In 2009, the Rams scored a grand total of 175 points in 16 games. That is just over 10.9 points per game. This was good enough to rank us 32nd out 32 teams—or dead last in the league. It was good enough to win 1 football game in total.
You aren’t going to beat many teams in the NFL scoring 10 or 11 points per game; not even if you have the 1985 Bear defense guarding your endzone. Switch to the 1976 Steel Curtain, and you won’t get much better results. How about if we substitute in the 2000 Ravens’ defense? No dice. You still won’t win many games.
Even if you have historic defense of legend powering your team, 10.9 is not enough to win. Our point total must go up, or we will never win. This is the categorical moral imperative for the Rams: score more points. Screw what Immanuel Kant thinks.
Our 2009 point total was a far cry from the league-leading World Champion Saints. They scored 510 points in 16 games; a 31.9 points per game average. You can win a lot of games scoring that many points; 16 last season (13 regulars, 3 playoffs). In all fairness, this point total was considerably less than our Rams scored in 1999 (526) and 2000 (540).
Can you imagine that? What a statistical curiosity I have discovered here…The team with the lowest point total finished with the worst record in the NFL, and drafted #1 overall. The team with the highest point total finished with Lombardi Trophy & Super Bowl rings…How the hell did that happen?
There is also another historical surprise here: When the Rams scored around 500 points we were a feared team, we went to a couple of Super Bowls, and won one. Do you think there might be some sort of bizarre correlation between scoring and winning?
Could this be why Coach Dick Vermeil shouted at his troops "Okay, this game is about scoring points, so let’s go out there and score some points!" just before kick-off in Super Bowl XXXIV? Yep. I think so.
Could it be that we defeated the Titans because we scored more points than they did that day?
I think at least 20 points per game and at 320 total points is a very modest goal. It’s a lot less than the 32.9 to 33.8 points we used to score back in the good old days, but it’s a hell of good start considering where we were 2009. Of course I would have no objections to scoring more…
There is a nice fit between Goals 1 & 2. The less Sam gets sacked, the less we operate out of a hole, the healthier he will be, the easier to pass, and therefore so much the easier to score. Cutting sacks by more than half and doubling our point total are highly compatible goals.
If there is a correlation between scoring and wining, how many games can a team win scoring 20 points per game? Good question! There were several football teams that scored just about 20 points per game last season, and we can look at their records for some guidance.
- 1. The Panthers scored 315 total points, and averaged 19.7 points per game: 8-8
- 2. The Broncos scored 326 total points, and averaged 20.4 points per game: 8-8
- 3. The Bears scored 327 total points and averaged 20.4 points per game: 7-9
- 4. The 49ers scored 330 total points and averaged 20.6 points per game: 8-8
So we can see that scoring this number of points generally correlated with a break-even record. If we can put 20 points on the scoreboard every single game in 2010, we have every reason to believe that our win total will improve. After a total of just 6 wins in 3 years, how good would it feel if the Rams could hammer out 7 or 8 victories in 2010?
If OC Pat Shurmer can't get this offensive unit to produce 20 points per game in 2010, he has to be fired by the start of 2011. Of course, it would be a hell of a lot smarter & better to just fire him right now...