Was Rams vs. Chiefs New Norm in NFL

When the Los Angeles Rams hosted the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football on November 19th, many records were broken. It has already been deemed as an “instant classic”, a game that saw 7 lead changes, more than a thousand yards of total offense and 105 points scored. The question football fans are left asking is, is this the new norm in the NFL?

It is obvious to see that this is the direction of the “new” NFL, including the changes to the roughing-the-passer and helmet-to-helmet hits penalties. Rules have been introduced that favor the offense, and more specifically, the quarterback. While the strictness of the landing on the QB rule has been loosened a little, the league is not leaving any question marks on the direction they are steering the league. It can be summarized in one word….OFFENSE.

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The new rules that are focusing on the safety of the quarterback are allowing them the confidence to drop back, scan the field and make throws without the fear of knowing defensive players are going after their knees, will pound them into the ground and countless other fears of yesteryear.

On top of that, changes to rules regarding how defensive backs can guard receivers down field are geared towards one thing….OFFENSE. Lets not forget that even though there was over 1000 yards of offense, there were also 21 penalties that accounted for 195 yards, with the Chiefs being called for 13 of them for 135 yards.

On Monday, not only were the Chiefs the only team to lose an NFL game after scoring 50 points, it marks their second time this season they have scored 40 or more points and lost the game. According to Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN Stats & Info, they share this distinction with only the 1966 Giants, and we’re only through 11 weeks.

All the league, its owners and anyone else concerned see are dollar signs. Ratings are up after a decline the past couple years with controversies including protests during the national anthem and domestic violence. So you can be sure we will see an even greater emphasis on rule changes that will better the product on the field if this continues to raise ratings.

NFL oddsmakers have taken notice and have adjusted their lines and totals according. The Rams/Chiefs MNF total closed at 63.5, the highest total in the history of the National Football League. You can definitely expect to see this as the norm, because you know sportsbooks and line makers have every analytic to see exactly how much of an effect the new rules are having on scoring.

Sure Monday night’s scorefest saw defenses score three touchdowns, and there is no way we can expect this to be a normal occurrence, but how long would it have taken the offense to score had they not turned the ball over?

Think about this for a minute, the highest NFL total in the history of sports betting hit the OVER with more than two minutes left in the third quarter. AND the 4th quarter was the highest scoring quarter this season with 35 points put on the board. That’s 55% of the total AFTER it went OVER!

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It’s no secret that the public likes to bet the favorite and the OVER. The question is, will an increase in scoring lead to more OVERs, or will sportsbooks inflate the total so much that it becomes a less desirable bet? Only 13 of the league’s 32 teams have a losing record when it comes to the OVER, with 11 teams at 4-6 and 2 others at 3-7.

On the other end of that list, one team (TB) has an OVER record of 8-2, with two at 7-3 and nine more at 6-4. The trends are pointing to the OVER, and you can be sure sportsbooks will be correcting this. Keep an eye out for our NFL Week by the Numbers articles that always give a great breakdown of the betting numbers for each week.

You can be sure the rule changes and exotic offenses with a plethora of weapons will become the new norm, leading to more scoring and happier fans. We are here to help you make smarter bets, so keep coming back so we can beat the bookie.

By Joe Berra

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