Hear ye, hear ye: all rise to hear the case of Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the AFC, building an elite defense before building an elite offense.
Once upon a time, it was thought that elite defenses were the foundation of a championship team. Most fans have probably heard Bear Bryant’s famous axiom, “offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships“. Once upon a time, that was true.
Times change, and more importantly, so do rules. Over the course of the past few decades, the NFL has placed a premium on offensive football, leading to a number of rule changes over the years designed to produce more points on the scoreboard. As a result, there is no longer one way to build a championship-caliber NFL team. But, there is one way that is the most common.
Your Honor, the defense will concede that elite offenses are generally more successful in today’s NFL than elite defenses.
This tweet from Tej Seth spells it out pretty clearly:
It’s worth noting that in the past three Super Bowls, only the Los Angeles Rams had a top 10 defense with the San Francisco 49ers finishing just outside that category in the 2019 regular season.
The Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Los Angeles Chargers were last year’s top 5 scoring offenses. They had a combined regular-season record of 57-28, and the only team to miss the playoffs was the Chargers at 9-8. So, there’s another tick in the offense’s column.