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Games Are Closer Than Ever Now, Part III

Part I

Part Ii

Last season, Washington and Detroit each played in 9 games where there was a 4th quarter score to take the lead (i.e., the game was either tied, or the team that scored was trailing before the score and leading after the score). On the other side, the 49ers played in just two such games.

The record for games with a 4th quarter score to take the lead is 11, set by the 1989 Chargers, and matched by the 1997 Cardinals and 2013 Lions.

Yesterday, I looked at 4th quarter comebacks using a narrow definition: I only included games where the winning team trailed after three quarters, which was the case in about 16% of all games. That number doubles if you use today’s broader definition: the graph below shows the number of games where a team scored in the 4th quarter to take the lead:

Here — unlike in yesterday’s picture — there is a trend towards more close games.

What do you think?

  • sacramento gold miners

    I think the quality of play issue is a factor here, as mediocre teams can’t pull away from one another. The college game is so different than the pros, which now have a decrease in practice time, making a developmental league helpful. I’ve never seen worse NFL football than this past season, and if nothing is done, it’s going to be a problem. When the current elite crop of older QBs moves on, I don’t know if the younger group is ready.