Best Superbowl ever? Let's talk

tims4wins

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My how the greats fade with age.

III, because, guarantee.

Consider:

  1. The Colts were 19-1/2 point favorites (I'd have to go back and check to see if that's the highest spread ever.)
  2. The Colts were 13-1, with an offense that was ranked second in most points scored (402) and a defense that ranked first in fewest points allowed (144 - tying the then-all time record)
  3. The Colts had lost only twice in their last 30 games.
  4. The Colts were inside the 20 five times in the first half and came away with 0 points (leading Bubba Smith to speculate the game was fixed).
  5. The Colts did not score until the 3:19 mark of the 4th quarter.
  6. Being named MVP notwithstanding, Namath was only 17 of 28 for 208 yards, and 0 TDs. But, perhaps most importantly...0 INTs, unlike his counterpart Earl Morrall, who threw 5.
A very subjective assessment could conclude that game saved (or at least legitimized) the AFL. But perhaps it didn't matter, as the 2 leagues merged after the following season.
With the caveat that I have never seen the game:
- It was a 2 score game for the entire second half
- 16-7 sounds pretty boring
- 5 interceptions speaks to a not very well played game by Baltimore
- The Pats were similarly discounted in 36, which was a better game that went down to the wire
- The Giants were similarly discounted in 42, which was also a better that went down to the wire

Maybe in terms of historical significance SB3 is the top SB. But in terms of the greatest? Yuck.
 

SoxJox

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With the caveat that I have never seen the game:
- It was a 2 score game for the entire second half
- 16-7 sounds pretty boring
- 5 interceptions speaks to a not very well played game by Baltimore
- The Pats were similarly discounted in 36, which was a better game that went down to the wire
- The Giants were similarly discounted in 42, which was also a better that went down to the wire

Maybe in terms of historical significance SB3 is the top SB. But in terms of the greatest? Yuck.
Yeah, I was looking more at the historical significance - larger than the game itself, which is, well, significant. :eyeroll:
 

CFB_Rules

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Pats-Seahawks is the answer, for reasons I've given before. Checks all the boxes.

The Pats were obviously great for years. Seattle was the defending SB champ on the verge of a dynasty.
The GOAT QB facing one of the best defenses of all time.
Pete Carroll facing his old team - in fact, the HCs in that game were the last two Patriots' HC.
Deflategate controversy
"Haven't won since Spygate"
Can Brady tie Montana with 4 SB titles?
Very well played, incredibly close game.
Featured what was then the biggest comeback in SB history.
So many great players involved in the game.
A bunch of great plays including all-timers in the Kearse catch and the Butler pick.
The Butler pick being the greatest play in Super Bowl (and NFL) history, given everything.
Came down to the last 20 seconds of the game, and literally either team could have won with 20 seconds left in the game; in fact, likely that the team that was BEHIND with 20 seconds left actually had the best chance of winning, but didn't.
The electricity in the crowd was amazing that day. They knew what they were seeing.

Just was epic in every single way. Best Super Bowl ever.
I'll add one more: It's the most watched Super Bowl of all-time as well. The people knew what they were getting and it delivered.

Maybe a separate thread, but I wonder if there is any play in any other sport that adjusted a team's % chance of winning a championship more than Malcolm Butler.
 

Average Reds

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I’ll go with Giants/Bills and Pats/Seahawks.

Tremendous back and forth in both games and the quality of play was extremely high until the last play.
 

tims4wins

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Al Zarilla

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I believe he was less than 50% on the year on 3rd and 1 / 4th and 1.

And then in the 2015 season opener I think he was also stuffed on 4th and 1 late in the game and the Hawks lost.
Sounds like what I've read. Collinsworth must have said at least three times "I don't understand that playcall." Michaels agreed with him every time. What do they know? Anyhow, thank you Bevell for calling the pass and Carroll for going along with it. Bevell threw Ricardo Lockette, intended receiver, under the bus for not going strong enough to the ball.

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Ralphwiggum

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As has been discussed here several times, because the Pats did not call timeout the Seahawks had to pass on either 2nd or 3rd down. If they ran on 2nd down and got stuffed then they would have had to pass on 3rd down and the Pats would have known it. Throwing the ball on 2nd down was the right call, the Pats just recognized the play and executed perfectly.
 

tims4wins

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As has been discussed here several times, because the Pats did not call timeout the Seahawks had to pass on either 2nd or 3rd down. If they ran on 2nd down and got stuffed then they would have had to pass on 3rd down and the Pats would have known it. Throwing the ball on 2nd down was the right call, the Pats just recognized the play and executed perfectly.
And thus, the timeout they called after the Kearse catch because they could not line up in time was far more costly than was recognized in real time.

Edit: they also had to call timeout before a 2nd and 10 play earlier on that drive at the 1:50 mark after an incompletion. That was also inexplicable. Just horrible situational game management.
 
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BaseballJones

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And thus, the timeout they called after the Kearse catch because they could not line up in time was far more costly than was recognized in real time.

Edit: they also had to call timeout before a 2nd and 10 play earlier on that drive at the 1:50 mark after an incompletion. That was also inexplicable. Just horrible situational game management.
Well at the time, did ANYONE think that using that timeout there would be problematic? I sure didn't. And when they got down to the five after the Kearse catch, still having two timeouts left and plenty of time to score, I didn't at all think that using a timeout earlier would in anyway come back to bite them.

I will say this: an unsung part of the Kearse play was Butler getting back up, not giving up on the play, and pushing Kearse out of bounds. Then on the next play, I think it was Hightower who cut down Lynch running off the left side for a would-be touchdown. Two great plays there that, as it turned out, saved the game.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I think for this thread to truly be interesting you'd have to remove your favorite team's wins. Of course all of you are voting for the Butler game, but the Tyree catch and the Foles game were amazing for the rest of the country. Those games will always go down as two of the best ever because of the situations around them.

Another one that I enjoyed was the 49ers-Ravens game in New Orleans when the power went out. I thought for sure SF was going to win that one.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The Hightower play is highlighted in Do Your Job 1. Lynch should have scored on that play. Hightower somehow shed a block and made an amazing tackle. That play definitely gets lost in the shuffle because of the next play, but it was an amazing individual effort.
 

BaseballJones

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I think for this thread to truly be interesting you'd have to remove your favorite team's wins. Of course all of you are voting for the Butler game, but the Tyree catch and the Foles game were amazing for the rest of the country. Those games will always go down as two of the best ever because of the situations around them.

Another one that I enjoyed was the 49ers-Ravens game in New Orleans when the power went out. I thought for sure SF was going to win that one.
Best non-Pats'-winning SBs, IMO:

Eagles over Pats
Giants over Pats I
And the right answer is: Steelers over Cardinals. In terms of how great a game it was, that tops the list. Not sure it had other boxes checked, but man it was an amazing game.
 

tims4wins

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Well at the time, did ANYONE think that using that timeout there would be problematic? I sure didn't. And when they got down to the five after the Kearse catch, still having two timeouts left and plenty of time to score, I didn't at all think that using a timeout earlier would in anyway come back to bite them.

I will say this: an unsung part of the Kearse play was Butler getting back up, not giving up on the play, and pushing Kearse out of bounds. Then on the next play, I think it was Hightower who cut down Lynch running off the left side for a would-be touchdown. Two great plays there that, as it turned out, saved the game.
Well BB is notorious for saving timeouts. You just never know. The timeout at 1:50 was ghastly.
 

tims4wins

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I think for this thread to truly be interesting you'd have to remove your favorite team's wins. Of course all of you are voting for the Butler game, but the Tyree catch and the Foles game were amazing for the rest of the country. Those games will always go down as two of the best ever because of the situations around them.

Another one that I enjoyed was the 49ers-Ravens game in New Orleans when the power went out. I thought for sure SF was going to win that one.
But were they amazing for the rest of the country because they were great games? Or because the hated Pats lost? Hard to separate. Pats-Eagles was a great game, but fails for me not because the Pats lost, but due to the lack of D. 42 simply wasn’t a great football game by any objective measure. If that game happens in week 8 no one cares. 46 was a far more entertaining game.
 

gammoseditor

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As has been discussed here several times, because the Pats did not call timeout the Seahawks had to pass on either 2nd or 3rd down. If they ran on 2nd down and got stuffed then they would have had to pass on 3rd down and the Pats would have known it. Throwing the ball on 2nd down was the right call, the Pats just recognized the play and executed perfectly.
Agreed, and the criticism of the play call has deflected criticism that should have been aimed at Russell Wilson. Reading Browner’s jam on the front receiver shouldn’t be difficult. The balls on the one yard line and you have two more chances. You can’t throw that ball unless it’s open.
 

AB in DC

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I think Broncos-Packers deserves more love in general. That was a great game between two elite teams that was really well played, close the whole way, had many big plays on both offense and defense as well as signature plays like the Elway run, and had all sorts of narratives - GB was a dynasty in the making that got stopped cold, Elway's redemption after the four SB losses, Mike Holmgren vs. Mike Shanahan, etc.
Not to mention the first time in 15-ish years that the AFC won a Super Bowl. For those of us growing up in the 1980s, we didn't have a single AFC win in our living memory until that game. This one had everything - great play, great storylines (Terrell Davis and his migraines), great coaching, enormous historical significance, all-time great personnel.

That one is easily the #1 on my list, followed by Steelers-Cardinals (I was on the edge of my seat the whole game despite not having any rooting interest) and Pats-Seahawks in some order.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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But were they amazing for the rest of the country because they were great games? Or because the hated Pats lost? Hard to separate. Pats-Eagles was a great game, but fails for me not because the Pats lost, but due to the lack of D. 42 simply wasn’t a great football game by any objective measure. If that game happens in week 8 no one cares. 46 was a far more entertaining game.
I mean, people are saying this year's game was amazing and it featured absolutely no defense. 42 probably wasn't a great game, I suppose, but it was a great finish and has one of the most memorable catches in the history of the sport.

Seahawks-Pats was interesting because it was the first time I can remember randos rooting for the Patriots. The Seahawks were not a liked team outside of the PNW.
 

Ed Hillel

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Well BB is notorious for saving timeouts. You just never know. The timeout at 1:50 was ghastly.
Which timeout? The clock stopped at 1:50 because of an incomplete pass.

Also, BB definitely should have used a timeout after the Lynch run. It's impossible to save more time on any given play than it would have saved them and the odds of inducing a turnover there a borderline miracle, but then I suppose we wouldn't have gotten the most memorable sports borderline miracle of our lifetimes.
 

tims4wins

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I mean, people are saying this year's game was amazing and it featured absolutely no defense. 42 probably wasn't a great game, I suppose, but it was a great finish and has one of the most memorable catches in the history of the sport.
I don't disagree, and this year's game probably makes the top 10 as well. But the discussion here is best ever. Obviously some of this will be subjective. But it's a high bar.
 

tims4wins

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Which timeout? The clock stopped at 1:50 because of an incomplete pass.
And then they called timeout. It was their 1st. Their 2nd was after the Kearse catch, thus leaving them with only one left.

View: https://youtu.be/0RFXLwZV_fA?t=7134


[TH]4[/TH] [TH]4[/TH] [TH][/TH] [TH][/TH]
1:55 1 10 NWE 49 28 24 Russell Wilson pass incomplete deep right intended for Jermaine Kearse (defended by Malcolm Butler) 2.320 1.780
1:50 1 10 NWE 49 28 24 Timeout #1 by Seattle Seahawks
 

Ed Hillel

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And then they called timeout.
Oh, by Seattle? I dunno, I think they can pretty safely assume that's their last possession at that point and they have plenty of time for their drive, might as well get the play right. 50 yard line, 2 timeouts with 1:50 left is plenty of time in the modern NFL.
 

tims4wins

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Oh, by Seattle? I dunno, I think they can pretty safely assume that's their last possession at that point and they have plenty of time for their drive, might as well get the play right.
Well it shouldn't have taken them 40 seconds to line up after an incompletion.

And if they had the timeout in their pocket, they could have run on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down after the Kearse catch.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Not to mention the first time in 15-ish years that the AFC won a Super Bowl. For those of us growing up in the 1980s, we didn't have a single AFC win in our living memory until that game. This one had everything - great play, great storylines (Terrell Davis and his migraines), great coaching, enormous historical significance, all-time great personnel.

That one is easily the #1 on my list, followed by Steelers-Cardinals (I was on the edge of my seat the whole game despite not having any rooting interest) and Pats-Seahawks in some order.
Absolutely. Great point about ending the 15ish year AFC drought.
 

Ed Hillel

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Well it shouldn't have taken them 40 seconds to line up after an incompletion.

And if they had the timeout in their pocket, they could have run on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down after the Kearse catch.
They could have anyway, but chose to let the clock run instead. Which was probably the right move.
 

swiftaw

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From my childhood, superbowls 23 (49ers-Bengals) and 25 (Giants-Bills) stood out as a couple of close games in a sea of blowouts. Super Bowl 34 (Titans-Rams) had a memorable ending.
 

tims4wins

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They could have anyway, but chose to let the clock run instead. Which was probably the right move.
They could have had the best of both worlds though, potentially (bleed clock and run each play). I mean BB is quoted as saying he didn't want to let them off the hook by calling a timeout when they looked disorganized.
 

moretsyndrome

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Super Bowl XXXVIII (most roman numerals ever!) is my favorite NE SB, and therefore my favorite SB. Not as significant as the first one, or the Seattle & Atlanta comebacks, but for my money it's one of the most fascinating games I've ever seen, period. And it was significant (they all are, of course) as it permanently got rid of their one-hit wonder status.

61 points, and all of them scored in either the 2nd or 4th qtr as the defenses seemed to wear down in both halves. I also really thought they were in trouble down the stretch, trying to deal with Muhammad and Smith. I go back and watch this one the most. There are so many insane plays by both teams, and maybe the greatest break of the dynasty when Kasay somehow kicked it out of bounds to set them up at the 40.

Plus a bonus boob at halftime! Definitely my favorite.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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They could have anyway, but chose to let the clock run instead. Which was probably the right move.
The point here is that calling the two time outs left them in position of having 1:06 left needing a TD with only one time out. Carroll knew that you cannot get four runs in. You have to pass.

The bottom line is that with 1:06 and one time and four downs, you cannot run four times. Carroll knew this. With two time outs, you can do whatever you want on second down if you don't score on first down.

The situation in this game was as follows, which is the part that nobody every seems to understand: If Carroll runs on second down, and they do not make it, he has to call his last time out, and they have to pass on third down. Running is simply not an option on third down. (Well, it is -- but you could end the game without ever getting a fourth down chance, and you cannot spike, so it's really not an option.)

That's why the Seahawks passed on second down. Because Carroll thought they had a better chance of scoring when the Patriots were not expecting a pass play and were in goal line then if the Patriots knew the Seahawks were going to pass on third down.

And the reason this was urgent was because he only had one time out.

Your point that he probably would have let the clock run out anyway is possible. But we'll never know. He certainly was comfortable trying to score with 1:06 left and with :35 left.

I think the time out after the Kearse catch was easily the second more important thing that happened in that drive and I very strongly believe that if they had not had to call it, they run, and score, on second down, and the Patriots lose. That would have preserved all options for third down.
 

tims4wins

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The point here is that calling the two time outs left them in position of having 1:06 left needing a TD with only one time out. Carroll knew that you cannot get four runs in. You have to pass.

The bottom line is that with 1:06 and one time and four downs, you cannot run four times. Carroll knew this. With two time outs, you can do whatever you want on second down if you don't score on first down.

The situation in this game was as follows, which is the part that nobody every seems to understand: If Carroll runs on second down, and they do not make it, he has to call his last time out, and they have to pass on third down. Running is simply not an option on third down. (Well, it is -- but you could end the game without ever getting a fourth down chance, and you cannot spike, so it's really not an option.)

That's why the Seahawks passed on second down. Because Carroll thought they had a better chance of scoring when the Patriots were not expecting a pass play and were in goal line then if the Patriots knew the Seahawks were going to pass on third down.

And the reason this was urgent was because he only had one time out.

Your point that he probably would have let the clock run out anyway is possible. But we'll never know. He certainly was comfortable trying to score with 1:06 left and with :35 left.

I think the time out after the Kearse catch was easily the second more important thing that happened in that drive and I very strongly believe that if they had not had to call it, they run, and score, on second down, and the Patriots lose. That would have preserved all options for third down.
Agree with all this, but one unknown here is how the Pats react after 1st down if Seattle still has two timeouts left. Does BB call the timeout immediately after the play? I bet he does. And then EVERYTHING changes from there.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Agree with all this, but one unknown here is how the Pats react after 1st down if Seattle still has two timeouts left. Does BB call the timeout immediately after the play? I bet he does. And then EVERYTHING changes from there.
Absolutely, I think Seattle only having one mattered to BB.
 

Ed Hillel

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The point here is that calling the two time outs left them in position of having 1:06 left needing a TD with only one time out. Carroll knew that you cannot get four runs in. You have to pass.

The bottom line is that with 1:06 and one time and four downs, you cannot run four times. Carroll knew this. With two time outs, you can do whatever you want on second down if you don't score on first down.
I don’t agree with this. You have 21 seconds a play from inside the 5 and can stop the clock immediately after the 3rd down run, you can absolutely run it 3 times. They could have run second down run with 45 seconds left, then run 3rd down with 15 seconds if needed, then called timeout with 5-10 seconds left after 3rd. It’s more than enough time. Lynch was tackled with 1:01 on the clock, 15-20 seconds to get set and run in close parameters is not a big task. Really it’s closer to 25-30 seconds per play to run 2nd and 3rd down. That’s an eternity. Calling timeouts in these situations generally benefits the defense, as well.
 
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tims4wins

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I don’t agree with this at all. You have 21 seconds a play from inside the 5 and can stop the clock immediately after the 3rd down run, you can absolutely run it 3 times. They could have run second down run with 45 seconds left, then run 3rd down with 15-20 seconds if needed, then called timeout with 5-10 seconds left after 3rd. It’s more than enough time.
They absolutely could have run the 2nd down play at 45 seconds. But then you give TB12 45 seconds and two timeouts only needing a FG to tie if you score. It also means you'd be "rushing". No huddle, etc.

Bottom line is that not having a 2nd and possibly 3rd timeout changed the way they handled the situation. It removed / reduced options.
 

Ed Hillel

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They absolutely could have run the 2nd down play at 45 seconds. But then you give TB12 45 seconds and two timeouts only needing a FG to tie if you score. It also means you'd be "rushing". No huddle, etc.

Bottom line is that not having a 2nd and possibly 3rd timeout changed the way they handled the situation. It removed / reduced options.
To the extent it limited options, that’s because of poor coaching. 1:06 from the 5 and 1 timeout, you’re entire rolodex should be open for all four downs. They could have snapped the ball with 30 seconds on 2nd down and still had time to run on 3rd then call a timeout. Especially coming off a timeout before first down.
 

tims4wins

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To the extent it limited options, that’s because of poor coaching. 1:06 from the 5 and 1 timeout, you’re entire rolodex should be open for all four downs. They could have snapped the ball with 30 seconds on 2nd down and still had time to run on 3rd then call a timeout. Especially coming off a timeout before first down.
Well yeah it was all poor coaching. I blame the coaching on calling timeouts 1 and 2. I guess they could have run it at 30 seconds and then tried running it again with ~10 seconds left and then called timeout if they failed on 3rd down again. But that would have been a rushed effort. My whole point is if they had just one of those two timeouts, there would be no rushing needed to do anything. They could have called whichever plays they wanted, at whatever pace they wanted. They were not able to do that due to the timeout situation.
 

Remagellan

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The NFL Network is running a SB marathon today. Right now SBXLIII (Steelers vs. Cardinals) is on. Pluto TV's NFL Channel appears to be running a marathon of 2022 playoff games. Right now the Chargers vs. Jags game is on. The former was called by Al Michaels and John Madden; the latter by Al Michaels and Tony Dungy. So you can flip between the two if you want to see what a difference a working with a great versus a terrible broadcast booth partner can make.
 

BaseballJones

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The NFL Network is running a SB marathon today. Right now SBXLIII (Steelers vs. Cardinals) is on. Pluto TV's NFL Channel appears to be running a marathon of 2022 playoff games. Right now the Chargers vs. Jags game is on. The former was called by Al Michaels and John Madden; the latter by Al Michaels and Tony Dungy. So you can flip between the two if you want to see what a difference a working with a great versus a terrible broadcast booth partner can make.
Spot on. But also… Michaels himself is but a shadow of what he used to be as a PBP guy.
 

GB5

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Breaking this out into a tangent and my apologies if it should be a separate thread, but how would this board rank from best to worst the teams that the Pats have beaten in the SB?

My list is:

1. Greatest Show on Turf
2. Seattle
3. Philly
4. Atlanta
5. Caro
6. Rams

I struggled with 4/5. I might be out of order there. Atlanta had the best offense in the league, but below average defense all year. They put it together in the playoffs however. Carolina was really good on D, especially D line. Good running game, Steve Smith and Musin Muhammed on outside. Delhomme came out of nowhere to have a career year.

I thought about putting Seattle at 1. They were exceptional at everywhere except WR/TE, however I believe the first Rams team was #1 on Offense by a big margin and also #1 on D.

Feel free to expand this to the 2 NYG teams and Philly. I don’t like giving those games 5 seconds of thought, let alone any ink.