Despite rules favoring offense, XFL teams averaged less than 20 points a game

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The XFL had a solid first weekend, but its attempts to promote offense with its rule set didn’t result in high-scoring games.

Over the league’s first weekend, XFL teams averaged just 19.3 points per game. That’s short of the NFL average: NFL teams averaged 22.8 points per game during the 2019 season.

That wasn’t the plan for the XFL. The league wanted high-scoring games and made its rules favor that, with, among other things, a shorter play clock leading to faster-paced offenses, the kickoff and punt rules giving the receiving team better field position, receivers only needing to get one foot inbounds, and two forward passes allowed per play.

But the rules can’t compensate for the simple fact that the league doesn’t have a very good crop of quarterbacks, and that when teams haven’t had long to practice together, that naturally leads to some plays when the offense looks out of sync.

As the season goes on and teams get a better grasp of how to take advantage of those offense-heavy rules, it won’t be surprising to see the XFL get higher-scoring. But right now, it’s not the offensive explosion many expected.

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