Offense sales tickets, defense wins championships. Although regular seasons are often highlighted by big plays and high scoring affairs, the postseason has proven time and time again to be a totally different animals. Teams with high-powered offenses may have what it take to make it to Super Bowl, but history suggests that it has rarely proven to be enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in victory.
Only four Super Bowl winners were led by dynamic offenses (Ram 00′ Colts 07′ Saints 10′ Packers 11′). Although all four of these teams were led by league MVPs they each had dynamic play makers on the defensive-side of the ball who made THE PLAY to seal the win ( London Fletcher, Rams 00′ Bob Sanders, Colts 07′ Tracy Porter, Saints 10′ & Clay Matthews 11‘).
History appears to be on the Seattle Seahawks side because of their dominant defense. Since the Seahawks offense has been pedestrian at times their defense led by the Legion of Boom will be relied on heavily to slow down the potent record-setting Broncos offense, a task they are more than capable of doing.
But history also suggests that the Denver Broncos armed with a league MVP certainly possess the essential ingredient of past Super Bowl teams who won without the luxury of having a dominant defense. Every team who has won a Super Bowl without a dominant defense were led by a Canton-bound league MVP quarterback, and Peyton Manning certainly fits that criteria to a tee.
When the clocks strikes zero and a champion is crowned history will repeat itself yet again. If the Seahawks win, the moniker defense wins championships will be affirmed. If the Broncos win, the league MVP Canton-bound quarterback exception will rain true as well, for the fifth time in 14 years.
How will Super Bowl XLVIII be remembered? Birth of a dynasty or the end of an era. Each Super Bowl has highlights that we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we witnessed it. What dynamic play will we witness on Superbowl Sunday that we all will add to our ever growing sports highlight list? Stay tuned… I know I will.
Tonight a champion was crowned but after the confetti and parades are done the real work begins for the National Champion Florida State Seminoles to defend their crown. Winning back-to-back titles will be more difficult than ever due to the 4-team playoffs which is debuting next year.
Although the Seminoles return Heisman winner Jameis Winston, we learned tonight that titles are won and lost in the trenches and in the secondary. The Seminoles will certainly be everyone’s Pre-Season #1 but who will be their biggest challengers in 2014?
- Florida State Seminoles: Why? Jameis Winston Why not? No Jernigan, Joyner, Green, or Shaw. Biggest reason: 4-team playoff.
- Oregon Ducks: Why? Marcus Mariota. Why not? Stanford Cardinals
- Auburn Tigers: Why? Marshall will only get better. Why not? Defensive coordinators having an entire off season to prepare.
- Ohio State: Why? Braxton Miller. Why not? Braxton Miller
- Oklahoma Sooners: Why? Budding star Trevor Knight. Why not? Saunders and Shepard are out of elgibility.
- Alabama Crimson Tide: Why? Nick Saban and Derrick Henry. Why not? No AJ Mcarrons, a questionable secondary and no pass rush.
- Stanford Cardinals: Why? Coach Shaw and the Stanford O-line. Why not? Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and no playmakers besides Montgomery.
- Baylor Bears: Why? Coach Briles and Bryce Petty. Why not? Defense still wins championships
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Why? Everett Gholston returns. Why not? Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix, and Zack Martin drafted in first round
- UCLA Bruins: Why? Brett Hundley and Coach Mora. Why not? Barr first pick in 2014 NFL Draft
- Georgia Bulldogs: Why? Marshall, Gurley, and experienced o-line. Why not? Aaron Murray graduated and Todd Grantham is still the DC
- LSU Tigers: Why? OC Cam Cameron and DC John Chavis. Why not? Ego Ferguson, Anthony Johnson, Jeremy Hill, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham play for pay in 2014
- Michigan State Spartans: Why? Connor Cook and DC Pat Narduzzi. Why not? No fly zone loses Darqueze Denard whose drafted by the New York Jets.
- Florida Gators: Why? 4-8. Why not? 4-8.
- Arizona State Sun Devils: Why? Taylor Kelly and Coach Graham 10-4. Why not? Will Sutton and Coach Graham
- Kansas State Wildcats: Why? Coach Snyder, Jake Walters, and All American Tyler Lockett. Why not? Scheme do not replace size and speed
- USC Trojans: Why? Embarrassment of riches. Why not? Coach Sarkistan is no Pete Carroll
- South Carolina Gamecocks: Why? No Jadaveon Clowney. Why not? No Conor Shaw.
- Texas A&M Aggies: Why? Coach Sumlin. Why not? No Jake Matthews, Johnny Manziel or Mike Evans. Can’t win if you can score and stop the other team from scoring
- Wisconsin Badgers: Why? All-American RB Gordon returns. Why not? Lose top 4 wr to graduation.
- Clemson Tigers: Why? OC Chad Morris. Why not? DC Brett Venables
- Oklahoma State Cowboys: Why? I’m a man, I’m 40. Why not? Coach Gundy.
- Ole Miss Rebels: Why? Bo Wallace, and the band of freshman get bigger stronger, smarter, faster. Why not? LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M
- Washington Huskies: Why? Coach Peterson. Why not? Coach Peterson
- Missouri Tigers: Why? Matt Mauk, Doriall Green-Beckham, and edge rushers galore. Why not? May sack the quarterback but can not stop the run
If a quarterback leads a franchise to three consecutive NFL Playoff appearance, he is often held in the highest esteem. After an 11-win season, Cincinnati Bengals fans should be showering Andy Dalton with praise and adulation not campaigning for him to exit stage right. Although pundits may appear to be justified in their stance fans from WHO DEY nation should be reminded of how putrid life was before Dalton, no playoff appearances and below .500 finishes.
For those who are calling for another quarterback, what better option do you have? The Washington Redskins Kirk Cousins no longer looks like a viable option after his struggles late in the season. New England Patriots Ryan Mallet is also unavailable considering the Brady era is almost near its end. And unless the Bengals unearth a late round gem, or sign Chicago Bears Josh McCown, the truth is Dalton gives you the best chance to win.
Despite the limited options, Dalton is far from a consolation prize. In his first 38 games Dalton he has went to three consecutive postseasons which is something that NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning cannot even boast. No one is calling for Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford or Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan‘s job, two $100 million dollar quarterbacks who have only been to the playoffs once.
Dalton certainly has room to grow, and this will certainly be a make-or-break season for him, and the time to get better starts now. He has the tools and now he has the time to refine his craft by improving his mechanics and decision making.
Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo has grown accustomed to hearing folks calling for his job, completely overlooking the numerous wins that came before the loss. Dalton has a bright future in the NFL, if Giovanni Bernard does not fumble the ball at the three or drop three balls then Dalton would be receiving the praise Luck and Kaepernick are receiving. Til then, Andy Dalton is Tony Romo 2.0. What will he do for an encore? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast