A Recipe for Success…
Every year the world watches as another team is crowned a Super Bowl champion. Fans dream of how their team may someday hoist the Lombardi trophy. Will it be via a dominating defense and relentless rushing attack? Or by way of a franchise quarterback surrounded by an arsenal of offensive weapons? Let’s look back over the last 10 years to see how each team built their roster to eventually become the last team standing.
Here are the last 10 Super Bowl Winners:
- 2017 – Philladelphia
- 2016 – New England
- 2015 – Denver
- 2014 – New England
- 2013 – Seattle
- 2012 – Baltimore
- 2011 – NY Giants
- 2010 – Green Bay
- 2009 – New Orleans
- 2008 – Pittsburgh
At first glance, having a franchise QB gives you the best odds. Philly was an anomaly this year, and when Denver won, it was all about their defense as the once great Peyton Manning was on his last leg. When Seattle won their SB, it was mainly due to their defense and the bruising running style of one Marshawn Lynch. At that time Russel Wilson was more of a complimentary QB whereas, right now, he is an elite QB (author’s opinion).
Some may argue the Giants won their SB behind a stout defense. However, Eli Manning had a great playoff run in 2011 with a 65% completion percentage, 9 touchdowns and an average of 304.8 yards per game.
Unless you have an top tier elite QB like Brees, Rodgers, or Brady, your team must remain balanced.
I broke down each SB winning team’s rankings in terms of top scoring offense / scoring defense / top rushing attack:
- PITT: 20th/1st/23rd
- NO: 1st/20th/6th
- GB: 10th/2nd/24th
- NYG: 9th/25th/32nd
- BAL: 10th/13th/11th
- SEA: 8th/1st/4th
- NE: 4th/8th/18th
- DEN: 19th/4th/17th
- NE: 3rd/1st/7th
- PHIL: 3rd/4th/3rd
Defense Wins Championships:
The two worst defenses on that list were NY and NO, both ranked 25th & 20th in scoring defense the year they won the SB. NO had the top offense that year and NY was ranked 9th. The majority of the other SB winners were ranked no worse than 8th with the exception of Baltimore at 13. You can’t have a bad defense and expect to be playing in February.
The worst SB winning offense was Denver and Pittsburgh at 19th & 20th. Both of those squads had stellar defenses, however: Denver was 4th & Pitt was 1st that year. Every other SB winner had at least a top 10 offense. If your offense is mediocre, you MUST have an elite defense.
Pound the Rock:
As for the run game, the results varied. Four of the worst rushing attacks were Pittsburgh (23rd), GB (24th), NY (32nd), and NE (18th). Only four of the aforementioned SB winners had a top 10 rushing attack which I found interesting. Two of them were the past two SB winners.
What does this mean? Its hard to win a Lombardi with a bad defense. 7 of the 10 past SB winners had a top 10 defense. If you do not have an elite offense like Denver and Pittsburgh, you better have a top 5 defense.
8 of the 10 SB winners had a top 10 offense, so if you cannot score consistently, you will not be playing in February.
The last 2 SB winners had the 7th(NE) and 3rd(Philly) best rushing attack. Therefore, maybe a balanced ground game will be the new normal. Prior to 2016, only Seattle and New Orleans had a top 10 rushing offense.
Oakland’s Missing Ingredients:
For my money, the Oakland Raiders have the QB who, with the right weapons around him, has a great chance to deliver the Silver and Black to the promised land.
While Oakland still needs to improve their defense, it has been shown that a team does not need a top 5 defense to win it all. Get the running game back into the top 10 and that is the best way to protect #4 and win frigid playoff games come January.
Oakland is but a few players away from having an above average defense. The offense could benefit from a long term answer at the running back position and a set of sure hands to compliment Cooper’s big play ability. Plug these pieces in and get back to being a top 10 unit and the Silver & Black can hoist their 4th Lombardi in team history. Could it happen in 2019? Stay tuned…
Same Dish, Different Ingredients:
It’s clear that there is not one path to the Lombardi. Complimentary football always wins out regardless of what last year’s winning formula may have been. Putting your best players in positions to make plays while masking your weaknesses is a proven method for success in the NFL.
Written by: 303Raider