The decline of the NFL in 2022. What are the reasons?

The scene repeated this season: A prime-time NFL game looms, perhaps months before the first high-octane crime showdown.

Then the reality of the 2022 NFL hits, and the only end zones and solid scoreboards materialize.

And unfortunately, viewers are “treated” for Indianapolis Colts’12-9 overtime wins over Denver BroncosThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers19-3 Sunday Night remove football from Cowboys in DallasThe San Francisco 49ers’24-9 dismantling of the Super Bowl holders Los Angeles Ramsand the Washington leaders’12-7 escape from Chicago Bears.

“I think there is a lot of bad football from what I watch,” pirate quarterback Tom Brady He honestly said October 6. “I watch a lot of bad football. The quality of football is bad. This is what I see.”

Scoring plummeted in the 2022 season. Over seven weeks of play, the average total points per game of 43.4 represents the lowest production the NFL has seen since 2010. But why?

“We looked at it in a lot of different ways,” said NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, who is also Atlanta Falcons President/CEO, he said at the league’s fall meeting this month. “Every statistical look we’ve done, I’m not sure we’ve found a good answer.”

Yahoo Sports has sought to identify the myriad contributing factors. Speaking with NFL coaches, players, and members of the team’s decision-making team, a series of theories have emerged. Additional data from the university’s analytics department helped sort the questions. We Asked: Are the 2022 NFL Crimes Worse? Are defenses this year better? And how much of a player’s skills does that have and the impact of coaching and/or the expected league trends?

This is what we found.

Why is he scoring in the NFL this season?  (Eric Barra Monroe/Yahoo Sports)

Why is he scoring in the NFL this season? (Eric Barra Monroe/Yahoo Sports)

The difference in the “discovery stage”

To start, let’s contextualize those 43.4 average points scored across 108 NFL games in 2022. This number represents the combined score between two opponents in a competition, and is 3.8 points lower than last year’s mark of 47.2 over seven weeks. of play, according to research compiled for Yahoo Sports by NFL Director of Football and Analytics Mike Lopez. At no time since the league closed in 2011 has it fallen to a lower level. Lopez found that just once since 2011, games have averaged fewer than 4.79 drops this year in seven weeks.

Initially, many coaches, players, and research team members attributed this deficit to a list of growing pains. Low participation before the season It was affecting the rhythm of the attack. Attack airline men, in particular, needed more time to settle down. Add in a series of notable staff moves at an inopportune time – the Seattle Seahawks Trading quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos, and Green Bay Packers receiver interaction Davant Adams to me Las Vegas Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens Receiver sent Marquis “Hollywood” Brown to Arizona Cardinals, to name a few – and some teams simply need to get to the same page, as the sentiment goes. The injuries exacerbated the unrest.

“It seems like there are a lot of people in transition with their team,” Los Angeles Chargers Coach Brandon Staley said. “That’s why I’m talking about the ‘discovery’ phase. I don’t use that as a training phrase to make her feel better, I think it’s descriptive of what’s really going on.

“Once these groups join and get an unquoted ‘identity’ from the quotes, you’ll see that.”

But scoring isn’t just low relative to last decade’s totals over the course of the season. 2022 has set new ground compared to seven weeks of extensions since 2010, suggesting something more at play than just early growing pains. “

We wish you success in passing the defenses deeper

While rushing attacks get pretty sloppy, passing efficiency wanes. Lopez divided the net points by type of overtime play, and discovered that during the seventh week of last season, the value of passes was equal to about 325 net points. By comparison, this year they scored close to -50. The 375-point swing, divided by 108 games, represents a loss of 3.47 points per game (near the overall scoring dip of 3.8 points). The pass success rate across the league is as low for five years (62.6%) as is the completion of deep throws (over 25 yards), resulting in a pass rate of only 27.7%.

It featured an increase in area coverage and a deep use of safety.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who spent 2000-2005 as an offensive coordinator and has two since he was the head coach of the NFL every year but in 2019. “You always talk about situational football, but I think first and second after that are dealt with,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy. With him he’s been more aggressive in defense throughout the league. I think that’s definitely something that’s part of it.”

Defenders such as Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James (above) are closing in on offenses way more than usual this season.  (Photo by Sean M. Heavi/Getty Images)

Defenders such as Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James (above) are closing in on offenses way more than usual this season. (Photo by Sean M. Heavi/Getty Images)

Compared to 2018 Defense Alliances, teams employ Coverage area 2 (2 deep safetys) 2.9% more; Coverage area 4 (Two deep safety plus two angles that drop in depth, also known as “quarters”) 3.3% more; And the Covering 6 zones (Half field cover 2, other half quarters) 3.7% more. Finding success in the busiest and most opaque midfield is a challenge – and while using safety isn’t the only factor, it does indicate that “defenses throughout the league tend toward charts and people who can disrupt passing games,” one team employee said. He participates in data and decision making for Yahoo Sports on the condition of anonymity. Defenders have become more diverse, and defenses are less stacked square as they prepare to fend off pass attacks.

Defensive players and coordinators who remain in place as their offensive counterparts move through the league find the advantage.

“We know where we’re going. We’re going to ball,” the safety of the James Derwin Chargers told Yahoo Sports. “The attack is more time and rhythm (so) they still figure out what they want to do.”

Members of three different teams also told Yahoo Sports that they believe defensive coaches are catching up on the offensive innovation that coaches like Sean McVeigh of the Rams and Kyle Shanahan of Team 49 have specifically pointed out to the decline in what they saw as “creative” play, There were 71 plays worth cutting in three weeks last season, compared to just 45 this year.

“The bar has shrunk a lot recently because the league is so homogeneous, you don’t see many new ideas anymore,” said the person, who asked not to be identified. “Philly special, wildcat, jet sep, recoil boot, recoil screen, recoil double pass – all done so often that defenses know how to play against that now.

“It’s a simulated league where everyone’s videos are easily accessible and endlessly filtered with all these data companies. Where will the new concepts come from?”

Why does the NFL still think it’s fun?

If all of this sounds like it’s heading toward less enjoyable football, Brady has argued, the league and team members have the answers for that, too. At first, they emphasize the historical parity of the league.

Even after the games with the highest scores in Week Seven, the average winning margin of 9.33 points this season is the lowest the league has seen across data collected beginning in 1983. Last season, teams won an average of 12.11 points. So, while your team may not score much, matches often end up in the last minutes. with Team records If they are also unusually grouped together, a higher percentage of games on the Sundays roster may affect results over the course of the season.

played par excellence?  This is not necessarily how you describe Washington's leaders.  12-7 win over the Chicago Bears in prime time earlier this season.  But the final margin was close, and the NFL would take over.  (Matt Marton USA Today Sports)

played par excellence? That’s not necessarily how you describe the Washington Leaders’ 12-7 victory over the Chicago Bears in prime time earlier this season. But the final margin was close, and the NFL would take over. (Matt Marton USA Today Sports)

Then come defensive performances that limit this scoring, such as Cowboys Micah ParsonsA quick chase led to the goal line being halted for Detroit Lions last Sunday. What looked like an inevitable drop early in the fourth quarter instead led to a final no-goal period and a 14-point loss for Detroit.

“Amen,” Cowboys defense coordinator Dan Quinn said of his fall. “But usually the best teams on both sides of the ball make big progress in the next half (of the year).

Season tides.

While many well-established defensive coordinators are benefiting from new offensive coordinators turned coaches, there are pockets of creativity fueling the surprising early success of some teams. Residents across the league were impressed with how offensive coordinator Mike Kafka energized New York Giants Attack, run intense formations to hide running backwards I will be BarclayUse in ways that free your quarterback too Daniel Jones. Philadelphia Eagles Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen unlocked quarterback Jalen Hurts by scheming skill players into versatile roles. The Minnesota VikingsAnd the Miami Dolphin Even the Atlanta Falcons have maximized the talent available to them in moments that impress their peers.

farther from it? The league’s eyes will be peeled for the next source of offensive development that comes to neutralize the edge of the 2022 defenses that have escalated.

“That’s the so fun thing about this game that every week it includes a new approach where you try to make sure you put your buddies in the right places,” McVeigh said. “Then you can arrange the game in a way that reflects the win at the end.”

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