By John “Mugz” Muguerza / Reporter
Bigfoot, The Lochness Monster, The Apollo moon landings, and even Santa Claus. All myths that have been questioned by even the most intelligent of people, but a new one has been added to this list one that has been deemed true since the beginning of time…. “Defense wins championships!!!”
Yes I know, this has to be true but just like finding out Santa isn’t real there’s no easy way for me to break this to you. At least it’s no longer the case in the NFL where in the playoffs it’s one game, win or go home, and anything that can happen probably will happen kind of game. Unlike the three other major pro sports in this country ( MLB, NHL, NBA ) all have seven game series which allows teams to adjust to each other which most of the time has the best team win. The NFL post-season is a different beast though, one that is loved and feared all at the same time by its fans.
In the last four years the teams that have won the Super Bowl were ranked worse then their opponents in a key stat that most experts use to judge defenses “points allowed per game.” After the end of their respected 16 game schedule the 2009 the Colts were ranked 8th in the NFL at points allowed per game and lost to the Saints ranked 20th. This example has happened every year since. In 2010 the Packers ranked 2nd beat Steelers ranked 1st, 2011 Giants ranked 25th beat Patriots ranked 15th, and in 2012 Ravens ranked 13th beat 49ers ranked 2nd. To make things even more confusing last years number one overall ranked defense in total yards didn’t even make the playoffs (2012 Pittsburgh Steelers #1 ranked), and at the end of the 2013 season the 7th overall ranked total defense in the NFL has the worst record in the entire league (2-14 Houston Texans).
The obvious thing to blame for the death of this myth is all the recent rule changes that helps offenses score more and makes the game more exciting and entertaining. Now don’t get me wrong having a respectable defense doesn’t hurt, and there will be a top 5 ranked defense in the super bowl this year in the 49ers or Seahawks and the winner of the NFC will be the favorite to win the super bowl, but even these teams recognized the trend and importance of the QB position starting with the 49ers. They traded away Alex Smith to give the younger and more dynamic Colin Kaepernick not only the Starting QB job but essentially the future of the franchise.
The same can be said about Russell Wilson who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft and was looked at as more of a project then a starting QB at the time, but he would later go on to win the starting QB job instead of Matt Flynn who signed a 3 year/ $26 million deal with $10 million guarnteed in the same offseason. Some might say well Wilson was the better player and that’s easy to say now but at the time Wilson was unproven and never even played one snap in the NFL, compared to Flynn who was a veteran, and given a much larger contract to be the starter. What it came down to is Wilson was the better player and Seattle was willing to sit Flynn and eat his contract so that they can have a better chance to win, instead of forcing Flynn to play because he was making more money. Which is what happens in most of the time.
Instead of needing a great defense to win championships in this day of age in the NFL you need one of the two to happen for your team, 1. Have a great QB that makes great plays at the right time or 2. Have a good QB that makes great plays at the right time. Either way you need a QB that gets hot and rides that streak all the way to the promised land. Since February 1st, 2004 (Super bowl 38) Most if not all the QB’s that have won the Super Bowl will be in the Hall Of Fame or have more then enough time in their young careers to make their case for the H.O.F (Brady, Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger, Brees all future H.O.F) ( Flacco, Eli Manning, Rodgers possible H.O.F) Brady, Roethlisberger, Eli Manning are the only QB’s since SB 38 to have multiple championships.
The fact of the matter is the best team doesn’t always win, because anything can happen in one game, and thats all the playoffs are. A one game ,unpredictable, I cant believe that just happened kind of season! With the winners asking who’s next, and the loser saying where did we go wrong?
That is what makes the NFL so compelling to all of its fans, because it has everybody quoting Jim Carey from Dumb & Dumber “so your telling me there’s a chance!”