My hot take:

Quite a few on that list were upset in heartbreaking fashion. 2007 Pats, Rams, Falcons. A couple more were beaten rather soundly (Washington, Broncos), while another few were upset in their championship games (Chiefs, Vikings).

I don’t think a single one won it.

However, extremely small sample size, and the fact that all of them made the playoffs and advanced far shows the stickiness of offense imo. Once the tourney starts anything can happen, and in this case anything did.

But how many of those teams won Super Bowls the year before or the year after? Their offenses might have taken small steps back but were almost certainly still amongst the best in the league.


Do you have the same but for defense?

I agree with everything you are saying, I just did this because I was really curious.
So here were the results of those teams
As you said not one team won the SB and the Broncos and Pats both stunk it up offensively scoring 8 and 14 respectively in the SB.

The average reg season pts/game for these teams was 35 yet they only averaged 20 points in their loses.

I do think making this offense a 1-5th ranked offense for years to come, not just a flash, is a good long term strategy, but trying to squeeze another 3-4 points per game by adding resources that could be added to the defense would be questionable.

It’s a fine balancing act, because it does show high end offenses will get you to the show more often.

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That would be interesting, so top 10 defenses in history and what the teams did
Give me an hour or so, this would also be interesting

You guys should be able to tell I am bored today :joy: :joy: :joy:

Look forward to seeing it.

And by no means am I proponent of not fixing the secondary and therefore hopefully the defense. I just think that we need to keep our foot on the gas in terms of OL and Weapons if Jared is the long term answer. He’s proven that if you do so then he’ll pay you back with a top five offense.

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There will be more champs imo, but I wonder how many have come after the sweeping rule changes that have given so many more advantages to the offense?

I’ll also add if you expand it to the top 25 offenses of all-time you get at least 3 champs, and a lot more heartbreaking losses.

But all of those teams came into the playoffs as favorites/high seeds. Many fell short, but to me that just goes to show how hard it is to actually win the tourney, especially without a savant at QB. (Yet another reason this year hurts so bad). The fact that great offense tends to = high-level entries into the tourney is really the best you can hope for from a regular season imo.

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Single elimination formats will often render peculiar results.


OK here it is, and @Thats2 has already hit on what I found. First I only did the Top 10 defenses during the 16 game seasons. No 17 games defenses made the list.
Also you can see several are from the pre rule change era

So 4 SB winners
Most recent is the 2000 Ravens and 2002 Bucs who both had loaded defenses


So what year exactly did the rules start to change?
I may go back and look at all SB winners and losers and see what the offensive and defensive rankings were and what the delta in rankings for each team was
Chiefs this year
15th offensive
2nd defensive
Delta -13

I would do this based on points scored and pointws allowed

Nice research @NowFromTN

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They do but I also think there is validity to the thought a team can be great in the regular season but not built for the playoffs. I think a lot goes into that but one thing is can a high power offense be schemed against if given some time. Pats and BB were famous for this and his ability to reduce an opponents perceived strength.

Also a high power offense may have an off day, but same true for a defense.
I believe balance is the key or at least some type of balance.

I’d say the “modern era” of rule changes really started to pick up in 1996 with the more stringent enforcement of the 5 yard contact area and a new penalty for leading with the helmet or head by a defender, then there was the 1998 rule that eliminated the defenses ability to flinch to draw an offensive player offsides, but they really started to blow up in the oughts and early 2010s.

The horse collar tackle was introduced in 2005, no hitting the QB below the waist in 2006. In 2009 they said a defender can’t hit a defenseless receiver up high and a DL on the ground can no longer go after the QBs legs. Defenders were no longer allowed to line up over the C on FGs starting in 2010, the same year launching or spearing defenseless players was introduced.

In 2011 this bad boy made its debut:

The NFL’s new safety guidelines, approved in May, prohibit “forcibly hitting the neck or head area” of any player. They also prohibit hits against a player in a “defenseless posture,” which was redefined as the following: A player in the act or just after throwing a pass; A receiver attempting to catch a pass or one who has not completed a catch and hasn’t had time to protect himself or hasn’t clearly become a runner; A runner whose forward progress has been stopped; A kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air; A player on the ground at the end of a play; A kicker/punter during a return; A quarterback any time after a turnover; A player who receives a blindside block when the blocker is moving toward his own end- line and approaches the opponent from behind or the side.

And in 2012 crackback blocks were banned.

So I would say in general it became harder and harder in the mid-late 90s, then really took off in the early-mid 2000s


If I had to guess the greatest correlation would be elite QB numbers with this year being an exception. Though it’s Mahomes so I’d struggle to classify it as an outlier given who he is and his play in the playoffs. Similarly while Foles and Flacco don’t fit the criteria they were arguably the best playoff QBs that year. Eli would fit that as well.

Peyton in Denver was a true outlier in this regard but otherwise it seems like extremely elite QB is the trick. Duh of course.

But again I would argue that the key to getting extremely high end QB is giving Goff lots of toys and protection.

OK for shits and giggles I did the last 10 SB winners and losers Off rank and Def rank for reg season they played in the SB
Not that this data means much but hey it’s interesting to see the makeup of the teams that got there

What is interesting is 7 of the top 10 winners and losers had top 5 offenses

Kind of backs up what @Thats2 is saying (OK no big surprise here :smiley:)

BTW pretty rare for a team with a defense ranked below 20 to make it to the SB
Falcons did and we saw what happened to them

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I really think the sample size is just too small to say this for certain. I mean it took some seriously bad luck for the 2007 Pats, 2016 Falcons and 2000 Rams not to on the list of SB champs. Any of those could have easily won.

I also think the fact that so many of those teams did win titles around the seasons they were on that list means they were absolutely built for the playoffs, but were hit by some bad luck.

Luck is a major part of the playoffs that no one wants to talk about. The Niners got lucky af that Reynolds dropped the 4th and 2, the ball bounded off Vildor’s head right to Aiyuk, and we got crossed up on a hand-off and Gibbs fumbled. I mean, you want to erase a 17 point deficit without having to really do anything? There you go.

I also think that to give our team as it’s currently constructed the best chance at winning, our offense needs to be bordering on the supernatural. That will pretty much guarantee us a playoff spot and potentially a high seed, based on precedent. From there it’s about navigating the ups and downs of the tournament.

I think an awesome offense and non-shitty defense is absolutely the way for us to try and go.

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I want our team to be like the 2021-2018 SB winners
Top offense and very good defense
But I will be happy with a top 3 offense and a defense in the top 15

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AG’s got your back :slight_smile:

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The Falcons got there with a #1 offense, then they met a team that was just too balanced on offense and defense. Their defense came back to haunt them

Totally agree. In addition to the defensive variance reasons that we have discussed, offense are also better able to work around injuries given that they dictate rather than react.