Top 5 Defense=playoffs? Maybe not.
Just a study.
Top 5 defenses in the NFL for total yardage:
60% of these top 5 defenses DID NOT make the playoffs. Stretch it to top 10, and 50% of the top 10 DID NOT make it. NE was 9, Philly 10.
Bottom 5 yardage defenses:
40% of the teams given up the most yardage in the league made the playoff. Stretch it to bottom 10 and you get the same 40%.
Let's flip it.
Top 5 rushing offenses in the NFL:
80% of the top rushing teams in the NFL get into the playoffs. Stertch it to top 10, and it's still 80%. Interesting.
Let's look at the bottom five.
29. Tampa Bay
ZERO percent of the bottom rushing teams make the playoffs.
Let's look at total offense.
1. Kansas City
80% of the top 5 offenses in the league make the playoffs. NE was 6. Stretch that to top 10 Stretch that to top 10, and 90% of the top offenses in the league make the playoffs. Wow. 50% of the top 10 defenses make it, but NINETY PERCENT of the top 10 offenses make it. 40% of the bottom 5 defenses make it but ZERO percent of the bottom five offenses make it. Interesting.
Look at takeaways. 50% of the top 10 teams in takeaways made the playoffs. We were number 10. Conversely 60% of the teams who gave the fewest turnovers away made the playoffs as well. We were 12. Top 10 teams in differential giveaway to takeaway, 60% made the playoffs.
Let's look at time of possession.
So 80% of the top 5 teams in TOP made the playoffs. Stretch it to top 10, and the same holds true.
ZERO percent of the bottom 5 teams in TOP made the playoffs. We were 27. Stretch it to bottom 10, 20% of the teams made it to the playoffs. So if you are top 10 in TOP, you have an 80% chance of making the playoffs last year, if you are bottom 10, 20%. Interesting.
Let's look at scoring defense.
So 80% of the top 5 in scoring defense make the playoffs. Seems right. BUT, stretch it to top 10, and only 50% make it. FIFTY PERCENT.
Let's look at scoring offense:
So 80% of the top 5 scoring offenses in the league make the playoffs. Stretch it to top 10, and it's 70%. not as big a drop off as with scoring defenses.
So in looking at this, it seems pretty obvious that teams in the top in offensive categories such as rushing and TOP and scoring have a far greater chance of making the playoffs than teams in the top 10 in the same categories on defense. At least this was the case last year. I am obviously not doing a 10 year look back. Just what it would have taken last year. But as we know we are nowhere being NE, cause they are a dynasty, but you have a better chance of making the playoffs being top 10 in scoring offense than top 10 in scoring defense, last year. Looking at it, if you were at the bottom in the league in offensive TOP or rushing, you had pretty much no shot at the playofs. Hello us. If you were at the top, you were as good as in. Hello not us. Interesting it's always said that we were last in the league in total yards given up, and it's true but we were only 13 yards per game from what Indy gave up and 15 from Minnesota, both in the bottom 5, both in the playoffs. Difference is, both Indy and Minny were top 5 in the league in total offense, Indy was 1 in scoring offense and Minny was 6. Another difference was our defense was on the field the third most plays in the league, while our offense had one of the lowest TOPs in the league. I guess you can do the math on that one. Just wanted to take a look and see if defense was the end all be all to making the playoffs a few people keeping harping it to be. Seems like last year, a strong offense was better to have than a strong defense. Or you could be NE, and have both. But we aren't close to that now are we? It's also very interesting to note that the same 5 teams that led the league in rushing, led the league in TOP. they are also three of the top 5 in fewest plays on the field for the defense. Interesting.
Obviously you are going to get numerous individuals bringing the Ravens run to the SuperBowl into the conversation -- That said and interesting look would be to average the offensive ranking and the defensive ranking and see what that says -- but to respond to your thread
In essence I have to agree with you -- a top offense with a bad defense will get you into the playoffs more often than a top defense with a bad offense --
Once you make it to the playoffs I would say that the better defenses have the better chance of going deep into it.
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