NFL finishes regular season well shy of CFL in scoring, passing yards per game in 2022

Photo: 3DownNation

The NFL regular season came to a close this past weekend, ending an 18-week run featuring 272 different contests.

The four-down league fell considerably short of its three-down counterpart in two key metrics often associated with an exciting on-field product: points scored and passing yards.

The NFL averaged only 43.8 points per game this past season, while the CFL averaged 13.1 percent more at 50.4 per game. This marked the second consecutive year in which the NFL has seen a noticeable drop in scoring.

2020 was the highest-scoring season in NFL history with an average of 49.6 per game, followed by an average of 46.0 in 2021. This means that scoring has fallen 4.8 percent over the past year and 10.6 percent over the past two years. 2022 was the NFL’s lowest-scoring season since 2017 and the second-lowest scoring season since 2009.

Meanwhile, the CFL saw a 14.5 percent increase in scoring this past season, improving from 43.1 points per game in 2021 to 50.4 points per game in 2022. The increase came only one year after scoring dropped by 12.9 percent from 2019 to 2021 coming off a cancelled season in 2020.

The NFL averaged 437.0 passing yards per game in 2022, though the league calculates passing yards differently than the CFL by deducting sack yards. In order to make a fair comparison between the two leagues, the NFL’s passing total without any deductions was 468.8 yards per game. This fell 11.3 percent shy of the CFL’s average of 528.6 passing yards per game.

Despite the difference in passing yards per game, the number of passing touchdowns per game was almost identical between the two leagues as the NFL averaged 2.8 and the CFL averaged 2.7.

The NFL recorded 243.2 rushing yards per game, which was 17.8 percent more than the CFL’s average of 199.9. The NFL appears to be trending towards more run-heavy offensive attacks as this was the league’s highest rushing total on a per-game basis since 1987. The league-wide average of 4.5 rushing yards per carry was also the highest in league history.

All NFL statistics in this article are courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.