Football game has changed over 47 years

Jan. 28, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Comparing statistics between Super Bowl I (Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10) to the 2014 AFC championship game (Denver 26, New England 16) shows how the game has changed in 47 years. In the 2014 game, there were only nine more plays, but there were 11 punts in 1967 and only four in 2014 - so really, 16 more plays from scrimmage in the modern game. There were nine sacks in 1967 but only two in 2014. There were 56 passes in the 1967 game and 81 in 2014 with 53 rushes in 1967 and 44 in 2014. Rushing yardage was about the same in the two games, but passing yardage went from 395 to 656 over that time span. In the latest game, there was one kickoff return, and in Super Bowl I, there were nine.

The rules have changed to help the offense and to encourage more passing. The kickoff and punt return games are much less important now. What percentage of kickoffs these days is without a penalty?

Announcers love to spout statistics, but the game is so different from what it used to be, the comparisons are meaningless. In addition, games then were less than 3 hours, and now, they are longer than 31/2 hours.

Jim Stokes, Victoria



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