How Likely Were NFL Offenses To Score On 2022 Drives That Included An Explosive Play?

The goal of this article is aiming to answer this great question on the Terrible Podcast, looking at explosive plays (20 yards or more) for each NFL offense in the 2022 regular season, and see what percentage of those plays resulted in a touchdown drive. Also, I wanted to include the percentage of explosive plays that were touchdowns to add context to what point in the drive the big plays came on average. Here are the results:

On the top right of the chart, we see teams that had a high percentage of explosive plays that resulted in touchdown drives, along with a high rate of explosive touchdowns. Eight of these 11 teams made the postseason (72.7%) emphasizing the importance of explosive plays to scoring drives and in turn team success. For context before we dive deeper, the league average for explosive play touchdown drives was 52.7% in 2022, while explosive touchdown percentages came in at 15.5%.

Looking from this angle compared to my adjusted explosive plays article that looked at total numbers, we see some teams that had lower quantity but higher hit rates such as the Giants, who had 43 total explosive plays (last in the NFL), but capitalized when these plays occurred with the 13th rank on touchdown drives (55.8%) and explosive touchdowns (16.3%).

The bottom right is an interesting part of the visual, including teams that were above average in explosive plays that resulted in touchdown drives, but below the NFL mean in those plays actually ending in the end zone. Kansas City for example had the most explosive plays in totality in 2022 (83) along with the highest percentage included on touchdown drives (66.3%), but landing lower in the ranks with a 10.8% explosive touchdown rate (27th). The volume of plays definitely needs to be considered here, but is very important context when comparing to other teams. A playoff foe in Philadelphia for example had 80 total explosive plays (2nd), with 58.8% of explosive touchdown drives (10th), and had a much higher rate of 21.3% explosive touchdowns (fourth).

The top left is a very sparse portion of the chart with only the Saints, Bears, and Patriots, who all missed the playoffs. They were above average in explosive touchdown percentage, but below the NFL mean in explosive plays that resulted in touchdown drives, shedding additional light to the importance of explosives to the success of NFL offenses.

Now for the bottom left teams, with only three of the 11 making the postseason (27.3%). Pittsburgh is painfully low in this regard as many would expect, with explosives and scoring more points being the biggest needs for improvement our team has highlighted and are yearning for next season. The Steelers offense tied for the 26th rank in total explosive plays in 2022 (52), and we can clearly see their excruciating ranks of 31st in explosive plays that resulted in touchdown drives (36.5%), and 32nd with only a 3.8% explosive touchdown rate! Remembering the league averages of 52.7 and 15.5%, the numbers really give us the clear context to Pittsburgh’s issues on offense this season, and an idea of where the 2023 squad should aim to hopefully get back into the postseason.

What are your thoughts on the data? Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!