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Last Updated: January 30, 2021

NFL Average Scores per Game 2000-2020

Introduction

This article is a simple look at the average number of each way to score in the NFL has changed in the 20-year period ending in 2020. I look at regular season games only.

Touchdowns

The following graph shows the average touchdowns per game by year. The blue line shows the average per game per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-touchdowns

It's easy to see there the trend of increasing touchdowns. The red trend line shows an increase of 0.0367 touchdowns per game per year. Over 21 years covered, that is an increase of 0.77 per game.

Extra Points

The following graph shows the average extra points after a touchdown per game by year. The blue line shows the average per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-extra-points

Although there is an increasing trend in more extra points per game by year, it isn't as strong as the increasing touchdowns. This is obviously due to two-point conversion attempts becoming more popular. The red trend line shows an increase of 0.015 touchdowns per game per year. Over 21 years covered, that is an increase of 0.315 per game.

Two-Point Conversions

The following graph shows the average two-point conversions after a touchdown per game. The blue line shows the average per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-two-point-conversion

The red trend line shows an increase of 0.0041 two-point conversions per game by year. Over 21 years covered, that is an increase of 0.086 per game per year. This may not sound like much, but the average two-point conversions per game over the 21-year period is 0.294. The 0.086 increase per game represents 29% of the overall average per game.

Field Goals

The following graph shows the average field goals per game. The blue line shows the average per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-field-goals

The red trend line shows increase of 0.0201 field goals per game per year. Over the 21-year period, that is an increase of 0.4221 per game. The average over the 21 period is 3.12, so an increase of 0.42 per game represents a significant change.

Safties

The following graph shows the average safties per game by year. The blue line shows the average per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-safties

The red trend line shows a very minor increase of 0.0008 safties per game per year by year. Over the 21-year period, that is an increase of 0.0168 per game. The average over the 21 period is 0.0634, so an increase of 0.0168 per game represents a moderate increase.

Total Points Scored

The following graph shows the average points scored per game by year. The blue line shows the average per year. The red line shows the least-squares regression line, which flattens out the ups and downs to show the overall trend.

NFL-2000-2020-points-game

The red trend line shows a very minor increase of 0.3054 points scored per game per year by year . Over the 21-year period, that is an increase of 6.41 per year. The average over the 21 period is 44.36, so an increase of 6.41 per year represents a significant increase.

Raw Data

The following table shows the year by year totals from 1935 to 2020. The source of the data is Pro Football Reference.

1935-2020 Raw Data

Year Games Touchdowns Extra Points 2-Pt Conv. Field Goals Safties Total Pts.
2020 512 2,946 2,488 126 1,624 48 25,384
2019 512 2,664 2,272 108 1,604 34 23,352
2018 512 2,742 2,328 132 1,604 20 23,896
2017 512 2,450 2,132 74 1,732 30 22,236
2016 512 2,612 2,238 102 1,700 40 23,294
2015 512 2,636 2,292 90 1,668 32 23,356
2014 512 2,586 2,444 56 1,658 42 23,130
2013 512 2,676 2,524 68 1,726 40 23,974
2012 512 2,594 2,458 58 1,704 26 23,302
2011 512 2,518 2,400 48 1,676 42 22,716
2010 512 2,540 2,406 52 1,588 26 22,566
2009 512 2,494 2,330 48 1,512 28 21,982
2008 512 2,492 2,340 56 1,690 42 22,558
2007 512 2,486 2,330 60 1,590 36 22,208
2006 512 2,362 2,248 42 1,534 24 21,154
2005 512 2,344 2,198 54 1,566 22 21,112
2004 512 2,536 2,358 74 1,406 30 22,000
2003 512 2,396 2,220 58 1,512 42 21,332
2002 512 2,540 2,296 94 1,474 24 22,194
2001 496 2,240 2,016 80 1,464 20 20,048
2000 496 2,302 2,106 70 1,462 32 20,508
1999 496 2,306 2,102 62 1,498 46 20,648
1998 480 2,314 2,062 82 1,416 36 20,430
1997 480 2,240 1,986 94 1,416 26 19,914
1996 480 2,168 1,954 88 1,464 40 19,610
1995 480 2,322 2,060 80 1,476 24 20,628
1994 448 2,040 1,782 118 1,280 26 18,150
1993 448 1,812 1,752 - 1,346 46 16,754
1992 448 1,916 1,872 - 1,122 24 16,782
1991 448 1,898 1,838 - 1,246 24 17,012
1990 448 2,070 1,994 - 1,180 38 18,030
1989 448 2,120 2,050 - 1,202 44 18,464
1988 448 2,102 2,008 - 1,142 52 18,150
1987 420 2,124 2,020 - 1,102 36 18,142
1986 448 2,154 2,052 - 1,118 28 18,386
1985 448 2,250 2,146 - 1,192 34 19,290
1984 448 2,236 2,150 - 1,126 30 19,004
1983 448 2,328 2,208 - 1,102 38 19,558
1982 252 1,190 1,114 - 622 20 10,160
1981 448 2,208 2,082 - 1,042 34 18,524
1980 448 2,224 2,084 - 956 30 18,356
1979 448 2,202 1,982 - 908 30 17,978
1978 448 1,994 1,828 - 854 36 16,426
1977 392 1,630 1,482 - 720 22 13,466
1976 392 1,820 1,632 - 800 32 15,016
1975 364 1,840 1,668 - 738 34 14,990
1974 364 1,620 1,466 - 670 20 13,236
1973 364 1,560 1,508 - 1,086 24 14,174
1972 364 1,680 1,622 - 998 24 14,744
1971 364 1,612 1,572 - 936 22 14,096
1970 364 1,594 1,544 - 956 22 14,020
1969 224 1,128 1,102 - 486 18 9,364
1968 224 1,110 1,056 - 484 8 9,184
1967 224 1,212 1,174 - 438 14 9,788
1966 210 1,082 1,042 - 526 6 9,124
1965 196 1,126 1,076 - 392 16 9,040
1964 196 1,056 1,002 - 428 8 8,638
1963 196 1,074 1,020 - 376 12 8,616
1962 196 1,096 1,046 - 360 22 8,746
1961 196 1,052 1,020 - 358 12 8,430
1960 156 820 784 - 326 22 6,726
1959 144 780 744 - 232 12 6,144
1958 144 832 788 - 238 6 6,506
1957 144 708 676 - 256 10 5,712
1956 144 746 700 - 226 8 5,870
1955 144 764 712 - 230 8 6,002
1954 144 800 762 - 238 14 6,304
1953 144 794 754 - 216 14 6,194
1952 144 838 774 - 190 22 6,416
1951 144 822 778 - 196 10 6,318
1950 156 958 894 - 160 18 7,158
1949 120 730 678 - 124 8 5,446
1948 120 778 712 - 90 6 5,662
1947 120 712 658 - 106 10 5,268
1946 110 582 516 - 94 12 4,314
1945 100 518 458 - 68 6 3,782
1944 110 514 440 - 46 6 3,674
1943 100 446 400 - 32 - 3,172
1942 110 486 436 - 66 6 3,562
1941 110 490 418 - 94 4 3,648
1940 110 448 378 - 84 10 3,338
1939 110 448 368 - 104 8 3,384
1938 110 394 326 - 82 10 2,956
1937 110 374 308 - 92 10 2,848
1936 108 332 272 - 96 8 2,568
1935 108 302 234 - 86 6 2,316

Averages by Year

The following table shows the average scores and total points by year from 1935 to 2020, based on the totals in the table above.

1935-2020 Averages

Year Touchdowns Extra Points 2-Pt Conv. Field Goals Safties Total Pts.
2020 5.75 4.86 0.25 3.17 0.09 49.58
2019 5.20 4.44 0.21 3.13 0.07 45.61
2018 5.36 4.55 0.26 3.13 0.04 46.67
2017 4.79 4.16 0.14 3.38 0.06 43.43
2016 5.10 4.37 0.20 3.32 0.08 45.50
2015 5.15 4.48 0.18 3.26 0.06 45.62
2014 5.05 4.77 0.11 3.24 0.08 45.18
2013 5.23 4.93 0.13 3.37 0.08 46.82
2012 5.07 4.80 0.11 3.33 0.05 45.51
2011 4.92 4.69 0.09 3.27 0.08 44.37
2010 4.96 4.70 0.10 3.10 0.05 44.07
2009 4.87 4.55 0.09 2.95 0.05 42.93
2008 4.87 4.57 0.11 3.30 0.08 44.06
2007 4.86 4.55 0.12 3.11 0.07 43.38
2006 4.61 4.39 0.08 3.00 0.05 41.32
2005 4.58 4.29 0.11 3.06 0.04 41.23
2004 4.95 4.61 0.14 2.75 0.06 42.97
2003 4.68 4.34 0.11 2.95 0.08 41.66
2002 4.96 4.48 0.18 2.88 0.05 43.35
2001 4.52 4.06 0.16 2.95 0.04 40.42
2000 4.64 4.25 0.14 2.95 0.06 41.35
1999 4.65 4.24 0.13 3.02 0.09 41.63
1998 4.82 4.30 0.17 2.95 0.08 42.56
1997 4.67 4.14 0.20 2.95 0.05 41.49
1996 4.52 4.07 0.18 3.05 0.08 40.85
1995 4.84 4.29 0.17 3.08 0.05 42.98
1994 4.55 3.98 0.26 2.86 0.06 40.51
1993 4.04 3.91 - 3.00 0.10 37.40
1992 4.28 4.18 - 2.50 0.05 37.46
1991 4.24 4.10 - 2.78 0.05 37.97
1990 4.62 4.45 - 2.63 0.08 40.25
1989 4.73 4.58 - 2.68 0.10 41.21
1988 4.69 4.48 - 2.55 0.12 40.51
1987 5.06 4.81 - 2.62 0.09 43.20
1986 4.81 4.58 - 2.50 0.06 41.04
1985 5.02 4.79 - 2.66 0.08 43.06
1984 4.99 4.80 - 2.51 0.07 42.42
1983 5.20 4.93 - 2.46 0.08 43.66
1982 4.72 4.42 - 2.47 0.08 40.32
1981 4.93 4.65 - 2.33 0.08 41.35
1980 4.96 4.65 - 2.13 0.07 40.97
1979 4.92 4.42 - 2.03 0.07 40.13
1978 4.45 4.08 - 1.91 0.08 36.67
1977 4.16 3.78 - 1.84 0.06 34.35
1976 4.64 4.16 - 2.04 0.08 38.31
1975 5.05 4.58 - 2.03 0.09 41.18
1974 4.45 4.03 - 1.84 0.05 36.36
1973 4.29 4.14 - 2.98 0.07 38.94
1972 4.62 4.46 - 2.74 0.07 40.51
1971 4.43 4.32 - 2.57 0.06 38.73
1970 4.38 4.24 - 2.63 0.06 38.52
1969 5.04 4.92 - 2.17 0.08 41.80
1968 4.96 4.71 - 2.16 0.04 41.00
1967 5.41 5.24 - 1.96 0.06 43.70
1966 5.15 4.96 - 2.50 0.03 43.45
1965 5.74 5.49 - 2.00 0.08 46.12
1964 5.39 5.11 - 2.18 0.04 44.07
1963 5.48 5.20 - 1.92 0.06 43.96
1962 5.59 5.34 - 1.84 0.11 44.62
1961 5.37 5.20 - 1.83 0.06 43.01
1960 5.26 5.03 - 2.09 0.14 43.12
1959 5.42 5.17 - 1.61 0.08 42.67
1958 5.78 5.47 - 1.65 0.04 45.18
1957 4.92 4.69 - 1.78 0.07 39.67
1956 5.18 4.86 - 1.57 0.06 40.76
1955 5.31 4.94 - 1.60 0.06 41.68
1954 5.56 5.29 - 1.65 0.10 43.78
1953 5.51 5.24 - 1.50 0.10 43.01
1952 5.82 5.38 - 1.32 0.15 44.56
1951 5.71 5.40 - 1.36 0.07 43.88
1950 6.14 5.73 - 1.03 0.12 45.88
1949 6.08 5.65 - 1.03 0.07 45.38
1948 6.48 5.93 - 0.75 0.05 47.18
1947 5.93 5.48 - 0.88 0.08 43.90
1946 5.29 4.69 - 0.85 0.11 39.22
1945 5.18 4.58 - 0.68 0.06 37.82
1944 4.67 4.00 - 0.42 0.05 33.40
1943 4.46 4.00 - 0.32 - 31.72
1942 4.42 3.96 - 0.60 0.05 32.38
1941 4.45 3.80 - 0.85 0.04 33.16
1940 4.07 3.44 - 0.76 0.09 30.35
1939 4.07 3.35 - 0.95 0.07 30.76
1938 3.58 2.96 - 0.75 0.09 26.87
1937 3.40 2.80 - 0.84 0.09 25.89
1936 3.07 2.52 - 0.89 0.07 23.78
1935 2.80 2.17 - 0.80 0.06 21.44

Summary

The following table shows the totals for each score over the 21 seasons from 2000 to 2020. The number of regular-season games played in that time was 10,720.

2000-2020 NFL Scoring Summary

Score Total Average
/Game
Increase
/Year
Touchdown 53,156 4.9586 0.0367
Extra point 48,424 4.5172 0.0150
Two-point conversion 3,148 0.2937 0.0041
Field goal 33,494 3.1244 0.0201
Safety 680 0.0634 0.0008
Total points 475,498 44.3562 0.3054

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