Defense Wins Championships, or Does It?

Over the past two decades, we've seen some absolutely dominant offenses. Who can forget Rodger's 15-1 2011 Packers (560 total points), the Brady-Moss 2007 Patriots (589 total Points), or Manning's swan song with the 2013 Broncos (606 total points). As a result, these teams ended up having some of the best records in football, however

Over the past two decades, we’ve seen some absolutely dominant offenses. Who can forget Rodger’s 15-1 2011 Packers (560 total points), the Brady-Moss 2007 Patriots (589 total Points), or Manning’s swan song with the 2013 Broncos (606 total points). As a result, these teams ended up having some of the best records in football, however none of them won the Super Bowl. The Packers didn’t even win a playoff game.

Bear Bryant’s old adage “defense wins championships,” is based in fact. Super Bowl XLVIII is a perfect case study: The Seahawks dismantled the record-setting Broncos 43-8 in one of the most lopsided Super Bowls in history. The 2002 Buccaneers – featuring defensive stars like Warren Sapp, Derrick Thomas, Simeon Rice, John Lynch and Ronde Barber – allowed only 196 points the entire season and handily beat the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl. An offense led by Brad Johnson and Mike Alstott didn’t light up the scoreboard, but that didn’t matter for the Bucs. 

This graphic allows you to compare the success of a team (wins or losses) to scoring data (points for, points against, or point differential). You can also select a specific team or look at all teams. The colors indicate the divisional rank at the end of each season.



Read More 145 Words

Six Vikings injured in preseason loss

Six Vikings injured in preseason loss

The Minnesota Vikings dropped a 14-10 decision to the Jacksonville Jagaurs on Saturday, but the losses could run deeper than just one preseason game.

Six players left the game and didn't return for the Vikings. Defensive end Ade Aruna (knee), offensive lineman Cedrick Lang

Six Vikings injured in preseason loss

The Minnesota Vikings dropped a 14-10 decision to the Jacksonville Jagaurs on Saturday, but the losses could run deeper than just one preseason game.

Six players left the game and didn’t return for the Vikings. Defensive end Ade Aruna (knee), offensive lineman Cedrick Lang (lower leg) and fullback Johnny Stanton (lower leg) all were carted off the field.

Additionally, cornerback Mackensie Alexander (ankle), center Josh Andrews (ankle) and wide receiver Jeff Badet (concussion) were sidelined during the game.

Coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that he expects some of the injuries to be season-ending. He said he already knew Lang’s injury would require surgery.

“The list was so long I don’t remember the exact number, so I’ll just wait until we put them on IR,” Zimmer said.

Alexander’s spot on the team was secure entering the game, but some of the players were still working for a roster spot.

“Yeah I feel bad for those guys because they come in here and work their rear ends off,” Zimmer said. “We had a huge number of injuries today. You never want your guys to get injured and it was kind of freaky things; we get rolled up on, it was unfortunate things today opposed to, you know [Jeff] Badet got hit in the head.”

Minnesota already was missing four offensive line starters: Mike Remmers (ankle), Rashod Hill (ankle), Pat Elflein (PUP) and Nick Easton (IR — neck). Zimmer said he expects Remmers to return next week and Elflein fairly soon.

–Field Level Media

Read More 199 Words

Seahawks can’t capitalize on chances, fall to Chargers, 24-14

Seahawks can't capitalize on chances, fall to Chargers, 24-14

Russell Wilson led Seattle to the red zone three times Saturday night on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, but the Seahawks couldn't capitalize on the opportunities, falling 24-14 in preseason action.

Wilson played the entire first half for the

Seahawks can’t capitalize on chances, fall to Chargers, 24-14

Russell Wilson led Seattle to the red zone three times Saturday night on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, but the Seahawks couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities, falling 24-14 in preseason action.

Wilson played the entire first half for the Seahawks, finishing 13-of-21 passing for 193 yards. He was sacked twice, including on a 3rd-and-3 play at the Chargers’ 13-yard line on the opening drive. The Seahawks settled for a field goal, just as they did at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter when Wilson’s pass on 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line, intended for tight end Nick Vannett, was incomplete.

In the second quarter, Wilson again led the Seahawks down the field, but Seattle came up empty when defensive end Melvin Ingram caused Seahawks running back Chris Carson to fumble at the Chargers’ 1-yard line.

Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers made his preseason debut for Los Angeles and played one quarter. He finished his night 6-of-7 passing for 62 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards and a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Read More 123 Words

Report: Martin knee injury doesn’t appear serious

Report: Martin knee injury doesn't appear serious

Panic likely set in for Dallas Cowboys fans Saturday when they saw All-Pro guard Zack Martin go down with an injury in the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury, however, does not appear to be serious.

Martin, who this offseason signed

Report: Martin knee injury doesn’t appear serious

Panic likely set in for Dallas Cowboys fans Saturday when they saw All-Pro guard Zack Martin go down with an injury in the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury, however, does not appear to be serious.

Martin, who this offseason signed a six-year extension with $40 million in guaranteed money, suffered the injury in the second quarter when Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick went low and saw his helmet hit Martin in the knee. Martin got up slowly and limped off the field. In the fourth quarter, he was back on the sideline.

Late Saturday, ESPN reported that he sustained a hyperextended left knee but would undergo an MRI on Sunday to confirm that.

“I’m not thinking that Zack is problematic here,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said after the game, according to ESPN.

The injury to Martin was one of several to Dallas players against Cincinnati.

Starting Dallas safety Xavier Woods left with a hamstring injury sustained when he nearly intercepted an Andy Dalton pass in the second quarter. The Cowboys’ other starting safety, Jeff Heath, is dealing with a low ankle sprain.

Rookie running back Bo Scarbrough, getting work as Ezekiel Elliott was held out, left with a hip injury, and defensive tackle Datone Jones injured his knee and did not return.

No word was given on the long-term prognosis on any of the players.

–Field Level Media

Read More 179 Words

NFL roundup: Cousins struggles in Vikings’ loss to Jaguars

NFL roundup: Cousins struggles in Vikings' loss to Jaguars

Kirk Cousins and Latavius Murray each had their fair share of troubles as the Minnesota Vikings lost 14-10 to the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason action Saturday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Cousins, coming off a perfect debut against Denver last

NFL roundup: Cousins struggles in Vikings’ loss to Jaguars

Kirk Cousins and Latavius Murray each had their fair share of troubles as the Minnesota Vikings lost 14-10 to the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason action Saturday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Cousins, coming off a perfect debut against Denver last week, completed 3 of 8 passes for 12 yards in playing four series. Murray, meanwhile, only gained 12 yards on six rushes, fumbling twice.

Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian didn’t fare much better for Minnesota, going 5-for-10 for 46 yards. Rookie running back Mike Boone had the most impressive day on offense, rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

Blake Bortles played the first half for the Jaguars and completed 12 of 20 passes for 159 yards along with throwing a pick. Leonard Fournette gained 12 yards on eight carries and added a touchdown.

Bears 24, Broncos 23

Backup quarterback Chase Daniel threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead Chicago to a come-from-behind win over Denver at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Daniel finished the night 19-of-28 passing for 189 yards and the two touchdowns. Mitchell Trubisky saw limited action and went 9-of-14 passing for 90 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

On the Denver side of the ball, quarterback Case Keenum was 8-of-13 passing for 78 yards. Chad Kelly cemented his spot as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster, finishing 7-of-9 for 90 yards and a touchdown pass. Former first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch struggled again, completing just 5 of 11 passes for 39 yards. He was sacked twice and heard the boos from the home crowd.

Chargers 24, Seahawks 14

Russell Wilson led Seattle to the red zone three times on the road against Los Angeles, but his team couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities in a loss.

Wilson played the entire first half for the Seahawks, finishing 13-of-21 passing for 193 yards. He was sacked twice, including on a 3rd-and-3 play at the Chargers’ 13-yard line on the opening drive.

Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers made his preseason debut for the Chargers and played one quarter. He finished his night 6-of-7 passing for 62 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Texans 16, Saints 13

Deshaun Watson continued to impress in his comeback from last season’s torn ACL, throwing for 73 yards and a touchdown in limited action as Houston beat visiting San Francisco.

Watson completed 5 of 8 passes, including a 1-yard strike to wide receiver Bruce Ellington in the first quarter to cap an 11-play, 79-yard scoring drive. The Texans saw starting cornerback Kevin Johnson and receiver Sammie Coates Jr. leave early with concussions.

San Francisco scored the first touchdown of the game when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed a 2-yard pass over the middle on 3rd-and-goal. Garoppolo finished the night with 10 of 12 completions for 136 yards. He also was intercepted once.

Buccaneers 30, Titans 14

Jameis Winston, perhaps entering a make-or-break season with Tampa Bay, threw for 226 yards and a pair of scores to lead his club in a rout at Tennessee.

Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, faced off against the man taken right behind him, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. But their nights were much, much different. While Mariota played only two series, Winston played the entire first half, leading Tampa Bay to a 20-7 lead at the break.

He completed 13 of 18 passes and compiled a 151.4 passer rating. While Mariota did not get much action, he made the most of it — 4-of-7 passing for 80 yards and a 47-yard scoring strike to second-year wide receiver Taywan Taylor in the first quarter.

Rams 19, Raiders 15

Set to open the regular season against each other on Sept. 10, Los Angeles and Oakland each rested many of their offensive starters in what ended up being a win for the hosts at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Without Jared Goff, Sean Mannion received the majority of the snaps for the Rams and completed 10 of 16 passes for 84 yards. John Kelly had 56 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for Los Angeles as star back Todd Gurley was held out.

Derek Carr didn’t see the field for the Raiders, but EJ Manuel went 10-for-16 for 89 yards and a touchdown. Connor Cook, competing with Manuel for the backup quarterback job, was 6-of-12 for 49 yards. Undrafted rookie Chris Warren led Oakland’s offense with 110 rushing yards and a score on 18 carries.

Bengals 21, Cowboys 13

Quarterback Jeff Driskel helped Cincinnati rally from a 10-0 halftime deficit to claim victory at Dallas.

Driskel completed 10 of 16 passes for 119 yards for Cincinnati. He led the team to two scoring drives in the third quarter.

Quarterback Dak Prescott went 10-of-15 for 86 yards and a score for the Cowboys, who saw Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin depart in the second quarter with a knee injury.

–Field Level Media

Read More 714 Words

Daniel leads Bears to 24-23 win over Broncos

Daniel leads Bears to 24-23 win over Broncos

Backup quarterback Chase Daniel threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Chicago Bears to a come-from-behind 24-23 win over Denver on Saturday night at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Trailing 23-10 entering the final period, Daniel hit Taquan Mizzell for a score

Daniel leads Bears to 24-23 win over Broncos

Backup quarterback Chase Daniel threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Chicago Bears to a come-from-behind 24-23 win over Denver on Saturday night at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Trailing 23-10 entering the final period, Daniel hit Taquan Mizzell for a score from 2 yards out with 4:38 on the clock, then followed with a 12-yard pass to Ben Braunecker with 1:53 remaining in the game. Daniel finished the night 19-of-28 passing for 189 yards and the two touchdowns.

Mitchell Trubisky saw limited action and went 9-of-14 passing for 90 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

On the Denver side of the ball, quarterback Case Keenum was 8-of-13 passing for 78 yards. Chad Kelly cemented his spot as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster, finishing 7-of-9 for 90 yards and a touchdown pass. Former first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch struggled again, completing just 5 of 11 passes for 39 yards. He was sacked twice and heard the boos from the home crowd.

Earlier this week, Denver general manager John Elway didn’t discount searching for a different quarterback to back up Keenum.

–Field Level Media

Read More 123 Words

End of content

No more pages to load