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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    In the past 30 years, there have been some true juggernaut offenses. The kind of high-flying passing games that put points on the board, filled stadiums with cheering fans, and won many games.

    The "Air Coryell" Chargers, with Dan Fouts throwing to Charlie Joiner, John Jefferson and Kellen Winslow...

    Dan Marino's Miami Dolphins, with Duper, Clayton and Moore...

    The 1998 Minnesota Vikings who, with Randall Cunningham throwing to Randy Moss and Chris Carter, scored 556 points...

    The GSOT Rams, with Warner, Faulk, Holt, Bruce, Proehl and Hakim...

    And, recently, Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts, with James, Harrison, Wayne and company...

    All great offenses, and all ultimately failed to win it all... with one exception.

    The 1999 Rams are the anomaly.

    So how did they buck the trend? I have two explanations.

    First, the element of surprise. For the most part, nobody saw that team coming until it was too late to adjust to their style.

    Second, a bit of luck/good fortune. The truth is, the 1999 Rams did come up against a defense that figured out how to stop them (Tampa). But Proehl's catch for the ages saved the day.

    This anomaly aside, it seems that the pattern is that great offenses are like that hot guy or girl that your mother warns you about: everybody wants them, but in the end they will break your heart.

    Why? I think the bottom line is that wide-open, high-flying offenses are great to watch, but are fragile. An opposing defense that can disrupt them, either with the pass rush or with an extra bump or two in the secondary, can stop, or at least sufficiently slow, these types of offenses.

    That's not to say a team should not throw the ball, and should not strive to have a high-scoring offense.

    But, in the end, the cliche and Tx are right. Defenses win championships. Its just that simple.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-17-2006 at 01:58 PM.


  2. #2
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    Excellent post! I truly enjoyed it!

    I agree with almost everything. However, having a great defense does not always win a championship.

    One case in point, the '99 bucs team you mentioned. And more recently the '05 bears.

    Also the 1999 Rams had a very good defense. I believe they were the #1 against the rush. So, in essence, it was not a complete anomaly.




  3. #3
    OrlandoPaceIsMyHero Guest

    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    Great post!

    Yeah - I think alot of those offenses try to live by outscoring their opponenets early and then playing keep-away on the score board with an OK defense... I think the difference with the 99 rams may have been their defense. Perhaps we were an anomaly of the salary cap era, where we had a bunch of players who were far undervalued for that year's contracts (Warner.. though green may have cost a ton, some of the defensive guys?). That would make us inordinantly good on both sides of the ball and could explain the exceptionalism of the '99 Rams.

    I also like your idea about the Bucs though.

    -OPIMH

  4. #4
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    So true AV, and a solid ground attack helps.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  5. #5
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    The difference is along with what was already stated was Faulk. Nobody had a "Marshal Faulk" on those teams. Granted Edge is real good but he isn't a "Faulk". Faulk was the key ingredient.
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Kudos to Jared Cook for saying what needed to be said about being outplayed and outcoached vs the Cards.

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    I agree, none of those teams had a Marshall Faulk, but they didn't lack for a running game (except, perhaps, the Marino Dolphins). The Chargers had Chuck Muncie, the Vikings had Robert Smith and the Colts, as you noted have Edge.

    I think the lesson learned is that teams that rely on the downfield passing game as their main weapon have a pattern of doing well in the regular season but then falling short in the end.

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    But, in the end, the cliche and Tx are right. Defenses win championships. Its just that simple.
    I agree....defenses do win championships. In fact, in the past 20 years, the SB champion has finished no worse than 8th in D scoring. And that trend will continue this year as all 4 finalists are ranked better than 8th. Keep points off the board, you're going to win, no question.

    However, there is something to be said for a team that can put points on the board as well. In fact, using the same ranking as D, in the past 20 years only 4 SB champions ('03 Pats, '02 Bucs, '00 Ravens, '90 Giants) have ranked below 8th in O scoring (12th, 18th, 14th, 15th respectively). And 11 of the past 20 SB champs have ranked either 1st or 2nd in O scoring.

    While defenses may win championships, concentrating on one side of the ball at the risk of the other side WILL lose them.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  8. #8
    rampete Guest

    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    ...not to mention the fact that during playoffs referees tend to go easy on marginal infractions in order to avoid having referee decisions being a factor in the outcome of those big games, which bolds well for physical and aggressive defenses...

  9. #9
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    Quote Originally Posted by rampete
    ...not to mention the fact that during playoffs referees tend to go easy on marginal infractions in order to avoid having referee decisions being a factor in the outcome of those big games, which bolds well for physical and aggressive defenses...
    Its interesting that this is true in other sports too. In the NBA, "playoff basketball" is far more physical than regular season games, to the detriment of "soft" teams like the current Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.

  10. #10
    bigredman Guest

    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    Absolutely true regarding the Bucs. It showed up again when we played the Patriots in the Super Bowl and every year after that. Martz just wouldn't change, and hyis arrogance cost him his job.

  11. #11
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The 1999 Anomaly (Or... why, in the end, Tx is right)

    Apparently, Don Coryell, Don Shula, Dennis Green and now, Tony Dungy, all share that arrogance.

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