This is in response to the "Defense, Defense, Defense..... wins championships!!!" fan post a while back... which, I'm sorry, is simply not true. Oh it's not completely false either. Defense is important. But it's also not the end-all and be-all of winning a super bowl. Let's review recent history for some examples:
Last year, when the Steelers had the #1 defense in the league in points and the #2 in yards, even though the Packers were #2 in points and #4 in yards, and even though the Packers were slightly better in points per game, a decent bit better in overall yards per game, and significantly better in pass yards per game (this against the greatest weakness of the Steeler defense)... none of that mattered, the fact that the Steelers were better on defense meant that they were guaranteed to win the Super Bowl, right?
What about when the Cardinals had the 28th best points defense and the 19th best in yards, they were absolutely guaranteed to lose in the first round of the playoffs and if, by some insane miracle, they actually made the super bowl they were guaranteed to lose by at least 30 points, right?
What about when the Colts had the worst run defense in the league (by over 30 yards per game, no less!), had the 21st overall defense in yards, and 23rd overall in points? This in the year the Ravens led the league in defense in both points (by a large margin) and yards (also by a significant margin), the Patriots were #2 in points and #6 in yards, and the Bears were at #3 in points and #5 in yards. Obviously the Colts had NO chance whatsoever of getting past the Ravens, and if by some miracle they squeaked past the Ravens, the Patriots would surely clean up whatever was left... and even if, by some pure stroke of insane luck, they managed to make the Super Bowl, they'd face one of the better running duos in the league and have no chance whatsoever against the Bears. Blowout loss is absolutely guaranteed... right?
No, defense is not by ANY means the end-all and be-all of winning a championship.
You first need a competent management team (preferably a GM, but a competent owner or even a powerful head coach might suffice -- in theory at least) with a well-thought-out plan for success that they are allowed to execute.
Second, you need a trifecta of competent leadership for the team: a competent head coach, a competent offensive coordinator, and a competent defensive coordinator.
Third, you must have both a very good offensive and defensive line. Doesn't have to be elite (though that would be nice), but it must be very good.
Fourth, you must have a very good or elite QB. They are necessary, but if you don't have any of the above they aren't going to be elite because you won't get the maximum possible use out of them. Jordan Palmer has more chance of being elite behind a great OL (and with a great coach and OC) than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Drew Brees would have behind our OL from the last two years or with Bratsuckski calling the plays for him. Please note that I am NOT saying he WOULD be elite... just that his odds would be better.
Only then does the skill of the rest of the players become critical. And at that point, you need balance... you need a team that is at least decent in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams), and you need to be very good at at least one, preferably two of them.
That's the key to winning a championship.
So please don't insult our intelligence by insisting that the way for a Bengals team to win a championship is to draft a bunch of superstars on defense and nothing else matters. The only way the Bengals will win a Super Bowl is for Mike Brown to either A) leave and be replaced by a competent owner, B) become competent himself (hey, it's theoretically possible), C) hire a competent GM, or D) hire a competent coach/GM or give sufficient power to Marvin to give him a shot to prove he is such a creature after all. (Not that I expect he is, but again it's theoretically possible he is and has just been hamstrung by Mikey.)
After that, we need a competent coaching staff. We might actually already have that, but without drafting to a competent and well-thought-out plan for multiple years it still is extremely unlikely to be good enough.
Then we need to improve our OL, and probably the DL as well. I didn't say we shouldn't draft DL, btw... I just don't see it as the end-all and be-all of this one draft.
After all that, we need at least a good QB and a good offense and defense. Ideally we should have an elite QB while we're at it... but as the Steelers and Giants have proven, even a merely "quite good" QB is enough to get you into the game and give you a shot at winning.
If we can get (or find out after the fact that we already have -- yeah, not likely, but again theoretically possible) all of that, then maybe we'll have a shot at winning a Super Bowl someday.
What's the most critical first step to winning a championship?
Have a compentent owner, GM, or coach/GM in charge and with a good plan. (29 votes)
Have a great coaching staff (4 votes)
Have an elite QB (5 votes)
I'm stubborn. Facts won't change my mind. It's high average Time-of-Possession, of course! (0 votes)
I'm stubborn. Facts won't change my mind. It's defense, defense, defense, of course! (6 votes)
44 total votes