NFL RATCHETS UP THE EXCITEMENT HOPE IS ALIVE
July 31, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
The 2013 season was full of excitement, but that should be no surprise. Unpredictability is the norm in today’s NFL.
Scoring at an all-time high…new teams making the playoffs and winning divisions...consistent teams excelling once again…records falling…young players making their mark…and so much more!
“It happens every week in the NFL,” says New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY (left).
“You look up at the scoreboard during the game, and say ‘Wow, they beat them?’”
The NFL is never short on surprises, and the 2013 season was no different:
A record 11,985 points were scored, with games averaging 46.8 points, the highest average in
NFL history (46.5 in 1948).
In all, 1,338 total touchdowns were scored, surpassing the league-wide record of 1,297, which occurred in 2012.
Eleven teams scored at least 400 points last season – Denver (606), Chicago (445), New England (444), Philadelphia (442),
Dallas (439), Cincinnati (430), Kansas City (430), Green Bay (417), Seattle (417), New Orleans (414) and San Francisco (406) –
topping the previous record of nine in 2008 and 2012. Those 11 teams combined for a .668 winning percentage and nine qualified for the playoffs.
There were five new playoff teams in 2013: Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:
SEASON PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 5 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 5 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 5 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
The 2014 season promises more of the same. Every team enters the new year with hope.
Carolina (NFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East) rebounded to win their respective divisions after finishing in last place or tied for last in 2012, marking the NFL-record 11th consecutive season that at least one team went from “worst-to-first” in its division.