Tom Brady and Pats offense take top spot in NFL POP Score rankings

Tom Brady

Tom Brady (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The New England Patriots have averaged 36 points in their last five games, winning four of those five contests. Their 232 points scored leads the NFL through the first eight weeks of the season.

Last week against the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots scored on seven of nine possessions, getting touchdowns on six of those drives against what had been a Rams’ defense that had been getting good marks in the ’12 season. In their last five games, New England’s offense has scored a TD on 21 of 56 possessions (37.5 percent of their possessions).

With their performance against the Rams last week, the Patriots’ offense moved into the top spot in this week’s NFL POP Score rankings, edging past the New York Giants. The Giants had the number one spot in these rankings for three consecutive weeks.

(POP Score is based on the simple premise that it is the offensive team’s objective to score a touchdown (or at the least, kick a field goal) in each possession. POP Score stands for Points per Offensive Possession. Here’s how it works: The Falcons in Week One had nine possessions in their game. On four of the possessions, they scored a touchdown. On four of their possessions they kicked a field goal. They punted once. They scored 24 points on their four TDs (extra points are not included in Pop Score); 12 points on their four field goals. The Atlanta offense scored 36 points on nine possessions. By dividing the 36 points by the nine possessions, you get a POP Score of 4.0. Maximum POP Score is 6.0, which would indicate that a team scored a touchdown every time they had an offensive possession.)

Here’s a look at the POP Score rankings through Week 8.

Team, POP Score, (Season Offensive Scores/Possessions)

1. New England 2.49 (45 scores in 88 possessions)

2. New York Giants 2.4 (46 scores in 85 possessions)

3. Atlanta 2.32 (37 scores in 75 possessions)

4. Pittsburgh 2.27 (33 scores in 66 possessions)

5. Denver 2.18 (31 scores in 73 possessions)

6tie. Houston 2.06 (34 scores in 80 possessions)

6tie. New Orleans 2.06 (30 scores in 77 possessions)

8. San Francisco 2.03 (34 scores in 80 possessions)

9. Green Bay 2.01 (33 scores in 85 possessions)

10. Tampa Bay 1.94 (32 scores in 79 possessions)

11. Baltimore 1.89 (30 scores in 73 possessions)

12. Washington 1.83 (33 scores in 87 possessions)

13. Chicago 1.78 (28 scores in 72 possessions)

14. Cincinnati 1.76 (29 scores in 80 possessions)

15. Detroit 1.75 (31 scores in 79 possessions)

16. Minnesota 1.74 (33 scores in 86 possessions)

17. Buffalo 1.73 (25 scores in 78 possessions)

18. Dallas 1.71 (27 scores in 72 possessions)

19. San Diego 1.68 (28 scores in 75 possessions)

20tie. Indianapolis 1.56 (26 scores in 75 possessions)

20tie. Oakland 1.56 (30 scores in 81 possessions)

22. Tennessee 1.54 (27 scores in 82 possessions)

23tie. Miami 1.48 (25 scores in 81 possessions)

23tie. Seattle 1.48 (27 scores in 80 possessions)

25. New York Jets 1.45 (27 scores in 87 possessions)

26. Philadelphia 1.42 (24 scores in 76 possessions)

27. St. Louis 1.39 (27 scores in 80 possessions)

28. Carolina 1.36 (20 scores in 73 possessions)

29. Cleveland 1.35 (27 scores in 93 possessions)

30. Kansas City 1.19 (24 scores in 86 possessions)

31. Jacksonville 1.16 (23 scores in 83 possessions)

32. Arizona 1.15 (24 scores in 94 possessions)

Another team that seems to have their offense on track are the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Bucs moved into the top 10 this week in the rankings for the first time this season. After a season-low ranking of 24th after Week 3, Tampa Bay has moved to 21st, 19th, 17th, 15th and this week’s ranking of 10th. The Bucs have scored on 16 of their 34 possessions in their last three games after scoring on 16 of 45 possessions in their first four contests. Their POP Score in the last three games is 2.47; it was 1.53 after their first four games.

Biggest gainers this week: Tampa Bay (up five spots this week); Detroit (up four spots this week); Seattle (up four spots this week); Miami (up three spots this week)

Biggest losers this week: San Diego (down eight spots this week); New York Jets (down five spots this week); St. Louis (down five spots this week); Cleveland (down four spots this week)

NFL POP Score league average through Week 8: 1.73

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


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