10 interesting stats from September in the NFL

The first month of the NFL season is in the books. Ten stats that help tell the story from the first four weeks of the year…

5.5: That’s the number of yards per play NFL teams have averaged this season, which is up 0.1 from last year and would be tied for the highest average in NFL history (2011).

1.4: That’s the number of turnovers teams have averaged per game, which would be the lowest full-season total in modern NFL history. That average was 1.6 in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and 1.5 in 2008.

484.0: That’s the number of passing yards we’ve had per game this season. Last season, NFL quarterbacks set an all-time high in that category at 471.2. Total yardage and first downs are also up by fairly significant margins. And yet scoring is actually down a little bit from a record 46.8 last season to 46.4 this year.

64.2: That’s the league-wide completion percentage. Never in NFL history has it been higher than 61.2. Prior to 2007, it had never been above 60. In the first year post-merger (1970) it was 51.1 percent. Hell, prior to 1970, no quarterback had ever hit that 64.2 mark in a single season. The league-wide passer rating is 90.1. That’s exactly six points higher than the record set last season. A new record has been set in that category in five consecutive seasons.

4.0: That’s how many sacks we’ve had on a per-game basis, which is down all the way from 5.0 last season. Never in modern NFL history has that number been lower than 4.0. Interceptions are also at an all-time low rate.

84.7: Field goal rates are actually down slightly from that 2013 record of 86.5 to 84.7 early this season. However, that would still be the second-highest average in league history.

0: The Browns are one of only six teams in NFL history to turn the ball over zero times in their first three games. The Chargers are one of only 12 teams to turn it over fewer than two times in their first four games. The Saints are one of only nine teams in NFL history with fewer than two defensive takeaways during their first four games.

176: That’s the total number of points the Bengals are on pace to surrender this season, which would be the second-lowest 16-game total in NFL history.

75.8: That’s the percentage of passes the Buccaneers have allowed to be completed on them, which would be an NFL record.

2,136: That’s the total number of yards Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is on pace to rush for, which would be an NFL record. Murray is only the fourth player in NFL history to run for 100 yards in each of the first four games of a given a season. The other three — Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson and Emmitt Smith — are in the Hall of Fame.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.