New England Patriots Carve Out Another End-Zone Feast on Thanksgiving

Jerry Tapp@@StatsonTappSenior Analyst IIINovember 28, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Wide receiver Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots makes a catch for a touchdown as LaRon Landry #30 defends during the second quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

For Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ offense, it was just another day at the office on Turkey Day. The Pats on Thanksgiving evening defeated the New York Jets, 49-19, with the offense scoring five touchdowns in 11 possessions.

It was the fourth straight game that the offense scored four or more touchdowns, which gives the Patriots 20 touchdowns in their last 38 offensive possessions. Add in five field goals in that same four-game stretch, and the Patriots have scored 25 times in those 38 possessions, a staggering 65.8 percent success rate. 

That means the Patriots offense has scored two out of every three times it has touched the ball in the last four games.

The Patriots and New York Giants are the only two teams to have scored on 50 percent or more of their offensive possessions this season. The Giants offense has scored on exactly half of its 116 possessions this season, while New England has scored on 63 of its 117 offensive possessions, a success rate of 53.8 percent.

Through 12 weeks of the 2012 NFL season, offenses have scored (an offensive TD or field goal) on about 36.5 percent of possessions.

The Patriots retained their big lead in the weekly NFL POP Score rankings with a 2.69 rating. The Giants moved into second place with a strong offensive showing against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday night. The G-Men’s offense tallied five TDs and a field goal in 10 possessions against the Pack.

(POP Score is based on the simple premise that it is the offensive team’s objective to score a touchdown (or at 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 1 had nine possessions in their game. On four of the possessions, they scored a touchdown. On four of the 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) and 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 it had an offensive possession.)

Here’s a look at the POP Score rankings through Week 12.


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

1. New England 2.69 (63 scores in 117 possessions)

2. New York Giants 2.25 (58 scores in 116 possessions)

3. Atlanta 2.14 (55 scores in 118 possessions)

4. New Orleans 2.13 (46 scores in 117 possessions)

5. Tampa Bay 2.1 (52 scores in 120 possessions)

6. San Francisco 2.03 (47 scores in 111 possessions)

7. Denver 1.98 (48 scores in 121 possessions)

8. Houston 1.97 (54 scores in 134 possessions)

9. (tie) Cincinnati 1.96 (49 scores in 124 possessions)

9. (tie) Washington 1.96 (47 scores in 118 possessions)

11. Green Bay 1.87 (43 scores in 119 possessions)

12. (tie) Baltimore 1.85 (48 scores in 120 possessions)

12. (tie) Detroit 1.85 (49 scores in 125 possessions)

14. Minnesota 1.73 (46 scores in 120 possessions)

15. Dallas 1.72 (44 scores in 115 possessions)

16. Pittsburgh 1.71 (43 scores in 116 possessions)

17. (tie) Indianapolis 1.66 (42 scores in 114 possessions)

17. (tie) Seattle 1.66 (38 scores in 109 possessions)

19. Chicago 1.63 (43 scores in 121 possessions)

21. San Diego 1.56 (40 scores in 119 possessions)

22. Tennessee 1.55 (41 scores in 120 possessions)

23. Oakland 1.52 (44 scores in 128 possessions)

24. Carolina 1.42 (32 scores in 118 possessions)

25. (tie) Philadelphia 1.39 (38 scores in 121 possessions)

25. (tie) St. Louis 1.39 (36 scores in 114 possessions)

27. (tie) Miami 1.38 (35 scores in 122 possessions)

27. (tie) New York Jets 1.38 (35 scores in 120 possessions)

29. Cleveland 1.35 (40 scores in 131 possessions)

30. Jacksonville 1.26 (38 scores in 128 possessions)

31. Arizona 1.15 (35 scores in 136 possessions)

32. Kansas City 1.11 (35 scores in 127 possessions)


Biggest gainers this week: Carolina (up four spots this week); Washington (up four spots this week); Chicago (up three spots this week); Dallas (up three spots this week)

Biggest losers this week: Pittsburgh (down five spots this week); Cleveland (down three spots this week); Green Bay (down three spots this week)

NFL POP Score league average through Week 12: 1.71


Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


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