Analysis of teams that scored a lot of TDs, in 2018, and trying to find teams that we can predict teams might score a lot of TDs in 2019.
I enjoy the tweet (see below), from @MikeClayNFL, so much that I had to write something about it, so credit to him for such a tremendous tweet. He highlights teams that scored 50 TDs, or more, in the past ten years, including six teams from 2018: Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Colts, Seahawks, and Steelers. Then he shows only 3 of those teams, in the past ten years, has come back to improve upon that mark, the next season.
So why is this important? It’s important because if we can find teams, like the KC Chiefs, who we think can score a lot of points in 2019, we can target players on those teams, or add them to our list of players with statistical upside (i.e., Sleepers).
It is a fun tweet–excellent information. Let’s dig in on it more and see what we can see (scroll below).
Complete list of the 30 offenses that have reached 50 TDs in a season over the past decade. Only 3 increased their total the next season and all 3 were the Patriots. Average drop of everyone else was 13.3 TDs. #RegressionAlert pic.twitter.com/izlxcuCYRq
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 7, 2019
More High Scoring Teams:
Not only were there six, 50+TD teams, there were also teams with 45 TDs, or more, on offense:
Add those five teams to the previous list of six teams, and that makes over 1/3rd of the league that had 45TDs or more. That’s only happened once in the last ten years, in 2016.
Two more teams had 44 TDs in 2018, the Bears and the Browns; it was a crazy year for scoring.
So we are looking at 13 teams, who scored 44 TDs, on offense, or more. So while the top six scoring teams (Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Colts, Seahawks, and Steelers) statistically have bad odds (only 10%) to pass their 2018 totals, I’m thinking there’s a good chance at least a few of the other seven (Chargers, Pats, Falcons, Bucs, Panthers, Bears, Browns) will pop up to the 50TD+ range, to replace some of the declining scoring teams.
Bad Defenses Cause Big Scoring Offenses:
While digging deeper through the list of @MikeClayNFL’s tweet, of potent offenses in the past ten years, I found that most of the teams listed had mediocre to bad defenses, in terms of giving up points to other offenses. While 1/3rd had top 10 ranked defenses for points against.
So we’ll focus on that for a good trend, as that makes sense. If you have a good offense, but you also have a defense that gives up a lot of points, you’re going to be in a lot more shootouts. That fits a lot of those 13 teams that scored 44TDs or more 2018: Bucs, Falcons, Chiefs, Browns, Rams, Panthers, Steelers, Saints, and Seahawks all had defensive units that ranked outside of the top 10 for scoring against.
*Remember we are doing this Pre-NFL Draft 2019. Teams have signed most of the significant free agents, but they have yet to fill their holes, via the draft. Teams with bad defenses, of course, try to get better unless they have salary cap issues, which causes them to let major pieces/players go to other teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs had one of the worst defenses for points against, in 2018 and with the loss of Kwon Alexander, it’s hard to argue that the Bucs defense will make a huge jump to be better in 2019, especially since they have no cap space to add players. The good news is that the Bucs have added Bruce Arians as their head coach. Arians is famous for his high powered offenses, and he has the players in Tampa to score in bunches. Jameis Winston is in a contract year, and Arians is a known “Quarterback Whisperer.” He can get the best out of the QBs he coaches. By all accounts, it looks like
By all accounts, it seems like the Tampa Bay offense is going to be very good again, while the defense is going to be very bad too. The Bucs have a great chance to make the leap to 50+TDs in 2019.
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) February 27, 2019
The Falcons had some tough injuries that caused the defense to weaken and give up both big yardage and points. Those players will return, but the Falcons are losing some cornerback depth with Poole and Alford leaving during free agency. The Falcons still have Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, an emerging Calvin Ridley, and Devonta Freeman (who will benefit with Tevin Coleman leaving AND the signings of two free agent guards in Jamon Brown and James Carpenter).
The Falcons have some nice offensive weapons, but the defense will be better, as long as the cornerback depth is addressed–, I don’t think they get 50+TDs, but they will probably go over 40TDs again.
Browns were 20+ on offense before firing hue and Todd and #1 After.
They have since then Acquired OBJ to this offense but also lost the best offensive guard in the league. Now year Two baker with more weapons.
— Tcoff (@tcoff6) April 3, 2019
Momentum+No Hue+OBJ=Mega Points. Grab a piece of this offense (or three), and hold on! 50+TDs is a delicious possibility.
The Chargers had a top 10 defense, for scoring allowed in 2018. Although, there’s room for that defense to slide, this year. Their best games, for points allowed, came against Oakland (twice), Denver and Arizona. Denver and Oakland have improved on the offensive side (Denver with Joe Flacco+O-line help and Oakland with Antonio Brown and Isaiah Crowell). Chargers also have to play: Vikings, Steelers, Texans, Colts, Packers, Bears, and Chiefs (twice). You can see a lot of those games being slugfests/shoot-outs, as those teams all have high-powered offenses.
The Chargers were on the cusp of 50TDs, in 2018, and as long as big time, opposing offenses are rolling into town, they have a great shot to go over 50TDs, this year.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are another team that had a top 10 defense for scoring allowed. Losing Trey Flowers and Malcolm Brown isn’t going to help though. The Patriots have six of the top 101 picks, in the 2019 NFL draft, so they’ll be building up their defense, via the draft, once again [Note: The Patriots have become masters of racking up compensatory picks getting two, third round picks for players lost in free agency before the 2018 season (Nate Solder and Malcolm butler)]. Losing Josh Gordon, Gronk, and Patterson along with Tom Brady being a year older (yes, I know, Tom Brady never ages,but it has to be said, dude is getting old), will make the chances of being have top-flight offense, tough.
Without Gronk to pull away and dominate defenders, and without Josh Gordon stretching the field, the chances of 50 or more TDs seem slim. I’m also guessing that the Patriots commit to the run, more, to save Brady some wear & tear. The Hoodie is a master of finding a defense’s weakness and attacking it though. The Patriots are also not done adding pieces, it seems (see tweet below). As it stands now, in April, I’m going to say the Patriots miss the 50+TD window, this year, but a lot can change over the next few weeks (NFL draft) and months. **Special Note: The Patriots have the 2nd easiest SOS (strength of schedule)–so keep a very close eye on their additions, as their schedule is ripe for the pickings, if they can add to their firepower.
The Patriots had longtime Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and former Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon in for a free agent visit today, per source. They continue to look for more offensive weapons.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 10, 2019
Like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Panthers are in a pretty lousy space in terms of the salary cap. They made some splashed in free agency by signing Matt Paradis (one of the top centers in the NFL) and Bruce Irvin. They don’t have any cap space left to improve significantly their defense which was in the bottom half of the league in points allowed. They’ll look for some good players, via the draft, but the odds of that defense improving, is slim. The good news is that Norv Turner is the still the Offensive Coordinator and Christian McCaffery is one of the top RBs in the NFL.
The Panthers play in the NFC South, and the NFC South was the highest scoring division in the NFL. The average total points (both teams combined), for Carolina vs. NFC South opponents, was 46 points! Lots of shoot-outs then, and to be expected in NFC South games, this season. The Panthers also averaged 32 points, at home, for all their home games. I do think they have a solid chance of going over 50TDs if we stay true to our ‘Good Offense w/Bad Defense’ theory.
The Bears had the best defense, in multiple areas in 2018, but especially in points allowed (17.7 pts allowed/game). It’s a testament to the defense, with the field position and turnovers they created to put their offense in a position to score. Definitely a heroic, defensive season. In the off-season, they lost Adrian Amos to Green Bay, via free agency and Bryce Callahan to Denver while replacing them with HaHa Clinton-Dix and Buster Skrine. The most significant loss, for the Bears, was probably their Defensive Coordinator, Vic Fangio, who went to the Broncos to the be their head coach. The Bears have some fantastic defensive talent, but a change in coaching schemes could be the biggest cause of a slip in defensive rankings if one happens to the Bears.
The 2015 New England Patriots went from 50TDs to 51 TDs the next year (one of the three teams to do it, in the past ten years) because they had a super defense that ranked 1st in scoring allowed in 2016. So, it is possible to have a very good offense and a great defense and score a ton of points on offense. Remember, four of the teams that scored 44 or more offensive TDs, in 2018, had a top 10 scoring allowed defense (Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Bears). Mitch Trubisky isn’t Tom Brady, Trey Burton isn’t Gronk, and Gabriel/Miller isn’t Edelman, but the Bears are loaded and find ways to score big points off the short fields their defense creates.
So the final tally for teams that may improve from the 44TD, or more, range to the 50TD, or more, range in 2019 is:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Diego Chargers
Other fantasy owners will be in a frenzy to buy into players from the teams that scored 50+TDs, last season (Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Colts, Seahawks, and Steelers). There are some excellent players on those teams, but the value is in the up-and-comers from the five teams above who have the potential to have bigger stats in 2019 than the teams who had great seasons, last season, but are statistically highly likely to have worse seasons, this season.
Remember perception is value. Use it to your advantage.
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