If you enjoy the defensive side of football, the 2020 season has been tough. How long will the league put up college basketball-like scores?
It’s been a pretty wacky six weeks in the National Football League. It was going to be a different kind of season due to what’s going on in the world. And some of that has affected the scheduling in the league. But who could have anticipated the offensive explosion known as NFL 2020?
With a few exceptions, many teams have found it much easier this season to put points on the scoreboard. But with the overall lack of defense comes the reality that even 30-plus points may not be enough to win a game this season. And that’s a number that’s worth noting, at least in the early going of a wild pro football campaign.
Nearly every team has had at least one forgettable game on the defensive side of the ball. For others, it’s been a near season-long affliction. The Dallas Cowboys have allowed 218 points in six contests. Both Mike McCarthy’s team and Doug Marrone’s Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed 30-plus points in each of their last five contests. The former is 2-4 and the latter has dropped five in a row after a Week 1 win over the Colts.
Of course, others have found a way to overcome their defensive issues. The 5-0 Tennessee Titans have already won three games this season in which they allowed at least 30 points, the latest a 42-26 overtime triumph over the Houston Texans this past Sunday. We’ve also seen that seemingly no lead is safe. Just ask the Atlanta Falcons and a week ago the Cincinnati Bengals, who squandered a 21-0 advantage at Indianapolis and fell 31-27.
So how does this season compare to the past? Let’s go back just one year and look at how the NFL began its 100th campaign. Six weeks and 92 games into 2019, a team managed to score at least 30 points a total of 46 times. And a team came away with a victory 41 times. This season and 91 outings into the 2020 season, a club has reached the 30-point mark an amazing 73 times. The win-loss record in that instance is a somewhat-surprising 58-15.
Perhaps no team has epitomized this wild play more than the Dallas Cowboys. In four consecutive games (Weeks 2-5), Mike McCarthy’s club scored 31-plus points while allowing 34 or more points. The team split those four contests and have now allowed 34-plus points in five straight outings after being drubbed by the Cardinals on Monday night, 38-10.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, and Pittsburgh Steelers are the only teams in the league not to allow at least 30 points in any game. Two of those clubs currently lead their divisions. So will the NFL settle for a slowdown anytime soon?