clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The NFL Version of the Miami Heat

Last week, after "The Decision" gripped America for the 2.5 seconds that it really mattered, Doug from Pro Football Reference (you know, those guys that have the greatest stat ever, Adjusted Net Passing Yards / Attempt) posed a great discussion question: What would the NFL equivalent to the Miami Heat be? Here's the setup:

The simplest way to look at it would be something like: 25% of the Heat's roster is superstars, so an NFL equivalent would have 11 or 12 all-pros. I realize that basketball and football are very different, but let's just go with that for now.

Sounds good to me. The NFL has a 53 man roster, so using an exact 25% would be 13 guys, but football has several specialists where the NBA has very few (since Craig Hodges retired a long time ago). With the premise of picking 12 All-Pros, and minimum salary players for the other 41 spots, could this team win the Super Bowl?

Doug's list of players is pretty good, but I'm going to make a few improvements to it:

Doug's Picks mgrex03's Picks
Player Pos Player Pos
Peyton Manning QB Peyton Manning QB
Chris Johnson RB Chris Johnson RB
Andre Johnson WR Andre Johnson WR
Ryan Clady OT MIchael Roos
Joe Thomas OT Joe Thomas OT
Jason Witten TE Dallas Clark TE
Jared Allen DE Dwight Freeney DE
Haloti Ngata DT DeMarcus Ware DE
Patrick Willis LB Patrick Willis LB
Jon Beason LB Nnamdi Asomugha CB
Darrelle Revis CB Darrelle Revis CB
Ed Reed S Ed Reed S

I think an argument can be made for this team dominating the league, and one where they'd get beat. Some reasons they'd dominate:

  • Edge Rushers like Freeney and Ware coming at you from both sides would make any QB quake in fear.
  • Even if they somehow find a way to stop the 2 DEs, they have to find a way to fit a pass in between the 2 best CB in the league, and the best ball-hawking S in football. Yikes.
  • Imagine that offense running the no-huddle. If the defense played a standard set, Manning would shred them to pieces. If they started running Nickel/Dime packages, you'll have Chris Johnson running free in the secondary.
  • Peyton Manning dominates despite not having a team like this around him. He can also turn minimum salary WRs into super stars.

Even with all this items, it definitely is not a sure thing they'd march through the season and win the Super Bowl. Some reasons why:

  • Football players get injured. A rough guess would be 3-4 of them would get injured throughout the season, making more minimum salary players starters.
  • The NFL playoffs are one game and done. Everyone has off days, and a team like this could have some trouble coming back if they all are off.
  • While stopping the run is less important that stopping the pass, this defense would have real issues stopping the run. The thought would be the team would never be trailing, so the opposing offense would have to pass, but that doesn't work 100% of the time.

So what do you think? Would this team be the same as the Miami Heat? And would this team dominate everyone else, winning the Super Bowl? Would you change any of the All-Pros?

Bonus Points for anyone with the time to put together a full roster with this premise.