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Defense wins games half the time


upstater1

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I'm going to write a "No Duh" post for a general thread discussion about defense and whether football has radically changed toward offense in the last 10 years. This is going to sound like a defense of the Patriots expending resources on D, and it is, but it comes from my preference for watching defense anyway. I know a lot of fans, especially younger fans, love offense. This may have to do with fantasy football, which I don't play. It may have to do with going away from hard hitting. I've actually stopped watching college football except for maybe 6 games a year of my favorite school because I don't see the point in people running up and down the field, especially the B12 (I am also done with all Big12 QBs and WRs because these guys never see any resistance in college and they are the source of a ton of draft busts).

Offenses have changed, obviously, with the rules, but defenses have adapted as well. McDaniel in Miami is a genius. But his timing offense was throttled yesterday by the Buffalo Bills who are severely lacking in the defensive backfield. Good defense still wins half the games. And we have a lot of examples to see this. This doesn't mean a team with a bad offense can make the playoffs. You need some semblance of mediocrity to do so.

I'm looking at the last 10 Super Bowls and it seems that defense won half the games, offense won the other half, and some were just expertly played by both sides, while others were badly played by both sides.

Last 10:

XLVIIIFeb. 2, 2014DEFENSE DESTROYED GREATEST OFFENSE IN HISTORYSeattle 43, Denver 8
XLIXFeb. 1, 2015EVENNew England 28, Seattle 24
50Feb. 7, 2016DEFENSE DESTROYED HIGHFLYING CAROLINA ODenver 24, Carolina 10
LIFeb. 5, 20171st Half Atlanta D, 2nd half Patriots D, EVENNew England 34, Atlanta 28
LIIFeb. 4, 2018OFFENSEPhiladelphia 41, New England 33
LIIIFeb. 3, 2019DEFENSENew England 13, Los Angeles Rams 3
LIVFeb. 2, 2020OFFENSEKansas City 31, San Francisco 20
LVFeb. 7, 2021DEFENSE DESTROYED KCTampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9
LVIFeb. 13, 2022BOTH TEAMS INEPT ON BOTH SIDES OF BALLLos Angeles Rams 23, Cincinnati 20
LVIIFeb. 12, 2023OFFENSEKansas City 38, Philadelphia 35


When teams have played for all the marbles in the last 10 years, it's been a 50/50 proposition as to which side of the ball is more important. Top 10 All-Time offenses have failed to win 4 times in the last 10 years, and sometimes they have failed miserably.

So for me, I do recognize the invention of new kinds of offenses in the NFL. Miami is a testament to it. McDaniel is really maximizing his approach, and it truly reminds me of Bill O'Brien in 2012. But--the thing is--we haven't seen any success with such offense outside of Andy Reid last year.

The claim we know for certain that the new way is better is a claim lacking evidence. I do accept that many prefer it. I too like offenses that take advantage in those ways. I'm sure the Patriots do too. But when it comes to style and aesthetics, give me a great defense matched with a decent offense over a great offense matched with a decent defense. I think the defense wins these games more often than not. Based on the evidence at least.
 

VrabelJr

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Good post. I’m all for overemphasizing fielding an elite defense if you can’t be one of the handful of teams with an elite QB. That’s just smart strategy in a marketplace for talent that is not evenly distributed. Our problem is the offense is so bad it’s dragging the defense down with it.

I stand by what I said before the season started: if we could field even an average offense we could be a playoff team and win 10-13 games.
 

upstater1

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Good post. I’m all for overemphasizing fielding an elite defense if you can’t be one of the handful of teams with an elite QB. That’s just smart strategy in a marketplace for talent that is not evenly distributed. Our problem is the offense is so bad it’s dragging the defense down with it.

I stand by what I said before the season started: if we could field even an average offense we could be a playoff team and win 10-13 games.
Absolutely agree
 

Patriot Missile

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Good post. I’m all for overemphasizing fielding an elite defense if you can’t be one of the handful of teams with an elite QB. That’s just smart strategy in a marketplace for talent that is not evenly distributed. Our problem is the offense is so bad it’s dragging the defense down with it.

I stand by what I said before the season started: if we could field even an average offense we could be a playoff team and win 10-13 games.
If the final score was 38 and our offense is responsible for gifting them 21 it’s simple
math. 17 points is what the Pats defense would possibly have given up. All they needed was a game manager and they got a train wreck instead.

The defense is Great regardless of the outcome yesterday. We’re not as close as people think and we’re not as far away as other people think. The offense stinks
 

upstater1

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If the final score was 38 and our offense is responsible for gifting them 21 it’s simple
math. 17 points is what the Pats defense would possibly have given up. All they needed was a game manager and they got a train wreck instead.

The defense is Great regardless of the outcome yesterday. We’re not as close as people think and we’re not as far away as other people think. The offense stinks
One QB and one WR away on offense.

We'll be hurting on defense now with Judon, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Jon Jones and Gonzalez all injured.
 

KCSVEN

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Making it to the Super Bowl generally you need a top offense. 19 of the 20 teams were a top 10 offense (the Manning Broncos were the only ones that were not).
In the 1 game Super Bowl:
The team with the better ranked regular season Defense was 8-2
The team with the better ranked regular season Offense was 2-8
Ironically the 2021 Super Bowl is the only 1 where the winning team was ranked better on offense AND defense (win was a blow out)
Since all the teams, sans 1, was a top 10 offense the rankings for offense was pretty close in many of the games so 2-8 is probably misleading.
#1 ranked offenses are 1-3 and #1 ranked defenses are 3-1.
70% of participants were TOP 5 offenses. ONLY 30% of participants were top 5 defenses.

-So you need a top 10 offense to get there.

The better ranked defense will have better odds of winning the game, though it is also a product of the fact the 2 offenses are usually close to being equally as good.

So a top 5 offense coupled with a top 10 defense is the magic you need.

Thru 4 games in 2023 Buffalo, San Francisco and Dallas are the teams that make the requirements.

Rankings based on Pro Football Reference team rankings.
 

upstater1

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Making it to the Super Bowl generally you need a top offense. 19 of the 20 teams were a top 10 offense (the Manning Broncos were the only ones that were not).
In the 1 game Super Bowl:
The team with the better ranked regular season Defense was 8-2
The team with the better ranked regular season Offense was 2-8
Ironically the 2021 Super Bowl is the only 1 where the winning team was ranked better on offense AND defense (win was a blow out)
Since all the teams, sans 1, was a top 10 offense the rankings for offense was pretty close in many of the games so 2-8 is probably misleading.
#1 ranked offenses are 1-3 and #1 ranked defenses are 3-1.
70% of participants were TOP 5 offenses. ONLY 30% of participants were top 5 defenses.

-So you need a top 10 offense to get there.

The better ranked defense will have better odds of winning the game, though it is also a product of the fact the 2 offenses are usually close to being equally as good.

So a top 5 offense coupled with a top 10 defense is the magic you need.

Thru 4 games in 2023 Buffalo, San Francisco and Dallas are the teams that make the requirements.

Rankings based on Pro Football Reference team rankings.
That 2-8 number jumps out at me.

But again, I wasn't looking at top 10 offenses that year.

I looked at 4 top 10 offenses in NFL History at the time. In other words, all time great offenses. In the last 10 years, those offenses failed to win 4 times. And several times they couldn't put up many points.

8 points for Denver, then 3 for LA Rams, and good on Atlanta for scoring 28 against us BUT.... getting shut down after the 1st drive of the 2nd half.

Amazing that defense managed to shut down 3 of the to offenses in NFL history.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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I'm going to write a "No Duh" post for a general thread discussion about defense and whether football has radically changed toward offense in the last 10 years. This is going to sound like a defense of the Patriots expending resources on D, and it is, but it comes from my preference for watching defense anyway. I know a lot of fans, especially younger fans, love offense. This may have to do with fantasy football, which I don't play. It may have to do with going away from hard hitting. I've actually stopped watching college football except for maybe 6 games a year of my favorite school because I don't see the point in people running up and down the field, especially the B12 (I am also done with all Big12 QBs and WRs because these guys never see any resistance in college and they are the source of a ton of draft busts).

Offenses have changed, obviously, with the rules, but defenses have adapted as well. McDaniel in Miami is a genius. But his timing offense was throttled yesterday by the Buffalo Bills who are severely lacking in the defensive backfield. Good defense still wins half the games. And we have a lot of examples to see this. This doesn't mean a team with a bad offense can make the playoffs. You need some semblance of mediocrity to do so.

I'm looking at the last 10 Super Bowls and it seems that defense won half the games, offense won the other half, and some were just expertly played by both sides, while others were badly played by both sides.

Last 10:

XLVIIIFeb. 2, 2014DEFENSE DESTROYED GREATEST OFFENSE IN HISTORYSeattle 43, Denver 8
XLIXFeb. 1, 2015EVENNew England 28, Seattle 24
50Feb. 7, 2016DEFENSE DESTROYED HIGHFLYING CAROLINA ODenver 24, Carolina 10
LIFeb. 5, 20171st Half Atlanta D, 2nd half Patriots D, EVENNew England 34, Atlanta 28
LIIFeb. 4, 2018OFFENSEPhiladelphia 41, New England 33
LIIIFeb. 3, 2019DEFENSENew England 13, Los Angeles Rams 3
LIVFeb. 2, 2020OFFENSEKansas City 31, San Francisco 20
LVFeb. 7, 2021DEFENSE DESTROYED KCTampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9
LVIFeb. 13, 2022BOTH TEAMS INEPT ON BOTH SIDES OF BALLLos Angeles Rams 23, Cincinnati 20
LVIIFeb. 12, 2023OFFENSEKansas City 38, Philadelphia 35


When teams have played for all the marbles in the last 10 years, it's been a 50/50 proposition as to which side of the ball is more important. Top 10 All-Time offenses have failed to win 4 times in the last 10 years, and sometimes they have failed miserably.

So for me, I do recognize the invention of new kinds of offenses in the NFL. Miami is a testament to it. McDaniel is really maximizing his approach, and it truly reminds me of Bill O'Brien in 2012. But--the thing is--we haven't seen any success with such offense outside of Andy Reid last year.

The claim we know for certain that the new way is better is a claim lacking evidence. I do accept that many prefer it. I too like offenses that take advantage in those ways. I'm sure the Patriots do too. But when it comes to style and aesthetics, give me a great defense matched with a decent offense over a great offense matched with a decent defense. I think the defense wins these games more often than not. Based on the evidence at least.

Well thought out post.
 

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Making it to the Super Bowl generally you need a top offense. 19 of the 20 teams were a top 10 offense (the Manning Broncos were the only ones that were not).
In the 1 game Super Bowl:
The team with the better ranked regular season Defense was 8-2
The team with the better ranked regular season Offense was 2-8
Ironically the 2021 Super Bowl is the only 1 where the winning team was ranked better on offense AND defense (win was a blow out)
Since all the teams, sans 1, was a top 10 offense the rankings for offense was pretty close in many of the games so 2-8 is probably misleading.
#1 ranked offenses are 1-3 and #1 ranked defenses are 3-1.
70% of participants were TOP 5 offenses. ONLY 30% of participants were top 5 defenses.

-So you need a top 10 offense to get there.

The better ranked defense will have better odds of winning the game, though it is also a product of the fact the 2 offenses are usually close to being equally as good.

So a top 5 offense coupled with a top 10 defense is the magic you need.

Thru 4 games in 2023 Buffalo, San Francisco and Dallas are the teams that make the requirements.

Rankings based on Pro Football Reference team rankings.
If you are a SB team you are winning games, and thereby at some level dictating the flow of games.
If you are an offensive team that builds leads you will play looser defense and allow more yards that a similar defense playing closer games.
If you are a defensive team you will be less aggressive on offense thereby putting up fewer yards than a team that has to keep scoring because their defense isn’t as good.
Offenses and defenses do not operate in vacuums.
And most importantly calling an offense or defense good or bad based upon cumulative yardage statistic is misleading to begin with
 

Toofy

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Making it to the Super Bowl generally you need a top offense. 19 of the 20 teams were a top 10 offense (the Manning Broncos were the only ones that were not).
In the 1 game Super Bowl:
The team with the better ranked regular season Defense was 8-2
The team with the better ranked regular season Offense was 2-8
Ironically the 2021 Super Bowl is the only 1 where the winning team was ranked better on offense AND defense (win was a blow out)
Since all the teams, sans 1, was a top 10 offense the rankings for offense was pretty close in many of the games so 2-8 is probably misleading.
#1 ranked offenses are 1-3 and #1 ranked defenses are 3-1.
70% of participants were TOP 5 offenses. ONLY 30% of participants were top 5 defenses.

-So you need a top 10 offense to get there.

The better ranked defense will have better odds of winning the game, though it is also a product of the fact the 2 offenses are usually close to being equally as good.

So a top 5 offense coupled with a top 10 defense is the magic you need.

Thru 4 games in 2023 Buffalo, San Francisco and Dallas are the teams that make the requirements.

Rankings based on Pro Football Reference team rankings.
You forgot eagles...
 

KCSVEN

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You forgot eagles...
In what way? They were #3 in football reference website team offense rankings that year. Unless you mean this year? They are not ranked top 10 in defense.
 

RIpats88

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Needing a new QB is a probable. Needing multiple WRs and an OL are definites.

Why people constantly ignore the need for an elite receiver is beyond me.

No teams in today's NFL win without at least one elite guy.

Heck elite receivers make guys like Baker Mayfield look good in Tampa. Or Geno Smith. In seattle
 

upstater1

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Needing a new QB is a probable. Needing multiple WRs and an OL are definites.
This OL would be a very good OL with a mediocre QB. Mafi is going to be a good one. I don't think he'll displace Strange, but he could kick Onwenu to tackle if Lowe doesn't cut it. Trent Brown is playing well. We have decent depth with Sow, Mafi, Andrews. We already have the multiple WRs who would be more than fine playing alongside a #1. Demario Douglas, Boutte, Parker, Bourne are fine as supporting cast.
 

upstater1

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Why people constantly ignore the need for an elite receiver is beyond me.

No teams in today's NFL win without at least one elite guy.

Heck elite receivers make guys like Baker Mayfield look good in Tampa. Or Geno Smith. In seattle
Who is ignoring it?
 

RIpats88

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Who is ignoring it?

Alot of fans who think if we just throw another QB out there we will be winning games.

I legit just read a post in another thread where someone said Juju/parker/Bourne are elite and would be lighting it up with another QB
 

upstater1

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Alot of fans who think if we just throw another QB out there we will be winning games.

I legit just read a post in another thread where someone said Juju/parker/Bourne are elite and would be lighting it up with another QB
I think if we throw another QB out there we will be winning games. That's how bad Mac is.

That doesn't mean I believe we don't need a #1 WR.

Both of these things can be true.
 

VrabelJr

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Alot of fans who think if we just throw another QB out there we will be winning games.

I legit just read a post in another thread where someone said Juju/parker/Bourne are elite and would be lighting it up with another QB
They're definitely better than Mahomes cast. And better than the Bills skill position players as a whole. There's three teams with lights out skill position players (SF, Philly, Miami) and people on this forum make it sound like all 31 teams are as loaded as those three and we're the odd team out. In reality we're much closer to the top 10 than we are the bottom 10.
 

RIpats88

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They're definitely better than Mahomes cast. And better than the Bills skill position players as a whole. There's three teams with lights out skill position players (SF, Philly, Miami) and people on this forum make it sound like all 31 teams are as loaded as those three and we're the odd team out. In reality we're much closer to the top 10 than we are the bottom 10.

Is this a joke? Mahomes has Kelce, Allen has diggs.

You are delusional if you think we have a top 10 receiving cast.
 

VrabelJr

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Is this a joke? Mahomes has Kelce, Allen has diggs.

You are delusional if you think we have a top 10 receiving cast.
And tell me the names after Kelce and Diggs.

I didn't say we had a top 10 receiving cast. I said we're much closer to the top 10 than the bottom 10. The point is we have more than enough talent at WR/TE/RB to be scoring points and winning.
 


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