Just a quick thought about the upcoming playoffs in the NFL.
Where is the Defense?
The old adage "defense wins championships" has been going the way of the dodo bird for a while now. Offense is the way of the league now. As a fan of great defense I am disappointed just how offense-centric the league has become.
But what about the Pittsburgh Steelers win last year you ask? If you think they won that game with defense, you watched a different game than I did. Lights out 2 minute offense won the Superbowl last year, not a shut down defense.
So why has defense gone away? Here are my top reasons:
-The rules and officiating today penalize defenders. There were two pass interference calls today against the Panthers in their game against the Patriots that were at best bad calls, and at worst just outrageous. Defenders cannot touch receivers after 5 yards, and really jamming at the line is a borderline holding call as well. The rules favor offense, it is clear.
-The talent level on offense is much greater than on defense. In years past I would say talent was well balanced between the two sides, now the offensive players are clearly levels above defenders. This becomes self-reinforcing as more and more talented players will go for offensive positions early on in their football careers (high school, college) further depleting defensive ranks.
-There seems to be a lack of interest in defense. By this I mean teams seem to be content to lay back and play "prevent" styles of defense rather than mix it up.
Add it up and defense is a fading art in the NFL. This makes games higher scoring, and to some more exciting, but without balance it resembles arena football.
Where are the Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis (in his prime), Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Tedy Bruschi level players? We need some defense!
Have a good night.