Is It Time to put the Phrase Defense Wins Championships to Bed?
Anytime I hear the phrase defense wins championships, I always cringe. Yesterday's conference championship games will prove why I make this comment. The Jacksonville Jaguars had the number two ranked defense in the NFL. They were facing the number one ranked offense in the NFL in the New England Patriots.
Jacksonville led 20-10 in the fourth, but Tom Brady proved clutch once again and he made Jacksonville's defense look ordinary. If you're defense is soo good, you should stop top tier quarterbacks and they couldn't when it mattered most. Jacksonville also gave up a third-and-18 pass play in the fourth quarter and it ignited a Patriots comeback. New England also has the 29th ranked defense in the NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings had the top ranked defense during the regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles had the seventh ranked offense. Even though Patrick Robinson changed the complexion of the game with a pick six an the Eagles have the fourth best defense in the NFL, Nick Foles and the Eagles offense torched the Vikings defense.
Nick Foles was slinging the ball and made the Vikings defense look confused. Again, if your defense is that good you should make stops and force turnovers and they didn't at all.
So in the Super Bowl, two top-10 ranked offenses in the NFL will square off against one other.
Last year in the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots had the second ranked offense in the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons had the fourth ranked offense in the NFL. New England had the eighth best defense in the NFL and Atlanta had the 25th best defense in the NFL.
When the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L, it was clear cut that the Broncos defense won them the Super Bowl. Denver had the best defense in the NFL that season. Surprisingly, they had a 16th ranked offense that season as well.
The Carolina Panthers had a 11th ranked offense that season and they had the 6th ranked defense in the NFL.
When the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLVIIII, they had the 11th ranked offense in the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks had the number one ranked defense in the NFL, but the Patriots won the Super Bowl because of an interception on the goal line at the end.
When the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle had the number one ranked defense and the Denver Broncos had the number one ranked offense. The Seahawks had the 18th ranked offense and the Broncos had the 19th ranked defense.
Do I think defense wins championships? A lot of people say yes, but I think it depends on the team, the season, and the philosophy. I believe you need a mixture of both.