Scoring is usually the name of the game in any sport. But when it comes to pro football, apparently a lot may be too much.
We saw it twice this season, once in 2019 and three times in ’18. An NFL team scores 500-plus points, hardly rare these days and much easier since the league went to a 16-game schedule back in 1978. This year, the Green Bay Packers led the way with 509 points thanks to a brilliant year by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills set a franchise record in ’20 with 501 points, quite a feat considering the franchise’s history in the 1990s with an attack featuring Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed.
If you include those clubs as well as the 1961 Houston Oilers and their 513 points in a 14-game campaign – one that led to an AFL championship – that now makes 26 occasions that a team has reached the 500-point mark. As mentioned, the Oilers can away with a professional title. As far as the other 23 previous examples, only four of those teams hoisted Lombardi Trophies.
Of course, you have to consider that in a few instances, more than one franchise reached 500 points in the same season. Such was the case in 2018, when the Kansas City Chiefs (565), Los Angeles Rams (528), and New Orleans Saints (504). But it’s also interesting to note that not one of those three won the Super Bowl that year. The Rams reached the “Big Game” and managed three points in a loss to the New England Patriots (LIII). Those Chiefs totaled the third-most points in a season in NFL history. But Andy Reid’s team also gave up 421 points that year and also fell to the Patriots in overtime, 37-31.
All told, the 12 highest-scoring teams in a single season – led by the 2013 Denver Broncos (606), 2007 Patriots (589), and the aforementioned Chiefs – didn’t come away with a Lombardy Trophy. In fact, seven of those dozen teams never even reached the “Big Game.” Meanwhile, Dick Vermeil’s 1999 St. Louis Rams (526) own the mark for the most points scored by a Super Bowl champion during the regular season. As for the other three members of the 500-point club to come up with an NFL title, there’s the 2009 Saints (510), ’94 San Francisco 49ers (505), and 1998 Denver Broncos (501).
Of course, both the 2020 Packers and 2020 Bills can’t win the Super Bowl. The real question is will either one come away with an NFL title at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on February 7?