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Defense wins games half the time


Rob0729

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I don't know if you can judge an individual game, even a Super Bowl, and say that. Look at the 2003 Patriots. It was clearly the defense that carried the team during the regular season and AFC side of the playoffs and the Patriots offense ultimately won them the Super Bowl. That year the Pats pitched three shut out with two of them being a 12-0 win, another game where they won 9-3, and another 17-6. They beat Tennessee in the division round 17-14. In the AFCCG, they picked off Manning four times.
 

upstater1

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I don't know if you can judge an individual game, even a Super Bowl, and say that. Look at the 2003 Patriots. It was clearly the defense that carried the team during the regular season and AFC side of the playoffs and the Patriots offense ultimately won them the Super Bowl. That year the Pats pitched three shut out with two of them being a 12-0 win, another game where they won 9-3, and another 17-6. They beat Tennessee in the division round 17-14. In the AFCCG, they picked off Manning four times.
Super Bowls are the moments when the best teams put it all on the line. The Colts are an excellent example of that. Great offense when they're not facing a great deal of resistance. But when they do, they unravel. The gauge should always be how do they perform when they are put to the test, and you don't get that week to week in the NFL, or even in the playoffs.

So, the 2003 Super Bowl, the Patriots held Carolina scoreless for 29 minutes. 2 people got hurt, the defensive backfield was in shambles, and suddenly it was bomb after bomb after bomb. Those are defensive breakdowns, largely due to injury.

I do put a lot of stock in Super Bowl performances precisely because you're going up against the best team from the other conference in the last game. When you see the Giants beat an all-time top offense like the 2007 Patriots, or the Patriots beat the Rams in 2001 and in 2018, both top all time offenses, you see the huge advantage that comes when a defense simply mandhandles the offense and prevents them from doing what they've done easily the whole year long. If the Phins had won this Sunday they could've used that formula the entire season, gotten into the playoffs, and only then would someone step in and disrupt the timing they rely on (which is what the Bills did).
 

FCB02062

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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.
If you're arguing "in favor" of the way the HC of the NEP has constructed this team, you can't base the "defense or offense" argument on one game. Anyone could cherry pick any other playoff round and show that offense wins. The whole argument against this buffoon of a coach is that he's built a team to win on defense and special teams complimented by a third rate offense - like he had in Cleveland.
Out of 13 playoff games last season, the winning team's offense scored 27+ points ELEVEN times. You need to score touchdowns to win in 2023 and it is much easier to scheme offense in a league beholden to points and tv ratings than it is to build a dominant defense and win that way. Trying to win the way the HC of the NEP is trying to win is moronic when everything is stacked against defenses.
EDIT - also, using the super bowl as a barometer is foolish because teams have two week to prepare for each other - not the same as regular season and playoffs
 
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RIpats88

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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.

one elite talent makes a huge difference.

Kelce/Diggs require so much attention and still can get open at will. when one offensive piece takes up all that attention it allows other guys to get open and on lesser receivers. not sure why i have to explain this.

look at how the patriots defended Tyreek hill. 3 high safeties. the attention he got allowed guys to get open in the middle and short end of the field.

no teams are game planning for Bourne/juju/parker. and none can get open in man coverage. per giardi our receivers have the worst separation rate in the NFL
 


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