Defense wins championships.
It’s not just a saying any more.
Nate Silver, the analyst/statistician who most accurately predicted the 2012 US elections, has weighed in on the Super Bowl and what he finds is that defense wins championships.
For that reason, he’s picking the San Francisco 49ers to win it over the Baltimore Ravens.
While I’m certain Silver could guess the points scored as well, he doesn’t make that jump in his New York Times article.
Silver found that the teams with the best defenses tended to win the Super Bowl more, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t pull off an upset:
…while the 49ers had the better offense and defense, the Ravens had the best special teams in the league this year. If they do pull off the upset, on the heels of Steve Weatherford’s game-changing performance for the Giants in last year’s Super Bowl, perhaps it will be time for a new cliché: punters win championships. But don’t count on that.
Special teams can always be a big deal and if John Harbaugh’s expert unit does make a major difference in the game, then maybe the next best prediction will be an increase of emphasis on special teams from a head coaching and statistician standpoint.