It may have been total coincidence but the fact remains that scores ballooned the week after players were fined for cracking pass receivers. The Big Lead could change it's name to the Big Garbage.
That doesn't mean there is any correlation between the two.
The fact is, there isn't any data to support the idea that the crackdown caused the spike other than loose conjecture. If the crackdown was hampering defenses, wouldn't you expect offenses to complete more passes? Or get more yardage per pass? But, that didn't happen. Completion percentages were the same as previous weeks. Yards per pass attempt were too.
Like the article said, the only big statistical difference was an increased number of turnovers forced, which suggests that defenses may actually have been playing better.
And look at week to week scoring:
Week 1- 36 total points per game
Week 2- 41
Week 3- 43
Week 4- 41
Week 5- 45
Week 6- 43
(Helmet to Helmet crackdown)
Week 7- 52
Week 8- 41
If the crackdown is holding defenses back, then why did scoring go down by 11 points per game between week 7 and week 8? Why didn't the numbers stay inflated as they were in week 7?
"What a horrible night to have a curse."
"Please bury me with all my stuff, because you know it's mine..."
"Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood."
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Iowa State vs. George Mason (Diamond Head Classic)