Rob Maaddi of the AP. Last year, teams "averaged 21.7 points per game," which is "up to 24 points this season." A total of 12 teams this season 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," including that there has been an "influx of innovative, offensive-minded coaches." Five QBs -- the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Rams' Jared Goff, Falcons' Matt Ryan, Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Packers' Aaron Rodgers -- are "on pace to throw for 5,000 yards" (AP, 11/8).
RUNNING THE FAST BREAK: In N.Y., Benjamin Hoffman notes NBA teams this season are also "putting up offensive numbers that have not been approached in years." Raw scoring is at 111.5 points per team per game, its "highest level" since the '70-71 season. The scoring increase has "been a result of pace," as teams are "averaging 100.8 possessions a game through Tuesday, the highest mark" since '88-89. The open question is "whether this increase in pace is sustainable" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/8). ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst wrote the NBA is in the "midst of a glorious offensive revolution." In the past two seasons, teams "reached 140 points eight times each year," but in the first month of this season, it has "happened six times, and there's no end in sight." The scoring is "fantastic for the entertainment value of the game," and there "aren't a lot of complaints from the fans" (ESPN.com, 11/7).
DIGITAL WORLD: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Cohen & Beaton wrote under the header, "The NBA And NFL Have Become Videogames." The way the NBA "reflects 'NBA Jam' is uncanny but not unusual" because so many of the "innovations that have revolutionized professional sports in recent years are the same intuitive strategies that people have been using for as long as arcades have existed." NBA teams are "playing faster and shooting more 3-pointers." NFL teams are "passing more." MLB batters are "trying to smash as many home runs as possible at the same time MLB pitchers are trying to rack up as many strikeouts as possible." Pro sports have "become videogames." Passing in the NFL "now accounts for an all-time high 60% of plays," and that is "still lower than the 69% of Madden users." The passing boom in the NFL has "coincided with a scoring explosion in the NBA" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/7).