EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 19, 2011

Protect Brady and Lombardi Trophy is theirs

I expect famed former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, a winner of three NFL championships and two Super Bowls, to roll over in his New Jersey grave when he gets wind of my proclamation, as obvious at is now appears:

Offense wins championships.

True, your New England Patriots have won nothing — 11 wins in 14 regular season games unfortunately doesn't get you much respect around these parts. Another loss in early January to some New York Jets-like outfit could make this season seem more like the one the Indianapolis Colts are playing in this season.

That being said, the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders and bordering on Super Bowl co-favorites.

And, to simplify things, it's all on one guy: Tom Brady.

Old-timers who actually remember Lombardi don't want to hear this, but it's probably true. Defense doesn't mean as much as it used in this sport. Sure, it helps. But in the end, a few guys on a short list, like Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, appear to have the ability to carve up any defense. Even those piddily units like the 1985 Chicago Bears or 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers.

And after yesterday's NFL action you could make the assumption that three best teams in the NFL are the Packers, Saints and Patriots — the same franchises with those MVP quarterbacks and the same teams averaging 35.8, 31.9 and 30.5 points per game, respectively — and quite possibly in that order.

The Packers, Saints and Patriots have something else in common, besides their All-American QBs. Their defenses, for lack of a better description, stink. Well, in terms of yards allowed, that is, as the Saints rank 27th, while the Packers are 30th and the Patriots are 31st.

But those defensive stats aren't as pathetic when compared to points allowed where the Patriots (21.0) rank a semi-respectable 14th, compared to the Packers (21.4) at 16th and the Saints (22.0) at 17th.

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