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  • Quality of NFL champions in aught years finally improving?

    OK, I thought the Ravens had the best team to win the SB this decade. Unfortunately, I think they also set the tone for something that has stripped the quality of play from the SB champions since the Ravens. When the Ravens won the SB in 2000, they let a lot of guys go...and it seemed like this ushered the "lean operations" concept into the NFL. It was probably only a matter of time since lean operations had been common in business and since CEO types are the same guys who own FB teams, it seemed a little inevitable. So when you look at teams in the 90s, all of those teams had balance. Practically all of those teams had to be able to run the ball, pass the ball and play defense. Whereas, if you look at the aught years, you can get away with only being good at 2 out of the 3.

    Also, there has been a dearth of QBs when looking at the aught years vs the 90s. In the 90s, you had Steve Young, Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, John Elway, Warren Moon, etc. In the aught years you have had Brady and Manning...although their seems to finally be an influx of quality QBs but for a lot of years there it was guys like Jay Fiedler and Josh McCown starting at QB for teams.

    It seems with the influx of talent at QB, its becoming more competitive and resulting in an arms race. Notice how the Patriots have more or less ditched their lean operations because they cant get away with that anymore. I think last years Colts was the best team to win the SB this decade and they werent even the best team last year (that would be the Chargers).

    I for one am glad that the quality of play from the top tier of teams is finally starting to improve.

    Thoughts...?

  • #2
    i eat hamburgers
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    • #3
      Originally posted by tsiguy96
      i puff the baloney pony
      fixed~~~~~
      Last edited by lex; 05-05-2007, 12:26 AM.

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      • #4
        ooooh you big hunk of man lovin goodness
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        • #5
          We shall see.

          Personally, I thought the Colts were an awful team last year; all offense and no D. Watching that error filled SB was painful, especially watching Chicagos D play their hearts out in a terrific game only to have their offense leave them hanging time and again. It was like watching a repeat of our season distilled into one horrible game. There weren't any solid teams last year, not like ours in the '90s, or the Cowboys, or the 'Niners, or the Pack when they won. The Chargers were the closest, but you could always point to the Saints secondary, or the Bears QB or the Eagles front seven. The good news it that leaves an opening for a truly good team (which I think ours can be) to go all the way.

          The Pats teams this decade have been the best, hands down; they ran well, they passed well to everyone, and their D was generally lethal, especially before Bruschis stroke. They're still the model Pro Team of today (sorry, ya'll, just callin' 'em like I see 'em). That's why I worry about our LBs; the Pats did it with solid D and playing hot potato with the ball, very much like the Colts did on offense last year. Shut down their run and their top two receivers and they can STILL beat you with solid D and the rest of their receivers.

          Apart from the Pats I can't think of any really great Champs this decade; the Steelers probably come closest, but Roethlisbergers showing he's more Warner than Elway, and their D ain't what it was against the pass. The Falcons won because their coach wrote the other teams playbook; we've seen what they've done since. The Giants probably shouldn't have been IN their SB, so it's hardly surprising the Ravens and their scary D handled them.
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          • #6
            I think part of it might have to do with the coaches. In my opinion the coaches now days are getting more creative than ever. The Pats have been so successfull becauase they can take an opponent off their game plan. Good coaches will find weaknesses and exploit them, and likewise cover up their own weaknesses. Execution of course is important, and talent is needed to succeed. I look back in the AFC championship game against Pitt. Talent wise I would not say they were far superior, but they exploited our defense and were able to build a big lead. I also think Joe Gibbs is not as successful anymore because the game is so much more complex than he is used to and he has not adjusted. I don't think there is one method anymore that is the best to winning. I think the arms race deal is because the new rules favor the offense. "Defense wins championships" I think is a cliche. Only 4 of the top 10 defenses last year made it to the playoffs. So I do think teams have been getting better over the years, but IMO a lot of it has to do with because the coaches are getting better as well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Morambar
              Personally, I thought the Colts were an awful team last year; all offense and no D. Watching that error filled SB was painful, especially watching Chicagos D play their hearts out in a terrific game only to have their offense leave them hanging time and again. It was like watching a repeat of our season distilled into one horrible game. There weren't any solid teams last year, not like ours in the '90s, or the Cowboys, or the 'Niners, or the Pack when they won. The Chargers were the closest, but you could always point to the Saints secondary, or the Bears QB or the Eagles front seven. The good news it that leaves an opening for a truly good team (which I think ours can be) to go all the way.

              The Pats teams this decade have been the best, hands down; they ran well, they passed well to everyone, and their D was generally lethal, especially before Bruschis stroke. They're still the model Pro Team of today (sorry, ya'll, just callin' 'em like I see 'em). That's why I worry about our LBs; the Pats did it with solid D and playing hot potato with the ball, very much like the Colts did on offense last year. Shut down their run and their top two receivers and they can STILL beat you with solid D and the rest of their receivers.

              Apart from the Pats I can't think of any really great Champs this decade; the Steelers probably come closest, but Roethlisbergers showing he's more Warner than Elway, and their D ain't what it was against the pass. The Falcons won because their coach wrote the other teams playbook; we've seen what they've done since. The Giants probably shouldn't have been IN their SB, so it's hardly surprising the Ravens and their scary D handled them.
              Sorry but the Patriots teams of this decade could not run the ball well. 2 of the 3 years they won they had Antowain Smith and his 3.whatever YPC and this actually underscores what Im saying about teams being deficient in at least 1 of the 3 areas. Actually, the Patriots would have had problems scoring against the 2000 Ravens. Like I said, the lack of balance would have made it a long day for Brady. The only year the Partiots may have had a chance against the 2000 Ravens was in 2004 when the acquired Cory Dillon. And actually, the Chargers had the most dimension of any team this decade including any of the Pats teams. I think if you go back over time, youll see that the team who wins the SB is more often the team that runs the ball best (and play D, of course) as opposed to pass the ball. Its not like the passing game is irrelevant either though and it certainly helps a lot to have an elite QB and like I said, there are only two who one could consider clear cut great QBs in recent years and thats Manning and Brady. And I think the lack of dimension Ive alluded to makes teams rely more heavily on their QB than before. Therefore having a Brad and Manning means more...its not that Brady or Manning are better. If you put them in the 90s with the other QBs I mentioned they would stand out less depending on how well put together their teams were...because it teams in the 90s were more complete than the teams in the aught years.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Br0nc0Buster
                I think part of it might have to do with the coaches. In my opinion the coaches now days are getting more creative than ever. The Pats have been so successfull becauase they can take an opponent off their game plan. Good coaches will find weaknesses and exploit them, and likewise cover up their own weaknesses. Execution of course is important, and talent is needed to succeed. I look back in the AFC championship game against Pitt. Talent wise I would not say they were far superior, but they exploited our defense and were able to build a big lead. I also think Joe Gibbs is not as successful anymore because the game is so much more complex than he is used to and he has not adjusted. I don't think there is one method anymore that is the best to winning. I think the arms race deal is because the new rules favor the offense. "Defense wins championships" I think is a cliche. Only 4 of the top 10 defenses last year made it to the playoffs. So I do think teams have been getting better over the years, but IMO a lot of it has to do with because the coaches are getting better as well.
                How is that? A lot of the great coaches today were also coaching a significant portion of the 90s. Besides Parcells and Gibbs both have actually done OK. Gibbs is now coaching a team that is put together by Snyder overpaying for individual parts, whereas when Gibbs was in Washington the first time, Beatherd was assembling a team as opposed to individual parts. Beathards handiwerk meshed better with the schematics of what Gibbs liked to do. Its a completely different regime for Gibbs now and your take is unfair for that reason. Also, all this stuff you described only comes into play because teams lack dimension. Take the Dallas Cowboys of the 90s for example. They had such good personnel that they would dominate the individual matchups were they to play any team of the aughts. Their Oline would be so dominant it wouldnt matter. The teams of the 90s, compared to teams of the aughts, would make it more about the Jimmies and the Joes and less about the 'X's and the 'O's. But among the other teams of the 90s the Xs and Os come into play more because the other teams also had better personnel (and maintained it).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Br0nc0Buster
                  I think part of it might have to do with the coaches. In my opinion the coaches now days are getting more creative than ever. The Pats have been so successfull becauase they can take an opponent off their game plan. Good coaches will find weaknesses and exploit them, and likewise cover up their own weaknesses. Execution of course is important, and talent is needed to succeed. I look back in the AFC championship game against Pitt. Talent wise I would not say they were far superior, but they exploited our defense and were able to build a big lead. I also think Joe Gibbs is not as successful anymore because the game is so much more complex than he is used to and he has not adjusted. I don't think there is one method anymore that is the best to winning. I think the arms race deal is because the new rules favor the offense. "Defense wins championships" I think is a cliche. Only 4 of the top 10 defenses last year made it to the playoffs. So I do think teams have been getting better over the years, but IMO a lot of it has to do with because the coaches are getting better as well.
                  I pretty much agree with this. Some stuff to add ...

                  To me, the last really solid superbowl teams that could dominate on both sides of the ball were Dallas and SF, mainly for 3 reasons:

                  1. The salary cap was implemented in 1994, and it started to bring parity in the league. Rich teams with wide markets could no longer stockpile talented players, and more often than not, they had to choose where to spend their cap. Teams could no longer be as balanced with talent on both offense and defense.

                  2. Bill Walsh's protege's. His offense which is misnomered but popularized as the west coast offense has greatly changed the game. It's a highly successful system that before, only the 49ers owned, but now, almost every team knows how to run it, and it works great against attacking defenses.

                  3. As mentioned by Br0nc0Buster, the rules now really favor the offense over the defense, with it's protection of the QB and receivers.

                  Because of these, there are no more superpowered, seemingly unbeatable teams.

                  I'm a Denver fan, but no way do I think their SB team was as balanced as SF or Dallas. Their defense blitzed a lot and took lots of chances. And during that game with GB, the offenses were gaining field possition and winning more of the time than the defenses. And that trend seems to continue.

                  These Pats teams were never as dominant as the Niners. High powered offenses usually win the SBs now. This Colts offense may be the best ever, but they do have help from the rules today; still, their defense is nowhere near the dominant NFC defenses before. And with the offenses and rules today, those NFC defenses wouldn't be as dominant either.

                  But I'm not complaining. Without the salary cap, tough for Denver to stockpile as much talented players as SF, etc; also offense makes for great tv.

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                  • #10
                    the reason teams are always deficient in one of the 3 areas is because players are demanding more money now then ever, and no team can afford to keep a full cast of all stars on their roster
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lex
                      How is that? A lot of the great coaches today were also coaching a significant portion of the 90s. Besides Parcells and Gibbs both have actually done OK. Gibbs is now coaching a team that is put together by Snyder overpaying for individual parts, whereas when Gibbs was in Washington the first time, Beatherd was assembling a team as opposed to individual parts. Beathards handiwerk meshed better with the schematics of what Gibbs liked to do. Its a completely different regime for Gibbs now and your take is unfair for that reason. Also, all this stuff you described only comes into play because teams lack dimension. Take the Dallas Cowboys of the 90s for example. They had such good personnel that they would dominate the individual matchups were they to play any team of the aughts. Their Oline would be so dominant it wouldnt matter. The teams of the 90s, compared to teams of the aughts, would make it more about the Jimmies and the Joes and less about the 'X's and the 'O's. But among the other teams of the 90s the Xs and Os come into play more because the other teams also had better personnel (and maintained it).
                      The salary cap was different back then. I don't see how what I said is much different. Back then teams could load up on talent and keep it because there were not really salary cap restrictions. It was more like college football where teams like the Cowboys could impose their will on anyone because they were so much more talented. Now days a team cannot do that. Every team has similar talent, some more than others. But there is much more parody in the NFL. I think these teams are getting better, but you are not going to see dynastys like the 90's Cowboys anymore. The Patriots did not do it with just talent, they had great coaching. The Cowboys had good coaching as well, but they were also far superior in talent. Snyder is a moron, but you cannot give Gibbs a pass because of that. He is not getting it done as a head coach in Washington. Loot at the Jets, Mangini took a crappy team to the playoffs. If you have solid coaching, you will at least be competitive, the Redskins are not.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Br0nc0Buster
                        The salary cap was different back then. I don't see how what I said is much different. Back then teams could load up on talent and keep it because there were not really salary cap restrictions. It was more like college football where teams like the Cowboys could impose their will on anyone because they were so much more talented. Now days a team cannot do that. Every team has similar talent, some more than others. But there is much more parody in the NFL. I think these teams are getting better, but you are not going to see dynastys like the 90's Cowboys anymore. The Patriots did not do it with just talent, they had great coaching. The Cowboys had good coaching as well, but they were also far superior in talent. Snyder is a moron, but you cannot give Gibbs a pass because of that. He is not getting it done as a head coach in Washington. Loot at the Jets, Mangini took a crappy team to the playoffs. If you have solid coaching, you will at least be competitive, the Redskins are not.
                        Its not as much the salary cap as it is lean operations...like I said. It also took good coaching back in the day. The best teams stayed there and it was harder to become an upper echelon team...you needed good coaches and the talent. The reason there is more P-A-R-I-T-Y is because of the lean operations. Non guaranteed contracts kind of offset the salary cap even though you still take hit for the SB. But you see a lot of teams that lose players who are well below the salary cap. Knowledge loss is a factor but at some positions more so than others and the knowledge loss becomes a bigger factor the more players you lose. And you certainly can give Gibbs a pass on the talent if you are going to hold him against his previous tenure. Again, you cant ignore the fact that there are different people in charge of personnel. Mangini, had a cream puff schedule. BTW, for your theory about good coaching to be correct, there wouldnt be so many teams making a run one year then stinking up the joint the next. Mora, Gruden, Fox, and several others have all had mixed success. If it takes great coaching to be successful, then what is that coach the next year when the team tanks? How do you reconcile that? You cant. Even though your observation is fairly common, it has holes and isnt exactly thought through as well as it should be.

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                        • #13
                          IMO the poster team for rebuilding in the salary cap striken era of the NFL, has to go to the 49'ers. They are young and many of the players on both sides of the ball have only known the Niners system.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ROCKIES
                            IMO the poster team for rebuilding in the salary cap striken era of the NFL, has to go to the 49'ers. They are young and many of the players on both sides of the ball have only known the Niners system.
                            I don't know, man. Ever since they fired Steve Marriucci after the 2002 season, the 49ers have had bad to really bad seasons. Because of their poor seasons, they've gotten great draft possitions, having the first pick in every round during 2005, and the 7th to 3rd pick every round in 2006. This year, they've again gotten great possition because of their poor record, having possitions ranging from 12 to 10 in every round of the draft.

                            It's much easier to build a strong team on both sides of the ball when you always pick high in the draft; just look at the powerful Chargers team now. At least the Chargers have been reaping dividends, the 49ers haven't.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by omac
                              I pretty much agree with this. Some stuff to add ...

                              To me, the last really solid superbowl teams that could dominate on both sides of the ball were Dallas and SF, mainly for 3 reasons:

                              1. The salary cap was implemented in 1994, and it started to bring parity in the league. Rich teams with wide markets could no longer stockpile talented players, and more often than not, they had to choose where to spend their cap. Teams could no longer be as balanced with talent on both offense and defense.

                              2. Bill Walsh's protege's. His offense which is misnomered but popularized as the west coast offense has greatly changed the game. It's a highly successful system that before, only the 49ers owned, but now, almost every team knows how to run it, and it works great against attacking defenses.

                              3. As mentioned by Br0nc0Buster, the rules now really favor the offense over the defense, with it's protection of the QB and receivers.

                              Because of these, there are no more superpowered, seemingly unbeatable teams.

                              I'm a Denver fan, but no way do I think their SB team was as balanced as SF or Dallas. Their defense blitzed a lot and took lots of chances. And during that game with GB, the offenses were gaining field possition and winning more of the time than the defenses. And that trend seems to continue.

                              These Pats teams were never as dominant as the Niners. High powered offenses usually win the SBs now. This Colts offense may be the best ever, but they do have help from the rules today; still, their defense is nowhere near the dominant NFC defenses before. And with the offenses and rules today, those NFC defenses wouldn't be as dominant either.

                              But I'm not complaining. Without the salary cap, tough for Denver to stockpile as much talented players as SF, etc; also offense makes for great tv.
                              The salary cap wasnt so much the issue as much as it was lean operations. When they first had the salary cap it was still about adding talent vs the lean operations era which was about paring down talent enough to get by.

                              Also, if you look at Denvers offense they didnt have the talent from man to man like SF or Dallas did but their offense was better (the 98 Broncos scored 500 pts as a run first team and outscored opponents 300-144 in first halves of games). Shanahan had a lot to do with that. With that kind of offense, youre right, Denver did take chances on defense but a lot of that was schematic because of how good their offense was. But if you look at Denvers personnel on defense, it could definitely be considered very good...just not as good as their offense which was great. Plus, whenever Denver played against staunch defenses in the playoffs, they would sill get 100 yards...againt, if you can dictate terms like that in your running game and you have Elway as a QB who can punish the defense, it allows you to take chances. But either way, none of the teams of the 00s can compete with the teams in the 90s that one SBs. Again, too much balance. Im not saying that they were not as good as Dal or SF in all areas but they were good at the very least and that goes for the Rams, the Packers, the Redskins, etc.

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