Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is it possible to win a Super Bowl without an above-average defense?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is it possible to win a Super Bowl without an above-average defense?

    That's my question. After reviewing the past 20 years of Super Bowls, including this year's, I have to wonder, is it possible to ever win a Super Bowl without a defense that is in the top-10 in points allowed that year, or an average/below-average scoring defense that is elite in one or more other distinct categories?

    All of the past 19 Super Bowl champions have had top 10 scoring defenses (in terms of points allowed) except for the Saints in 2009, the Giants in 2007, and the Colts in 2006. And each of those teams had defenses that were elite in some category, whether it was sacking QBs, forcing turnovers, or limiting passing TDs. And of course, in this year's Super Bowl the two teams participating are 1st and 2nd in scoring defense.

    A list of the past twenty Super Bowls and the winner's ranking with regard to scoring defense:

    2010: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st or Green Bay Packers, 2nd
    2009: New Orleans Saints, 20th
    2008: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1st
    2007: New York Giants, 17th
    2006: Indianapolis Colts, 23rd
    2005: Pittsburgh Steelers, 3rd
    2004: New England Patriots, 2nd
    2003: New England Patriots, 1st
    2002: Tampa Bay Bucs, 1st
    2001: New England Patriots, 6th
    2000: Baltimore Ravens, 1st
    1999: St. Louis Rams, 4th
    1998: Denver Broncos, 8th
    1997: Denver Broncos, 6th
    1996: Green Bay Packers, 1st
    1995: Dallas Cowboys, 3rd
    1994: San Francisco 49ers, 6th
    1993: Dallas Cowboys, 3rd
    1992: Dallas Cowboys, 5th
    1991: Washington Redskins, 2nd
    1990: New York Giants, 1st

    And if you look at the three teams that did not have top-10 scoring defenses (2007 Giants, 2009 Saints, and 2006 Colts), each one of those teams had some facet of their defense that was arguably elite and each of those defenses was top-10 in one or more distinct categories:

    - The 2009 Saints were 5th overall in passing TDs allowed, 3rd overall in turnovers forced, and 3rd overall in defensive passer rating. They basically had an elite passing defense that was excellent at forcing turnovers and pressuring QBs into making mistakes.

    - The 2007 Giants had an elite defensive line, and because of that elite defensive line, were 1st in the NFL that year with a whopping 53 sacks. Obviously, this defensive line was instrumental to their success in the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

    - The 2006 Colts were 6th in passing TDs allowed and 2nd in passing yards allowed. The only reason they were in the bottom 10 in scoring defense was because they were a historically bad rushing defense which allowed 5.3 ypc to RBs and 20 rushing TDs that year. However, again, they were an arguably elite passing defense (in terms of TDs and yards allowed), which tends to be more important in the modern NFL than rushing defense.

    So is this firm evidence that defense is more important in the NFL than offense? Without an above-average defense, more specifically a passing defense, you simply can't win the Super Bowl. Even all of the teams that were known for their great offenses such as the 1999 Rams, and the 1996 Packers, the 2006 Colts, and the 2009 Saints all were complemented by either elite scoring defenses or average scoring defenses with elite passing defense. If you have an elite offense, you simply can't win a Super Bowl unless you also have an above-average defense. If you have an elite defense, however, you can win with a below-average offense (2000 Ravens, 2002 Bucs, 2008 Steelers, 2007 Giants).

  • #2
    I think if you dig enough you could find roughly twenty or so teams which would be above average in at least one statistical category. Some teams are great aginst the run but poor against the pass(Minnesota), some poor against the run but great against the pass(Indianapolis), some are terrible on 3rd down but have a good scoring defense(New England) etc. I think it is a lot easier to win a Superbowl with a very good defense as opposed to offense. There is enough recent history to show this. The Saints and Colts of this decade were more offensively minded but both had opportunistic defenses and in fact both had a INT returned for a TD in their Superbowl wins


    BoneKrusher killing it with the sig

    Comment


    • #3
      I say no. You have to have atleast an above average defense to compete in the playoffs.

      Thanks to The Dynasty for the sig

      Comment


      • #4
        You could just as easily ask if you can win a Super Bowl without an above average offense.

        2010: Pittsburgh- 14th Green Bay- 9th
        2009: New Orleans- 1st
        2008: Pittsburgh- 22nd
        2007: New York Giants- 16th
        2006: Indianapolis- 3rd
        2005: Pittsburgh- 15th
        2004: New England- 7th
        2003: New England- 17th
        2002: Tampa Bay- 24th
        2001: New Englan- 19th
        2000: Baltimore- 16th
        1999: St. Louis- 1st
        1998: Denver- 3rd
        1997: Denver- 1st
        1996: Green Bay- 5th
        1995: Dallas- 5th
        1994: San Francisco- 2nd
        1993: Dallas- 4th
        1992: Dallas- 4th
        1991: Washington- 4th
        1990: New York Giants-15th

        So, since 1990, the average offensive rank was 9th and the average defensive rank was 6. Looks like both are important. To look at it a little more closely like you did;

        The 2007 New York Giants were 4th in rushung offense. The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers were 5th in rushing offense and 9th in points. The 2003 New England Patriots were 9th in passing and had Tom Brady. 2001 New England Patriots were 6th in points. The Baltimore Ravens in 2000 had one of the best defenses of all time. And their offense wasn't as bad as some think. They were 5th in rushing. And the Giants in 1990 were a very good rushing team and had the fewest turnovers in the league.

        Originally posted by SolidGold
        Bortlezzzzzzz
        Originally posted by Monomach
        Brilliant letting one of Scott Pioli's henchmen have his own team to ruin.  One of the premier GM jobs in the NFL and it gets handed to a stupid **** who makes three facepalm moves for every good one.  Awesome.  Just like handing a new Mercedes to a 16 year old girl who's already been in three wrecks. 

        Comment


        • #5
          Some of those regular season are misleading. The 2007 Giants started off slow, but the unit played at a truly elite level in the playoffs. The 2006 Colts also put on dominating performances in three of their four playoff games that year. So I would definitely say that you need a good defense to win the Super Bowl. This is why the Patriots fooled everyone this year. Great offense, but a very young defense that was average at best.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is it possible to win a Super Bowl without an above-average defense?

            The answer is hell no it is 100% impossible to win a superbowl without a "above-average defense". I said it thus it is true.

            Comment


            • #7
              The bottom line is it takes a great TEAM to win a Super Bowl ultimately. That said, if there's any phase that at least apparently can be lacking on a championship team, it seems to be special teams.


              The problem arises when people use statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support instead of illumination.

              If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, then clutch is where failure meets luck.

              <Add1ct> setting myself on fire can't be that hard
              <Add1ct> but tackling a mosquito might prove a challenge

              Comment


              • #8
                2006 Colts' pass D wasn't elite. Low passing yards and TDs were a result of opponents not needing to pass.

                However, Bob Sanders only played 4 games during the regular season, came back right in time for the playoffs and made a HUGE difference.

                Booger McFarland also had one heck of a "last hurrah." He too saved his best for the playoffs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MaxV View Post
                  2006 Colts' pass D wasn't elite. Low passing yards and TDs were a result of opponents not needing to pass.

                  However, Bob Sanders only played 4 games during the regular season, came back right in time for the playoffs and made a HUGE difference.

                  Booger McFarland also had one heck of a "last hurrah." He too saved his best for the playoffs.
                  And you played Rex Grossman in the Superbowl. One of, if not thee, weakest QB to play in a Superbowl. 11 random guys from this board having a chance of forcing him into enough mistakes to lose the game....

                  /rant

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, because a season's worth of stats doesn't play the biggest game of the season for you. It's only an indication of the unit's success and sometimes it doesn't do the unit justice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1999: St. Louis Rams, 4th
                      Their SB win beat the Titans by 1 yd. in that game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jrdrylie View Post
                        You could just as easily ask if you can win a Super Bowl without an above average offense.

                        2010: Pittsburgh- 14th Green Bay- 9th
                        2009: New Orleans- 1st
                        2008: Pittsburgh- 22nd
                        2007: New York Giants- 16th
                        2006: Indianapolis- 3rd
                        2005: Pittsburgh- 15th
                        2004: New England- 7th
                        2003: New England- 17th
                        2002: Tampa Bay- 24th
                        2001: New Englan- 19th
                        2000: Baltimore- 16th
                        1999: St. Louis- 1st
                        1998: Denver- 3rd
                        1997: Denver- 1st
                        1996: Green Bay- 5th
                        1995: Dallas- 5th
                        1994: San Francisco- 2nd
                        1993: Dallas- 4th
                        1992: Dallas- 4th
                        1991: Washington- 4th
                        1990: New York Giants-15th

                        So, since 1990, the average offensive rank was 9th and the average defensive rank was 6. Looks like both are important. To look at it a little more closely like you did;

                        The 2007 New York Giants were 4th in rushung offense. The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers were 5th in rushing offense and 9th in points. The 2003 New England Patriots were 9th in passing and had Tom Brady. 2001 New England Patriots were 6th in points. The Baltimore Ravens in 2000 had one of the best defenses of all time. And their offense wasn't as bad as some think. They were 5th in rushing. And the Giants in 1990 were a very good rushing team and had the fewest turnovers in the league.
                        Clearly this shows that the most balanced team which has an offense AND a defense in the top 10 more likely than not will be the main contender for the Super Bowl championship.

                        But the disparity in top defenses in the Super Bowl vs. the number of top offenses in the Super Bowl, I believe, clearly shows that defense is simply more important than offense when it comes to winning championships. Teams have won with sub-par or mediocre offenses but have *never* won with a mediocre defense.

                        So if a team had to choose which area to focus on (defense or offense) in the draft and in free agency, it would probably be wise to build defense first and invest more resources in that area.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X

                        Debug Information