Offensive output report: scoring dips below CFL’s eleven-year average

Photo: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The first eight weeks of the 2022 CFL season are in the books with many of the metrics we track here in the offensive output report — points, punts, offensive yards, passing yards, and rushing yards — starting to level off.

Photo: 3DownNation

Scoring has dipped since our last update, featuring two of the CFL’s four lowest-scoring weeks of the season. It also brought this year’s lowest-scoring game so far — a 17-12 victory by the B.C. Lions over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Week 7. Scoring remains up from recent years — more on that in a moment — but it has been on a gentle downward trend over the past month.

The number of punts per game continues to remain low, coming down from the season-high of 13.3 we saw in Week 6.

Photo: 3DownNation

Offensive yards remained virtually flat over the past two weeks, hovering just barely shy of the season’s average of 733 per game. We’ve yet to see yardage come close to matching the output we saw in Week 2 when teams averaged 796.5 yards per game.

Passing yards have stabilized over the past month, fluctuating by no more than three percent over that timespan. It’s worth noting that the first three weeks of the season featured more passing yards than any week since, producing a slight downward trend.

Rushing yards remain low relative to past seasons but are on a gentle upward trend following a slow start to the season.

Photo: 3DownNation

The recent dips in weekly scoring outlined above have lowered the season average to 49.9 points per game. As it stands, this season is on pace to be the fifth since 2010 to average fewer than 50 points per game. 49.9 points per game is a 13.6 percent increase from 2021 but a 0.4 percent decrease from the league’s average since 2010.

The 2022 season continues to feature the fewest punts of any in over a decade. Punting is down by 16.7 percent from 2021 and 17.3 percent from the league’s average over the past eleven seasons.

Photo: 3DownNation

Offensive yards have increased by 8.2 percent since last year and are the highest they’ve been since 2017. Only two seasons — 2016 and 2017 — produced more offensive yards per game than teams have generated this year.

Passing yards are exactly on par with what we saw in 2019, though they’ve increased 7.7 percent since 2021. This year’s figure is 0.8 percent above the league’s average since 2010, an increase equal to five passing yards per game.

Rushing yards are the fourth-lowest they’ve been since 2010 and have fallen by 4.5 percent since last year. This year’s total is 7.2 percent below the league’s eleven-year average.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.