Monday, January 14, 2013

Defense Wins Championships? Don't Even Ask About Special Teams

In the divisional round of the NFL playoffs this weekend, the LOSING teams averaged 30.5 points a game.

Once upon a time not so long ago, the 1980s to be specific, teams that returned an interception for a touchdown won 87 percent of the time. Last weekend, it was 50 percent.

Win the turnover battle? Again, 50 percent.

A team that had two kick returns for touchdowns by the same player lost.

About the only NFL this-stat-equals-a-win cliche that didn't die a swift death in those four games is that the team which ran for the most yardage went four for four. Of course, in three of 'em, the winner also passed for more yardage, so perhaps that cliche is moot, too.

But enough of all these dry statistics. To best describe playoff football 2013, let's try a phrase from the Associated Press. "Aaron Rodgers... never got in synch as he finished by completing 26 of 59 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns."

Poor guy just never got untracked. Five Super Bowl MVPs, including Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVI, didn't pass for 257 yards, but now, it's quarterbacking for the Paloookaville franchise (probably the Jags'll move there).

What to make of this I do not know. But I am willing to make a prediction for the rest of the playoffs. You'll see one of the remaining four teams run the Wing-T formation before you'll see an under bet.


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