The New York Jets shocked the world (and Western New York) yesterday by scoring 48 points against the Buffalo Bills. It was the most points the Jets have scored since they hung 56 on Arizona in 2008. Does this mean the Jets have solved all of their offensive problems? Or was it just one good game, soon to be forgotten? Do teams that score a lot of points in Week 1 continue to score throughout the year?
Between 2000 and 2011, 65 teams scored 30 or more points in Week 1, led by the 49 points scored by the 2002 Miami Dolphins and 2003 San Francisco 49ers. And more often than not, those teams continued to play well throughout the year, averaging 24.5 points per game over the course of their respective seasons. That's a scoring output that would have ranked 10th last season. Thirty-nine of those teams (60 percent) finished in the top 10 in scoring, 18 made the top five and six led the league in points scored.
Of course, the Jets shot right past 30 points, beating that margin by three scores. If we limit our list to the 14 teams that scored 40 or more points in the same time frame, things look even better for Gang Green. Four of those teams eventually led the league in scoring, and more than half finished in the top five.
Still, year-long success isn't guaranteed.