TVS: In-Depth Series: Does Defenses Still Win Championships?

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Welcome to theVikingsScoop In-Depth Series! This is the first article of the series, and today we’ll be looking into the saying, “Defense Wins Championships.”

All I have to say is, “Oh, really?”. Today I will be playing the role of Adam Savage in the Television series, The Myth Busters, so lets find out does defenses bring fans the openly beloved Lombardi Trophy.

With this article, we’ll be taking a 5 year sample, and breaking down stats, because stats never lie. Stats, however don’t always tell the whole story, but we’re here to give you most if not all of the story.

Would you prefer to go in ascending order from 2008-2013, or descending order from 2013-2008, when breaking down these stats? Although your preference matters in your household, now you’re in The Vikings Den. So, just like the hopes of many Minnesota Viking fans for the team’s future, we’re going to be breaking down these bad boys in ascending fashion.

Quick, name the last 5 NFL Superbowl winners.

Come on die hard NFL fan, you should know this. Back away, from Google searching, cheater.

Do you need more time?

Ok, Ok, I’ll help you out, gesh.

If you ever lose knowledge of who won a Superbowl and/or in which year, just bookmark this link.


At First Glance, the Superbowl Winners Strengths appear to be

  • 2008-2009: Defense
  • 2009-2010: Offense
  • 2010-2011: Offense
  • 2011-2012: Defense
  • 2012-2013: Defense

So 3 defensive winners at first glance, and 2 offensive winners. But is the first glance accurate?


At Second Glance, the winning team’s defense gave up the following points in the Superbowl:

  • 2008-2009: 23 points
  • 2009-2010:17 points
  • 2010-2011: 25 points
  • 2011-2012: 17 points
  • 2012-2013: 31 points

In the past 5 years, Superbowl Winning Defenses have given up an average of 22.6 points.

In retrospect, at second glance, the past 5 years, Superbowl Losing Defenses have given up:

  • 2008-2009: 27 points
  • 2009-2010:31 points
  • 2010-2011: 31 points
  • 2011-2012: 21 points
  • 2012-2013: 34 points

At second glance, the past 5 years, Superbowl Losing Defenses have given up an average of 28.8 points.,


Obviously the team that scores the most points wins. I highlighted the word team, because we only have taken two glances at the points given up by the Superbowl contending teams as a whole, but what about the points the defenses score? By the defense scoring, that means the offensive scores are actually less than the score indicates at first glance. So lets break down the defensive Superbowl scores during these five years.(Breakdown of the winning teams.)

  • 2008-2009: 6 defensive points (James Harrison 100yd Int TD Return)
  • 2009-2010:6 defensive points (T.Porter 74 yd. interception return)
  • 2010-2011: 6 defensive points (N.Collins 37 yd. interception return)
  • 2011-2012: 2 defensive points (Safety on T.Brady)
  • 2012-2013: 0 defensive points, but 6 special team points. (Jacboy Jones Kickoff Return for TD)

So, outside of the Kicker and Quarterback, Each Defensive/ST Superbowl winning team in the last 5 years, has scored points.

Further breakdown on Actual Offensive and Kicker Points of Superbowl Winning teams:

  • 2008-2009: 21 points
  • 2009-2010:25 points
  • 2010-2011: 25 points
  • 2011-2012: 19 points
  • 2012-2013: 28 points

Without those defensive/ST* points, the Superbowl winning teams would look like this:

  • 2008-2009: Cardinals 23-21
  • 2009-2010: Saints 25-17
  • 2010-2011: Packers-Steelers Tie. TBD in overtime.
  • 2011-2012: Giants 19-17
  • 2012-2013: 49ers 31-28

*=Excluding Kicker points

If you take away the Defensive/ST* scores from the past five Superbowls, 3 out of 5 games would have turned out differently. (Assuming, the Steelers win in OT against the Packers.) On a bigger scale, if you take away all of the offensive scoring from both teams, each Superbowl winning team of the last five years, would still be Superbowl champions, if only the Defensive/ST* points were counted.


Conclusion: Offenses are built to score. One offense outscoring another offense, doesn’t necessarily translate to a win for that team. Defenses are built to prevent scoring. But what truly wins championships is not Teams with Defenses that prevent scoring, although that’s a plus, but teams that build defenses that score and force takeaways. In today’s NFL, there’s not a true Shutdown Defense, like in the younger days of the NFL, so defenses will be scored against. It’s inevitable. But the defense that takes the punch from offenses, and swing back with a defensive TD or two,should boost your team to victory the majority of the time.


Relating this to the Vikings:

The Vikings have adequate offensive weapons built for their style of offense. Sure, adding more offensive weapons wouldn’t hurt, but the Vikings are built through Adrian Peterson. Helping Adrian Peterson score can be done in two ways. Either by drafting a vertical threat WR or building a defense to score points. And with Christian Ponder’s questionable deep accuracy, I strongly believe the Vikings best bet, is to build the defense to give the offense back the ball, hence more touches for Adrian Peterson.

My Personal Draft Hopes with the top 2 picks:

Rd 1 Pick 23: Sylvester Williams, DT, pressure up the Middle can lead to quick turnovers. Williams is just the guy to provide that pressure.

Rd 1 Pick 25: Author Brown, LB – The Best fit for the Minnesota Vikings’ scheme, In my opinion. 100+ tackler and one of the best coverage LBs in the Draft.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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