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.



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Sherman: NFL ‘will be flag football soon’

Sherman: NFL 'will be flag football soon'

Richard Sherman took to Twitter Sunday to voice his dislike of the NFL's new helmet rule.

The veteran San Francisco cornerback blasted the new regulations in a series of tweets, and he proclamed the NFL "will be flag football soon" because of its

Sherman: NFL ‘will be flag football soon’

Richard Sherman took to Twitter Sunday to voice his dislike of the NFL’s new helmet rule.

The veteran San Francisco cornerback blasted the new regulations in a series of tweets, and he proclamed the NFL “will be flag football soon” because of its player-safety mandates.

“To all those ppl including those who made the rule. I want a video of YOU running full speed and being lead by anything but your head while also attempting to bring down a moving target,” Sherman, 30, wrote Sunday. “You will soon realize it’s impossible.”

He continued:

“There is no ‘make adjustment’ to the way you tackle. Even in a perfect form tackle the body is led by the head. The rule is idiotic And should be dismissed immediately. When you watch rugby players tackle they are still lead by their head. Will be flag football soon.”

The NFL owners approved the new helmet rule in March. It is now a penalty if a player lowers his head to “initiate and make contact with his helmet” against any part of an opponent’s body.

The policy applies to all players and results in a 15-yard penalty. A player also can be ejected.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bengals cut starting safety Iloka

Reports: Bengals cut starting safety Iloka

The Cincinnati Bengals surprisingly cut loose a secondary mainstay, releasing strong safety George Iloka, according to multiple NFL Network reports on Sunday.

The move just two weeks before the start of the regular season is a bit of a shock. The 28-year-old Iloka had

Reports: Bengals cut starting safety Iloka

The Cincinnati Bengals surprisingly cut loose a secondary mainstay, releasing strong safety George Iloka, according to multiple NFL Network reports on Sunday.

The move just two weeks before the start of the regular season is a bit of a shock. The 28-year-old Iloka had been full-time starter in Cincinnati for head coach Marvin Lewis since 2013.

NFL Media reporters Ian Rapaport and Mike Garafolo both called this decison mostly financial, with Garafolo saying that Iloka is owed $5.3 million in salary and roster bonuses for 2018, with Pro Football Talk reporting Iloka’s cap hit of $6.2 million will be reduced by $4.4 million once the move is official.

Originally a fifth-round pick from Boise State in 2012, Iloka has been a starter in all 76 games he has been active over the past five seasons, missing four games in 2015 because of ankle and groin injuries. He is coming off a year in which he had a career-best 80 tackles for the Bengals along with one interception.

In 83 career games, Iloka has totaled 343 tackles and nine interceptions.

Iloka took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to thank the team that drafted him.

“Thankful for the opportunity Cincinnati. To my former teammates, best of luck and stay healthy, you guys have something special brewing there,” he wrote.

The Bengals may have foreshadowed the move in this year’s draft when they chose Jessie Bates in the second round from Wake Forest. The rookie is competing for playing time along with Clayton Fejedelem, Shawn Williams and Brandon Wilson at safety.

–Field Level Media

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Report: RBs Peterson, Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

Report: RBs Peterson, Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

The Washington Redskins are bringing veteran free agent running backs Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darwka in for visits in hopes of replenishing an injury-depleted group.

Rookie second-round pick Derrius Guice is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered

Report: RBs Peterson, Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

The Washington Redskins are bringing veteran free agent running backs Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darwka in for visits in hopes of replenishing an injury-depleted group.

Rookie second-round pick Derrius Guice is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered in the team’s first preseason game. Coach Jay Gruden had hoped running backs Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall would be the answer, but both also sustained leg injuries in the exhibition game against the New York Jets on Thursday.

Perine is likely to miss one week, with Marshall out two to four weeks, according to reports.

Peterson, 33, will visit with the team on Monday, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Darkwa, 26, is set to work out for the team on Sunday. Charles, 31, will meet with team officials, according to the NFL Network.

Peterson was cut by Arizona in March after splitting the 2017 season with the Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. In 10 games (seven starts) with the two teams, Peterson rushed for 529 yards on 156 carries and two rushing touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl RB and four-time All-Pro.

Peterson, who starred for the Minnesota Vikings for his first 10 NFL seasons (2007-16), ranks 12th on the league’s all-time rushing list with 12,276 yards — just three yards behind Hall of Fame member Marshall Faulk. Peterson ranks tied for ninth in NFL annals with 99 rushing touchdowns, one behind Faulk and Shaun Alexander.

Last season, Darkwa gained 751 yards on 171 carries — an average of 4.4 yards — and scored five touchdowns for the New York Giants. He underwent surgery in May to remove a stabilizing plate in his leg.

Charles was a two-time first-team All-Pro selection in nine seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he played sparingly last season with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in 14 games but carried the ball only 69 times for 296 yards and one touchdown.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles QBs Wentz, Foles to split first-team practice reps

Eagles QBs Wentz, Foles to split first-team practice reps

Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles will start splitting first-team reps in practice, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Sunday according to multiple outlets.

That's a significant step for Wentz, who is coming back after suffering a season-ending knee

Eagles QBs Wentz, Foles to split first-team practice reps

Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles will start splitting first-team reps in practice, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Sunday according to multiple outlets.

That’s a significant step for Wentz, who is coming back after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 14 last season, and for Foles, who escaped Thursday’s preseason game against New England without a serious shoulder injury.

Wentz is “going to jump back into some team drills. Limited, obviously, part of his rehab,” Pederson said. “It’s big. It’s big to begin to evaluate him and see where he’s at and get him back in there with the guys. It’s still a slow process but at the same time it’s exciting for him.”

Pederson didn’t talk specifically about the status of Wentz’s knee, but he said he is throwing the ball well.

“What I can tell you is his arm is live, he’s moving around well at quarterback and he’s excited to get out there,” Pederson said of the 25-year-old quarterback. “Every day, he’ll get a little something.”

It remains unlikely Wentz will see preseason action, but he has not been ruled out as the Week 1 starter. If he isn’t ready, Pederson will turn to Foles, who was removed from Thursday’s preseason loss after hurting his throwing shoulder while getting strip-sacked by the Patriots.

Pederson said Sunday that Foles sustained a shoulder strain and is “fine.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: RBs Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

Report: RBs Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

The Washington Redskins are bringing veteran free agent running backs Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darwka in for visits in hopes of replenishing an injury-depleted group.

Rookie Derrius Guice is out for the season with torn ACL. Coach Jay Gruden had hoped running backs

Report: RBs Darkwa, Charles to visit Redskins

The Washington Redskins are bringing veteran free agent running backs Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darwka in for visits in hopes of replenishing an injury-depleted group.

Rookie Derrius Guice is out for the season with torn ACL. Coach Jay Gruden had hoped running backs Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall would be the answer, but both sustained leg injuries in the exhibition game against the New York Jets on Thursday. Perine is likely to miss one week, with Marshall out two to four weeks, according to reports.

Darkwa, 26, is set to work out for the team. Charles, 31, will meet with team officials, according to the NFL Network.

Last season, Darkwa gained 751 yards on 171 carries — an average of 4.4 yards — and scored five touchdowns for the New York Giants. He underwent surgery in May to remove a stabilizing plate in his leg.

Charles was a two-time first-team All-Pro selection in nine seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he played sparingly last season with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in 14 games but carried the ball only 69 times for 296 yards and one touchdown.

–Field Level Media

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