AFL Offenses

Regulars know that I am in the middle of a series in the history of NFL offenses.1 Over the long course of the league’s history, only two rivals have ever seriously challenged the NFL – both enough to force an eventual merger. As I did with the All American Football Conference, I am giving the American Football League its own article, separate from the NFL. Much like the AAFC before it, the AFL was known as a far more offensively oriented league than the contemporary…

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Offense to Defend the Planet

I’ve been traveling a lot over the past few weeks and haven’t had much time for research and writing, so the history of offense series has been stalled. I apologize for that. I planned on finishing my promised piece on AFL offenses last week, but Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio unexpectedly invited me to participate in his RSP Writer’s Project. When a man I respect tremendously offers me an opportunity to contribute to his site, I jump at it. So no AFL post…

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1960s NFL Offenses

If you’ve been following along, you know I’m in the middle of a series on NFL offense in each decade.1 Generally, offenses that gain a lot of yards and score a lot of points are held in the highest regard in our collective memory. Winning titles and fielding a few Hall of Famers doesn’t hurt either. My approach, however, is to focus more on teams who were efficient over a large volume of plays. As usual, I am using Total Adjusted Yards as my primary…

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1950s NFL Offenses

If you’re just tuning in, this is a continuation of my look at NFL offenses throughout history. I started in the 1930s before moving on to the offenses of the NFL and the AAFC in the 1940s. Today, I’m taking a look at 1950s NFL offenses. After the NFL-AAFC merger, the talent level of the league was at a then-all-time high. Both offenses and defenses were better than ever, and the increased use of the forward pass seduced more and more fans to stadiums. Moreover,…

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AAFC Offenses

Earlier this week, I looked at the NFL offenses of the 1940s. However, the NFL was not the only major football league during this time. The upstart All America Football Conference capitalized on the NFL’s wartime talent drought and built a league reputable enough to poach NFL stars, coaches, and fans, and ultimately force a merger. Although the NFL does not officially recognize AAFC stats, wins, or championships,1 the league was arguably far closer to the NFL than the early AFL ever was. AAFC owners…

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1940s NFL Offenses

Last week, I looked at 1930s NFL offenses, highlighting the top performing teams and noting the offensive contributions of league champions. Today, I’m going to discuss 1940s NFL offenses before moving on to the AAFC later in the week. The NFL does not recognize the statistics, records, or achievements from the AAFC, so I am not going to either (in this post). The NFL offenses of the 1940s have a unique place in the league’s history. In the early part of the decade, rosters were depleted…

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1930s NFL Offenses

I am of the belief that we as fans don’t think about, talk about, learn about, or even hear about the earliest years of the NFL. Sure, we’ll see some grainy footage of Johnny Unitas throwing a bomb to John Mackey or Bart Starr sealing the deal with a QB sneak, but most pre-Joe Namath events are out of sight out of mind.1 Today, I’m going to go back to the decade in which Unitas and Starr were born and look at the offensive performances of…

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NFL Champions Under the Original Title Format: Tiebreakers

Earlier this week, I looked at the would-be NFL champions if the league never changed its 1920 rules for awarding titles. There were 74 years in league history that produced an undisputed champion. However, there have been 21 seasons that require some tiebreakers. Tiebreaker Champions Under the Original Title Format The next table shows every year in which at least two teams tied for the league’s best record. They are ordered, left to right, by SRS score. The champions (as explained below) are in bold. In 1941,…

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Undisputed NFL Champions Under the Original Title Format

Depending on your perspective, the use of a playoff system to crown a league champion is either a great idea or a terrible idea. If you are of the belief that the title should go to the best team, you may not like the playoffs. After all, the more playoff games a number one seed has to play before the Super Bowl, the lower that team’s chances are of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end. Alternatively, you may pull for underdogs and love dramatic…

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