There is so much on the line in the NFL that it is understandable that most coaches would be conservative in their play-calling. Unfortunately, that conservatism has created a game that is far less exciting, and that can be seen in the steady decline in one of the most exciting plays in the sport — the turnover.
So far this season, the NFL is averaging just 2.6 turnovers per game. That would be an all-time low and down nearly 20% in just the last three seasons.
At the same time, both yards per play and yards per passing attempt have shown steady increases over the last two decades. While it may seem like teams are creating it more offence, they are instead just creating more efficient offence at the expense of exciting plays. These improvements in yards per play have come from decreasing the number of turnovers and from utilising shorter plays that result in positive yardage more often.
This obsession with protecting the football has led to more efficient offenses. But more efficient offenses are also more predictable, and in turn, more boring.
Whether your team is creating the turnover or giving the ball up on a fumble or an interception, there are few things in football that stir emotions quite like a turnover. But that play is disappearing because instead of attacking downfield, more and more teams are simply trying to move the chains 4-5 yards at a time.
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