The Atlanta Falcons scored on their first eight drives and didn’t punt until their final possession.
The New York Jets, who didn’t score a single preseason touchdown and were widely considered to be among the league’s most broken offenses, scored five offensive touchdowns and a pair of field goals and finished with 48 points.
Robert Griffin III, a rookie quarterback, ripped apart an “angry” New Orleans Saints defense and the Redskins racked up 40 points on the road. Peyton Manning, playing for the first time in nearly two years, helped Denver score 30 points (23 on offense) despite barely seeing the field and having to sit the entire third quarter as Pittsburgh controlled possession.
In short, it was an offensive explosion.
Eight of the 13 NFL games played on Sunday went over the posted total, and five of them went over by 11 or more points. Two games finished in the 70s, two in the 60s and three in the 50s. The opening-week totals were “inflated,” we were told, and we happily relayed the message.
But were they?
There were 657 points scored in 13 games on Sunday, an average of 50.5 per game. Here’s a look at the total points scored on five previous opening Sundays:
- 2011: 571 (43.9)
- 2010: 508 (39)
- 2009: 533 (41)
- 2008: 520 (40)
- 2007: 473 (36.4)
As you can see, there were two TD’s more scored per game this year than in 2007, when the average game finished with 36 points. This year, only three of 13 games (23%) finished with less than 40 points and the lowest-scoring game was played in rainy conditions.
Of the 11 Week 2 games that have lines, none of the totals are in the 30s and the average over/under is 45.5. Still, that’s only a point higher than the opening-week games, meaning professional bettors are unlikely to cut in line to bet unders.
After the Broncos-Steelers game went ‘over’ the total late, one prominent handicapper who has made his living in part by playing NFL unders sent us the following message:
“And another over. I made my adjustment in the middle of last season, but the death of unders still makes me sad,” he said.