If you have listened to 950, KJR's Locked on Sports this is one of my hot topics. Other then the NBA where the phrase, "Defense wins Championships" is ture, this is the greatest misnomer in sports.
In the NBA it is true, becasue everyone can score. In the NFL it is almost the opposite, everyone can defend.
Here are some numbers to prove my points. Thanks to the Sports economist for some of these.
Over 1970-2000, only 10 of 31 Super Bowl winners had higher ranked defenses than offenses. Only 22 of 62 AFC and NFC champions had higher ranked defenses than offenses.
Since 1970, Of the 10 best defensive teams Four of the top ten did not even make the conference championship game. On the other side of the coin, 6 of the top 10 offenses won the Super Bowl, 7 made the Super Bowl, and all but one made the conference championship.
Since 1980, only the Ravens could really be described as winning the championship with great defense and mediocre offense. Even they were pretty good. From Week 10 to the Super Bowl, a span of 11 games, the Ravens averaged 26.2 points per game, an output that would have ranked them # 5 in the NFL had they maintained it during the season.
I will add this. Rush defense is a strong barometer of championship potential. More than three-quarters of Super Bowl teams had a top-10 rush defense, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Nine of the past 14 participants were in the top five ...
So next time some commentator professes "Defensive wins Championships." Scream at the TV.