Running attacks make progress
September, 17, 2008
One interesting trend -- sparked by great rookie runners such as Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson and others -- is how the first two weeks have been dominated by running attacks. The 56 rushing touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season are the most since 1969 when there were 68. Teams are averaging 166.5 rushing yards a game, the most since 1989. That's 2.2 yards a game per team more than last season. The rushing totals have come at the expense of some passing statistics. Teams are averaging 199.2 passing yards a game, a decrease of 14 yards a game from 2007. That doesn't mean the passing season is terrible. Quarterbacks are completing 61.24 percent of their attempts, slightly better than last season when it was the best in NFL history. The average completion has increased from 11.3 to 11.5 yards an attempt. Numbers game: Scoring has also been on the rise during the first two weeks of the season. The 42.8 combined points in each game is the best since 2003 when it was 42.8. One of the keys to the scoring has been the accuracy of field goal kickers. Kickers have made 102 of 115, an amazing 88.7 efficiency rate. That's the best in NFL history. In 2003, kickers in the first two weeks made 88.4 percent of their field goals but those numbers tailed off as the season progressed. Field goals are almost becoming automatic, and it's helped in adding to the numbers on the scoreboard.
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