The Extra Point Where have all of the NFL points gone?
September 27, 2022
Despite the excitement, this season's games are averaging only 42.1 points per game, a 5.0 points-per-game drop over the first three weeks of the 2021 season and lower than any season since 2010.
Where did all the points go?
The following chart shows net points added by play type using two sources — nflverse and TruMedia — and comparing 2022 to the previous ten seasons. The net points chart shows the relative change in a game’s point total due to five play types — runs, passes, extra points, field goals, and penalties — using games through Week 3.
The drop in total points in 2022 can be primarily attributed to changes in the passing game. In each of the graphs, the blue line representing pass plays plummets from 2021 to 2022. By TruMedia’s net points, this season's pass plays have been less efficient than in any of the previous 10 seasons, yielding roughly 206 points fewer than the 2011-21 average (nflverse shows about 180 fewer points on pass plays).
However, despite the drop in passing game efficiency in 2022, run game efficiency has increased. While running plays typically are associated with less scoring for several reasons, (teams running the ball to drain the clock) overall net efficiency on run plays this season is approaching that of passing the ball.
Unlike the pass and run games, the overall effect of penalties, extra points and field goals in 2022 is in line with recent seasons.
Going beyond play type, what else has changed? Here are a few additional metrics we explored:
Overall pass effectiveness
Anecdotally, teams have also lost 11 red zone fumbles through Week 3, tied for the second most since 2011. The per-play rate of fumbles near the goal line is its highest rate since 2011.