30 years ago, the average number of passing plays* (52.6%) and running plays (47.4%) were almost evenly split and teams were scoring 20.2 points per game. 10 years later, passing plays were up slightly to 54.3 per cent. But with a number of rules in place to help the defence, scoring was down to 18.7 points per game. Over the next 15 years, passing plays hovered around 55-56 per cent of all plays and scoring in most seasons fell between 20.5 and 21.5 points per game.
But over the last five years, both passing and scoring have been on the rise. And so far this year, the number of passing plays is up to 58.1 per cent, up from 56.9 per cent a year ago. And so far, teams are scoring 22.5 points per game, the league’s highest total in the Super Bowl era.
all data via Pro-Football-Reference.com
* Including sacks
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