Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Old-school numbers suggest Patriots will meet Seahawks in Super Bowl

Ah, the 1970's.

Even then we called classic rock, "Classic Rock" - because we knew.  We knew that the 70's was destined to be a decade of turmoil and change that would launch America into a new industrial revolution, and give us just enough strength to survive the absurdity of the 80's.

Bands were hardcore - no screwing around with synthesizers or lip-syncing, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin led to Bachman Turner Overdrive, Rush and AC/DC - then merged into whatever that was in the 80's, but that was ok because we had our vinyl and our 8-tracks, and the music of the 70's steadily influenced bands popping up in the 90's...
Who wouldn't want to see Brady get another crack at Sherman?

...Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine - all have their roots based in the decade that gave us Watergate, the suffix "-gate" attached to every single act of dark malfeasance since, and even the world of professional football could not escape it's icy grip, as even the new century has reduced itself to the 70's lexicon when referring to indiscretions on the part of the New England Patriots and New Orleans' Saints.

Sadly, "Spygate" and "Bountygate" have joined with the Vince Lombardi Trophy as just about the only things identifiable of the  post-merger decade.  For instance, just about every team has changed their logo, just about every one has left their old stadiums for new digs and the old-time tough players of that long-ago era are either dead, dying or writing autobiographies.

But just like with music, the old-school style of football that dominated the decade hasn't been forgotten and is in fact enjoying a renaissance of sorts - and while the high-flying passing games that put up gaudy numbers on the stat sheet and on the scoreboard will always have it's place, the power running games that defined the 70's are on the comeback trail...

...because that's what wins championships - but not all by themselves, for championship teams have balance, where the run sets up the pass, and the pass compliments the run

Powerful running teams have always won championships as part of an overall balanced offense combined with an adequate defense, and that hasn't changed since the inception of the modern-day NFL - so a quick glance at the contestants of both conference championship games paints a pretty clear picture of why they are playing for their respective titles:

Denver Broncos:         #15 Rushing offense (461 attempts for 1873 yards)
                                  # 1  Passing offense (675 attempts for 5444 yards)
                                  # 1  Scoring offense
                                  #22 Scoring defense

New England Patriots:  # 9  Rushing offense (470 attempts for 2063 yards)
                                    #10 Passing offense (628 attempts for 4087 yards)
                                    #  3 Scoring Offense
                                    #10 Scoring Defense

San Francisco 49ers:    # 3 Rushing offense (505 attempts for 2201 yards)
                                    #30 Passing offense (417 attempts for 2979 yards)
                                    #11 Scoring offense
                                    #  3 Scoring defense

Seattle Seahawks:        # 4 Rushing offense (509 attempts for 2188 yards)
                                   #26 Passing offense (420 attempts for 3236 yards)
                                   # 8  Scoring offense
                                   # 1  Scoring defense

From this quick glance, one could reasonably expect that we will see the Seahawks and the Patriots in the Super Bowl, based purely on offensive balance and the scoring numbers, setting up what would be an epic battle in the big game...

...which is all purely bullshit, of course, because numbers rarely translate to the field of battle they way we want them to - but around the time you put the kids to bed on Sunday night, we should know if these numbers have any meaning at all.

And even then, it may all be just coincidence.

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