Defense wins championships, or so they say. I may have to tend to agree. The 2015 Denver Broncos may have to agree too. They had one of the best defenses in NFL history in 2015. All the while having a less than average offense and they still won Super Bowl 50. Can this be the same again in 2016? Let us examine how the Broncos defense was so successful in 2015 and can they repeat that in 2016.
The Broncos defense ranked #1 in most statistical categories last season. Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips, deployed some of the best players in the NFL. Players like Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, Malik Jackson, TJ Ward, Chris Harris Jr., and Danny Trevathan all contributed to the solidity that was the Denver defense. They were tough to get through. Here are some of the defensive stats from 2015.
1st against the pass by averaging 199 yards per game.
1st in total defense average 283 yards per game.
1st in Sacks with a total of 52 with an average of 3.25 sacks per game.
4th in opponents scoring giving up an average of 18.5 points per game.
3rd in rushing giving up an average of 83 yards per game.
With a defense ranked this high in the five major categories on defense, the Denver Broncos did not have to go out and be spectacular on offense. They could get away with being a middle of the road offense and still win ball games. Were they winning them in spectacular fashion, not always. However, they were winning, and that was what mattered. Below are some of the less than stellar offensive statistics from 2015.
19th ranked scoring offense averaging 22 points per game. 2nd worst among the 50 Super Bowl Champions.
76.3 combined passer rating of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.
Led the league in interceptions with 23.
28th in passing TDs with 19.
17th in rushing offense averaging 107 yards per game.
So you see you can win games in the NFL when you don’t score points. However, to do it you must have a spectacular defense. If you can keep teams away from the end zone, you do not have to find it that often. Makes your job as an inept offense that much easier.
Will this be the case again for the Broncos in 2016? Are they going to have to rely more on their defense again to win them ball games? It is a possibility since there are major questions on offense. The bigger question is, will the defense hold up? The 2015 Denver Broncos are proof that defense breeds offense.
Statistics Courtesy of NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images