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Since I’ve been a writer here at The 3point conversion, I’ve had a strong stance on winning in the NFL. The old school outlook of “Defense wins championships” needs to be thrown out the window. My opinion is in today’s NFL it takes big plays to win games and eventually titles. Watching Superbowl 52 (and the rest of the playoffs) made me realize I’m closer to being right than wrong.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles combined for 1,151 total yards, 874 net passing yards, and nine touchdowns. All of those numbers are good for most ever in Superbowl history. The 277 rush yards combined would be second most in the big game.
The 1,151 total yards are more yards than the Miami Dolphins gained in the first four games of the season. The nine touchdowns would be more than the Seattle Seahawks in that same span. Nothing but scoring in the 52nd edition of the Superbowl.
Where was the defense?. Sure both teams made some plays on defense. A massive hit that sent Patriots’ wide reciever Brandin Cooks to the locker room with a concussion. Duron Harmon picking off a pass bobbled by Alshon Jeffery. Even a sack of Tom Brady on the Patriots penultimate drive. I would put that right into my “big plays” box.
Where was the sustained defense, the drive killers? Who was stopping who when the teams combined to convert 15 third downs into first downs? The aforementioned sack of Brady was the only sack in the game (tied for a record). How much defense was being played to force one (yes one) punt for the entire game? There was two pass attempts to quarterbacks in this game, and only one punt?
There are probably several more numbers I could dig up, but I think my point has been made. Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Jim Schwartz of the Eagles have great schemes that their teams have executed all season. The biggest game of the year might have been a bad time to have a terrible outing, though. Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles offense for winning the Superbowl. The defense, not so much.