FanPost

Sorry guys...Defense doesn't win championships anymore.

It is a cliche that is heard repeatedly. Defense wins championships. It is tried and true. Except, it isn't anymore. We don't hear that now. In today's NFL all anybody wants to talk about is offense. Offense is what wins now, right? Look at the last few Super Bowl winners: Packers, Saints, Steelers, Giants, Colts, and Patriots. Every one of them with a with a potential Hall of Fame level quarterback. So offense wins championships, right? Nope. So if offense doesn't win championships and defense doesn't win championships what does? Teams win championships.

It is easy and simplistic to pick one side of the ball and say that is what wins. Analysts love things that are easy and simplistic. It is also catchy. And most importantly it is sexy to look at offenses. But why don't we look a little closer at these last few winners.

2010 Packers

It is the Packers with Aaron Rodgers. It must be all about the offense. He had one of the greatest seasons ever this year. Their offense was unstoppable this season. And that defense is pathetic. The difference is we aren't talking about this year. We are talking about last year. And last season the defense wasn't pathetic. It was borderline awesome.

Defense:

Points allowed: 2nd

Yards allowed: 5th

Take Aways: 3rd

Offense:

Points: 10th

Yards: 9th

Turnovers: 9th

Wow, if I knew nothing about the amazing Aaron Rodgers (which he is) and his super offense I would say that looks like a well balanced but defensive based team. A team balanced enough to win a Super Bowl and they did.

2009 Saints

This is the one team that comes the closest to ruining my entire post. They were an offensive team. They gave up a lot of points and a lot of yards on defense. But they also led the league in takeaways. Who needs a three and out when you can just get an interception or a fumble on a regular basis.

Defense:

Points allowed: 20th

Yards allowed: 25th

Take Aways: 1st

Offense:

Points: 1st

Yards: 1st

Turnovers: 9th

This team was opportunistic on defense. The defense gave the offense extra possessions by creating turnovers. And in my opinion, knowing that the defense didn't have a great chance at stopping the Colts the Saints kicked a brilliant onside kick coming out of halftime in the Super Bowl. I believe that is a special teams play, not an offensive play. That makes them a balanced team.

2008 Steelers

Now this team was way back three years ago. I know most of us don't really remember that far back. I know to an analyst that might as well have been prior to the invention of the forward pass. Because defense is dead and has been for a long time.

Defense:

Points allowed: 1st

Yards allowed: 1st

Take Aways: 4th

Offense:

Points: 20th

Yards: 22nd

Turnovers: 11th

This is clearly a defensive team. Without a doubt. But I am sure the team they played was another defensive minded team that lucked in. Oh wait they beat a top 5 offense in the Arizona Cardinals who had a bottom 3rd defense. This Steelers team is probably the most 1 dimensional defensive team to win the Super Bowl in the last 10 years. But they got hot in the playoffs and ranked 2nd in points scored in the post season that year. That makes them a well balanced team.

2007 Patriots Giants

The Patriots were an offensive juggernaut. There was no team that could beat them. Oh wait, sorry. The Giants were basically a kind of average middle of the pack team during the regular season. Balanced between offense and defense but average. Then the playoffs started. Eli jumped to another level and his stats went up in basically every category. But, they actually averaged slightly less points per game in the playoffs than they did in the regular season. However, their defense jumped up to a tie for 1st in fewest points allowed per game.

Defense:

Points allowed: 17th

Yards allowed: 7th

Take Aways: 22nd

Offense:

Points: 14th

Yards: 16th

Turnovers: 14th

The Giants were a well balanced team that had a lights out defensive run through the playoffs. Not to mention some magic from Eli and his little friend in the Super Bowl. They held the record breaking Pats offense to 14 points in the Super Bowl but it took the entire team to win it.

2006 Colts

Much like the 2009 Saints this team tried to ruin my post. They were an offensive team that had a somewhat opportunistic defense that created some turnovers. At least during the regular season they were. Then the playoffs started and something crazy happened. The Colts turned into super defense. They only gave up 6 and 8 points in their first two playoff games and averaged giving up nearly 100 yards per game less than the regular season.

Defense:

Points allowed: 23rd

Yards allowed: 21st

Take Aways: 8th

Offense:

Points: 2nd

Yards: 3rd

Turnovers: 6th

The Colts were not a well balanced team during the regular season but for the playoffs Peyton finally had a team.

2005 Steelers

Another well balanced but defensive team.

Defense:

Points allowed: 3rd

Yards allowed: 4th

Take Aways: 13th

Offense:

Points: 9th

Yards: 15th

Turnovers: 6th

2004 Patriots

Just an overall well balanced team.

Defense:

Points allowed: 2

Yards allowed: 9

Take Aways: 1

Offense:

Points: 4

Yards: 7

Turnovers: 9

2003 Patriots

Pretty balanced but clearly leaning on the defense.

Defense:

Points allowed: 1

Yards allowed: 7

Take Aways: 3

Offense:

Points: 12

Yards: 17

Turnovers: 6

2002 Bucs

Defense:

Points allowed: 1

Yards allowed: 1

Offense:

Points: 18

Yards: 24

Turnovers: *

*The place I was getting that stat from stopped at 2003

2001 Patriots

Defense:

Points allowed:6

Yards allowed: 24

Take Aways: *

Offense:

Points: 6

Yards: 19

Turnovers: *

2000 Ravens

Defense:

Points allowed: 1

Yards allowed: 2

Take Aways: *

Offense:

Points: 14

Yards: 16

Turnovers: *

Over the last 11 Super Bowls a team that was ranked #1 in one of the defensive categories won 6 times. Teams that were ranked #1 in one of the offensive categories won 1 time. Teams that I would say were clearly leaning toward the defensive side won 5. Teams that were clearly leaning offensive won 2. Teams that I would say are balanced won 4, however, I would say that all of the teams were pretty balanced in their own way. Even if they weren't balanced in the regular season they certainly picked it up in the playoffs.

2011 49ers

Clearly a defensive leaning team. But just outside the top 10 in the most important offensive category (points scored) and number 1 in another. I didn't include special teams in any of the analysis but the 49ers are number 1 in several of those categories as well. This is a very good and well balanced team.

Defense:

Points allowed: 2

Yards allowed: 4

Take Aways: 1(t)

Offense:

Points: 11

Yards: 26

Turnovers: 1

2011 Saints

Clearly an offensive team. Just outside the top 10 in the most important defensive category though (points allowed). The Saints also have a good kicker and returner.

Defense:

Points allowed: 13

Yards allowed: 24

Take Aways: 31

Offense:

Points: 2

Yards: 1

Turnovers: 7

Both the 49ers and the Saints are pretty balanced teams that do tend to favor one side of the ball. The game between the two will come down to who can execute their game plan better and probably who gets a few of the breaks to go their way. Either team can win it all by playing their game and getting improvement in just one area. If they Saints can get some turnovers a repeat of 2009 would not be surprising. If the 49ers can just execute in the red zone then they will be able to put up more than enough points to beat anybody anywhere.

In this era of the offense it takes more than a lot of yards to win a Super Bowl. But rarely do teams win it all without having all facets of the game working right. Defense doesn't win championships. Offense doesn't win championships. Teams win championships.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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