All the critics picked the teams with high-powered offenses to come away with the Ws this past weekend. This is a trend that never seems to fail no matter how many times it has been proven otherwise to the contrary. All season long both the Packers and Saints enjoyed stellar seasons from high-octane offenses led by Probowl QBs. Yet as we enter the championship games for both conferences, it’s the teams that were known more for their defensive prowess that came away with victories from both of those contests. The only team left that hasn’t been as impressive on that side of the ball all season is the Pats. I believe they will meet their demise at the hands of the Ravens this weekend as well.
Every year the media gets excited about teams that light up the score board throughout the regular season only to be disappointed once the playoffs start. You’d think some people would get the hint on what really works as far as winning championships in the NFL, but this is just a classic example of how easy it is for people to fall in love with the glamour side that offenses bring. As for me, I’m an old school kind of guy who still appreciates good, hard-hitting defense played by smash-mouthed football teams. The Niners shocked the world by beating a team in the Saints that was dropping 40 points a game on opponents over the last 4 weeks and avgd 34 pts a game for the season. The same held true for the Giants as they went into one of the most difficult venues in sports history and pulled off perhaps this weekend’s biggest shocker against the reigning SB champs. While this may have been a surprise for some, this wasn’t in the least bit for me. I went 4 for 4 in my predictions this weekend, and did it by sticking to the old adage that “defense wins championships.” We have seen this scenario played out entirely too many times to keep missing the point of this reality.
Over the years defensive Coordinators have gotten smarter, and more exotic with their schemes and packages in order to deal with the explosive, variations of the west coast, pass happy offenses of today's league. This is why there is a disturbing trend taking place by the NFL as far as steps it is taking to “protect” what it deems as “defenseless players.” In reality their ultimatum is to increase scoring. Hence the fact that no steps have been taken to protect defensive players from the dirty play of offensive players at all. In spite of the recent trends of today's league, it is my hope that Ryan Grigson and company will still take an old school approach when it comes to fixing the needs of the Colts as they embark on a new direction.