Team Scoring Records in Last 50 Games

Data: These charts use the final scores from every game from the start of the 1897 season to the end of Round 1 in 2017.

Topic: Here we're looking to understand the scoring trends - in terms of points scored and points conceded - for every team across history.

Points of Interest:

The overall trends in scoring across history are the most obvious macro features of the chart.

Individual features stand out for some particular teams, such as:

  • The growth in Adelaide scoring in recent times
  • The increasing competitiveness of the Brisbane Bears before their disappearance/merger
  • The large swings in the Brisbane Lions offensive and defensive abilities across the most-recent decades
  • Hawthorn's high rate of scoring through the 1980s
  • Melbourne's, St Kilda's, and the Western Bulldogs leaky defences through the 1980s, and Sydney/Sth Melbourne's through the early 1990s
  • The improvement in Richmond's defence in recent years

Topic: Next, we look at teams' goal-kicking records, separately charting goals scored per game and behinds scored per game over the last 50 matches.

Points of Interest:

Here too, the overall trends in scoring across history are the most obvious macro features of the chart, most notably the steep increase in scoring in the early parts of the competition.

We can also see the point at which, for each team, goals tended to be more numerous than behinds (ie the blue line rises above the red), this generally occurring sometime in the 1970s or 1980s for most teams.

What is also noticeable is the general decline in scoring, both in terms of goals and behinds, over recent years for all teams except Adelaide, GWS, Port Adelaide (only goals), the Western Bulldogs, and West Coast. Sydney might also be included in that group though the growth is only small.

Topic: Now we combine the goals and behinds data to calculate goal-kicking accuracy as goals scored as a proportion of scoring shots. We look at this again on a team-by-team basis and averaged over the last 50 matches. We chart each team's accuracy and that of the opponents they've faced.

Points of Interest:

Looking across the results for each team, a general, long-term increase in accuracy is apparent. 

That said, accuracy has trended downwards in more recent times for quite a number of teams, perhaps most conspicuously by Essendon, who are now at just 48.8% for their last 50 games. Across those same games, their opponents have kicked at 56.0%.

A few other points of interest are:

  • The steep increases in the accuracy of the opponents of the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, St Kilda, and the Western Bulldogs
  • The steep increase in the accuracy of Adelaide, Gold Coast, GWS, Hawthorn, and West Coast