[Apologies to all of my readers who don’t care about football–I promise there will be lots of non-football content here soon. For the next seven months, actually…]
So, defense still wins championships. The historical pattern I alluded to in this post held true.
Given that history, what should a strong offensive team do when they find themselves facing a strong defensive team in the post-season?
Probably the best thing to do is run a bunch of unorthodox plays. In this case, since they were a famous passing offense, Denver should have used more running plays. And not just vanilla running plays; strange ones, like reverses, fake reverses, direct snaps to the running back, maybe some wildcat. I don’t know if Denver has a back-up quarterback who can run the option (they certainly did at one time) but that would have been useful.
The idea would be to make Seattle have to deal with stuff they had not prepared for and have not seen film on.
So, why don’t teams do this? Answer: if they do that and lose anyway, everyone will call the coaches morons for going away from their strength. Plus, why would you go away from your greatest strength on the biggest stage? Denver had arguably the greatest passing offense ever–certainly in the Top 3. It’s perfectly understandable why their coaches would be reluctant to abandon what worked all through the regular season and playoffs.
Still, risky though it is, I think that’s the best bet for a strong offensive team playing a strong defensive team: be as unconventional as possible.