The Super Bowl this year was yet another reminder that the NFL is an offensive-driven league. The rulebook heavily favors the offense, quarterbacks have more impact on the game, and just about everyone in the league is in search of the next bright, offensive-minded coach.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles had the two highest-scoring offenses in the league, and it’s no coincidence that they found themselves in the championship. In fact, if you look at this league’s recent history, the best chance you have at making a Super Bowl is to have a dominant offense... and that’s all that really matters:
where each team that has made the super bowl since 2012 ranks on offense and defense— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) February 8, 2023
only one below-average offense has made the super bowl in the past decade pic.twitter.com/yZedTljeB4
As you can see in the chart above, of the past 22 teams who reached the Super Bowl, 21 of them had an offense ranked 14th or better (by EPA), but six teams made the Super Bowl despite having a defense ranked 15th or worse.
The Detroit Lions find themselves right where you want to be. They finished the season with the fifth-highest scoring offense, and it was at its best towards the end of the year during their 8-2 stretch. And with the defense improving to middle-of-the-pack by the end of the season, one has to wonder if they’re in decent shape regardless of how they spend their offseason resources.
Which then begs the question: what if, instead of using high draft picks on a defense that is clearly behind the offense, the Lions opt to use a first-round draft pick to ensure that their offense remains top-tier next year and beyond?
That is the topic that kicks off this week’s midweek mailbag podcast.
Other topics this week include:
- Can the Lions follow the Eagles’ path to a three-year rebuild to Super Bowl? (8:00)
- Why are fans down on Chris Board? (11:15)
- Why the backlash to Scottie Montgomery taking the Buccaneers offensive coordinator interview? (16:30)
- Will the running game change at all under Montgomery? (21:40)
- Will there be any changes to the defensive line scheme this offseason? (23:45)
- The case for and against re-signing Jamaal Williams (28:45)
- Is there a big drop off from O’Cyrus Torrance and the rest of the NFL Draft guard class? (33:50)
- How much credit does owner Sheila Hamp deserve for the turnaround? (37:20)