Remember back in the day in the NFL where the phrase was offense wins games and defense wins championships? Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth in today’s NFL. It should be changed to defense wins games and offense wins championships. This has seemed to be the case for the last few years in the NFL and other sports for that matter.
There is a lot of proof in the pudding and a lot of stats to back up this statement as to why this is the case. Remember when the Buffalo Bills were going to seal the win with 13 seconds remaining against the Kansas City Chiefs? Well, Buffalo gave up the tying field goal and also lost on the first possession in overtime 42-36.
The Bills had the top-ranked defense in the NFL throughout the regular season. If the defense does win championships, then why didn’t they make a stop when it mattered the most? That’s what I thought. Defense wins games, offense wins championships.
Let’s see where each team ranked on offense and defense that is left in the NFL Playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals: Offense: 13th Defense: 18th
Kansas City Chiefs: Offense: 3rd Defense: 27th
San Francisco 49ers: Offense: 7th Defense: 3rd
Los Angeles Rams: Offense: 9th Defense: 17th
So, three of these teams have a top 10 offense and only one has a top 10 defense. Do you want to know how many teams who missed the playoffs had a top 10 offense? Only two teams, the Los Angeles Chargers (4th) and the Baltimore Ravens (7th).
Do you want to know how many teams in the NFL missed the playoffs with a top 10 defense? Five teams: the Carolina Panthers (2nd), the Cleveland Browns (5th), the Chicago Bears (6th), the New Orleans Saints (7th), and the Denver Broncos (8th).
Where did these teams rank offensively that missed the postseason? Carolina ranked 30th, Cleveland ranked 18th, Denver ranked 19th, Chicago ranked 24th, and New Orleans ranked 28th.
That is not a recipe for winning championships in today’s NFL with an offensive-minded league. The game has changed. You have to play some defense, but time and time again over the past several years, more top 10 teams with offenses than defenses are making it in the final four of the NFL every single year now it seems like.
I would rather have a top-ranked offense and a bottom-ranked defense in today’s NFL like the Kansas City Chiefs to make it far rather than a top-ranked defense and a bottom-ranked offense like the Carolina Panthers.
-Glenn Kaplan, 12oz Sports Contributor, Live Monday’s at 3 p.m. ET & Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on 12oz Sports
Photo Credit: Twitter @Chiefs