Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl mismatch note of the day

There have been 18 teams in the first 41 Super Bowls which, when compared to league average, had both a better offense and a better defense (by points scored/allowed) than their opponents. Those teams are 14-4. Two of the four losses were the Colts and Vikings, the last two years that the leagues were separate, so the competition levels were distinct. The last one to lose was Washington in 1983.

In all of the cases, one side or the other was fairly close. In 1968, Baltimore's defense was 44% better than the Jets, compared to the leagues in which they played, but their offense was only 3.6% better. The biggest cumulative disparity so far was the 1975 Steelers, whose offense was 6.6% better than Dallas', and whose defense was 39.6% better, a total of 46.2%.

The Patriots offense was 57.9% better than the Giants. The Patriots defense was 21.9% than the Giants.

The cumulative disparity of 79.8% is far and away the largest in Super Bowl history.

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