PALO ALTO – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Thuuz Sports unveiled its leaders for the most exciting teams and individual games from the just completed NFL regular season. Using custom designed algorithms to measure real time indicators of excitement, the company determined that the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints were the two most exciting teams throughout the NFL regular season, while the Kansas City Chiefs record setting game with the Los Angeles Rams was the most exciting regular season game of 2018.
The Eagles and Saints will meet this coming Sunday in New Orleans in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
The measurement scores were done on a 0 to 100 scale and take into consideration game pace, team parity, play novelty, momentum shifts, social buzz, and historical context. The algorithms behind the excitement ratings are statistically calibrated to insure the appropriate distribution of ratings across the course of the season.
“Sometimes excitement doesn’t translate into on field success. However this year the excitement of the fans, which we were able to quantify with our system, certainly matched up with many of the results, ” said Thuuz CEO Warren Packard. “What’s even more important is that the exciting matchups have translated into the postseason, which is a huge boost again for our partners at the NFL to continue to build on this amazing bounce-back season.”
Using the Thuuz excitement measurement platform, the top five most exciting games were:
1) L.A. Rams 54 Kansas City Chiefs 51 – November 19: A Monday Night Football game that was supposed to have taken place in Mexico City lit up the L.A. night, the first game in NFL history in which each team scored 50 points. The combined 105 points between both teams was the third highest-scoring game since the NFL merged with the AFL. The last time a high scoring affair like this was seen was in 2004 when the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns combined for 106 points. The Rams and Chiefs combined for 14 touchdowns
2) New Orleans Saints 31 Pittsburgh Steelers 28 – December 23: The Saints needed a last-minute takeaway to secure the win. New Orleans scored the go-ahead touchdown with a 2-yard pass from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas with less than two minutes remaining. Before then, a defensive pass interference penalty on fourth down kept alive what turned out to be the Saints’ winning drive.
Of the Saints’ four touchdowns, three came with the help of defensive pass interference calls, including the one that set up Mark Ingram’s record rushing touchdown that put him ahead of Deuce McAllister for the most in franchise history.
3) New Orleans Orleans Saints 43 Atlanta Falcons 38 (OT) – September 23 With 1:15 to play and down by seven, QB Drew Brees made two Falcon defenders miss and raced into the end zone from seven yards out to force overtime. The Saints won the toss and captured the hard-earned victory when Brees jumped into the end zone from a yard out. The touchdown capped a methodical 80-yard touchdown drive that took 15 plays. The Saints thought they had won it on a pass to Alvin Kamara but on review he was ruled down at the 1. The Saints had to overcome a career-outing from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan as he threw for a career-high five touchdowns .
4) New England Patriots 43 Kansas City Chiefs 40 – October 14: Stephen Gostkowski hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired, and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 43-40 on Sunday night after blowing a big halftime lead. Tom Brady passed for 340 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in his 200th victory as a starting quarterback, tops all-time. Brady also passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 227.
5) Kansas City Chiefs 27 Baltimore Ravens 24 (OT) – December 9: Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, after missing a 43-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation, kicked a 35-yarder in overtime to lift Kansas City. The Ravens looked as if they might match Butker’s field goal, marching across midfield in overtime, but Ronnie Stanley’s holding penalty put them in a bind. Jackson was then sacked by Justin Houston and Dee Ford – and left with an ankle injury – before Robert Griffin III threw two incompletions to end it. The Chiefs scored a tying touchdown on a pass to Damien Williams from Patrick Mahomes on another fourth-down play to force overtime.
In terms of most exciting teams, the Eagles and Saints were the only teams to have eight games register as “GREAT” on the excitement scale. Kansas City had seven Great Games make the list, while three non-playoff teams — Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay — joined the Rams with six Great Games each.