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"• The Ravens were awful on defense, yet won the Super Bowl. Not only did Baltimore allow the San Francisco 49ers 468 yards of offense, it was the most allowed by a Super Bowl victor: the 2009 Saints have now dropped to second, winning while allowing 432 yards. Through the postseason, the Ravens allowed an average of 428 yards per game. That's awful! It's so awful, 428 yards per game would have made Baltimore the second-worst defense in the league during the regular season. Before this postseason, no team had ever given up 375 yards or more in three consecutive playoff wins. Baltimore did this in four consecutive playoff wins. The Ravens' defense was awful!But offense rules this decade. In the postseason, Baltimore averaged 31 points and 410 offensive yards. And when everything was on the line, Baltimore's defense saved the best for last."
It was Baltimore's big play ability on offense that made the difference for them, not hard hitting Pollard, Lewis, Reed, etc. The Raven's D managed one big stop, at the very end of the game, and that was much more about how they played it -blitzing like crazy at exactly the right time - not very much about the talent on their defense.
Many notable facts in column including this one - 6 of last 8 SB winners didn't have a bye.
So forget about franchising Talib, Bill, please find Brady some stud WRs like Boldin and Smith. The two SB's and this year's AFC championship were lost because the offense didn't score enough, not because the D didn't come through. 14, 17, and 13 points just won't get you anywhere these days in the big games. Look at those point totals - didn't even get to 20 in any of those games, that's just plain awful offense.
King of my matchbox sized world
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Balance wins championships. Gotta be able to score points, gotta be able to stall opponents drives. I'm hoping the Pats are going into this off-season trying to improve in both areas, not because they necessarily NEED either one desperately, but because if you're not trying to improve you're probably going to slip backwards.
Baltimore's defense stepped up in the playoffs. They shut down the Colts. They stalled the Broncos (remember two of the Broncos' TDs were on special teams). They shutdown the Pats' offense in the second half. They shut down the 49ers' offense until they came out flat after an extra long halftime followed shortly after by a 35 minute break due to the blackout (this report focuses on yards and ignores the fact that the Ravens held the 49ers to 6 points in the first half).
Yes, in the regular season the Ravens' defense was mediocre. But in the playoffs, they played pretty well for the most part.
People look to blindly at many stats, yardage is one of the worst one to look at.
Of SB42, SB46 & the 2013AFCCG, only the last was the offense to blame. The other, the defense couldn't get off the field, the game was shrunk nearly in half, and the amount of points scored is muddled by the fact that offense didn't get that many touches (SB42 & SB46) and when it did, it's field position was atrocious (SB46).
The 13AFCCG falls squarely on the offense. It didn't execute when it needed to. The defense played as well as it's played in years in that first half, and the offense could've and should've buried the Ravens when it had the chance. But, it didn't execute, and in hindsight, we can see it also didn't have adequate personnel on the field without its stud TE.
Ultimately, without Gronkowski, our offense falls from elite to great, and against a great defense, its output may suffer. It's only elite part left was Brady, with Welker and Hernandez a tier below. When you have two blue chippers like Brady & Gronk, life becomes so much easier for everyone else, not just for the weapons, but the OLine. Gronk also has a huge effect on the run game.
The defense would've been fine with Talib. Obviously, the team needs more depth at CB, it needs to either retain or adequately replace Talib, and then add another corner of starting caliber. It was only a matter of time before Talib's loss was felt, and the offense had not built enough of a lead to endure it.
Overall, you have to be happy with the trajectory of this defense. It is trending up - and now good enough to win a title with.