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    • michael89156

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      Post count: 3229

      Bucs in the Super Bowl? 5 teams with bad defenses that could make title runBy Brad Gagnon    CBSSports.comJuly 30, 2015 3:44 pm ET bad_zpsbwpty5jc.jpgFew consider the Falcons, Saints, Giants, Eagles and Buccaneers to be top-flight Super Bowl contenders heading into the 2015 season. Why would you? None of those teams made the playoffs last season and all of them have major issues on the defensive side of the ball.But there's hope.History shows us that those five squads may possess most -- if not all -- of the key ingredients required for a team to make a playoff run despite ranking poorly on defense.Just look at the last 15 years. It's become obvious you can't win big in this league without a great offense. But there remains room for error on the defensive side of the ball.The stats back it up.Since 2000, not a single team with a scoring offense ranked in the bottom five has made the playoffs. Those teams are 0-for-75. And only one of 30 Super Bowl teams from that span has ranked in the bottom 10 in total offense (the 2002 Buccaneers, who ranked 24th).But precedents exist for teams with poorly ranked defenses. In fact, 18 percent of playoff teams since 2000 have ranked in the bottom 10 in total defense. For some perspective, consider that only 31 percent of all NFL teams have ranked that low.Three teams -- the 2009 Saints and 2011 Giants and Patriots -- have made the Super Bowl despite ranking in the bottom 10 in total defense. And three other teams -- the 2006 Colts, the 2008 Cardinals and again the 2011 Giants -- have reached the Super Bowl despite ranking in the bottom 10 in terms of points allowed per game.So how did they do it? Let's take a closer look at those teams who won despite having poor defenses on paper:bad1_zpsallty01x.jpg Peyton Manning silenced his critics who said he couldn't win the big one in 2006. (Getty Images)2006 Colts•Total defense: 21st •Points allowed: 23rd •Record: 12-4 •Outcome: Won Super Bowl XLI •How they did it: It was all about Peyton Manning and the offense, as the Colts ranked second in points scored, third in total offense, and in the top five in terms of sacks allowed and turnovers.bad2_zpsdkkofofm.jpg Kurt Warner and the offense almost carried the Cardinals to a win in SB XLIII. (USATSI)2008 Cardinals•Total defense: 19th •Points allowed: 28th •Record: 9-7 •Outcome: Won NFC championship •How they did it: The Cards also ranked dead last on the ground but ranked in the top five when it came to points scored, total offense and passing offense. They also had the fifth-highest takeaway total in the league and ranked 11th in terms of sacks allowed.bad3_zpswkhlplgv.jpg The Saints gave up a lot of points in 2009, but luckily they had Drew Brees under center.(USATSI)2009 Saints•Total defense: 25th •Points allowed: 20th •Record: 13-3 •Outcome: Won Super Bowl XLIV •How they did it: The Saints ranked first in total offense and points scored and fourth in passing offense. Like the Cardinals, they didn't give up many sacks (ranking fourth in that category) and had lots of takeaways (ranking second).bad4_zpspzd535mm.jpg The Giants ranked 27th in total D in 2011 but Chase Blackburn's INT helped win SB XLVI. (Getty Images)2011 Giants•Total defense: 27th •Points allowed: 25th •Record: 9-7 •Outcome: Won Super Bowl XLVI •How they did it: Like Indy and Arizona, they weren't very effective on the ground (ranking dead last) but they had a top-five passing offense that ranked in the top 10 in terms of points and yards. They also ranked seventh in terms of both sacks allowed and takeaways and only two teams recorded more sacks.bad5_zpsdvyvlz6h.jpg Vince Wilfork and the 2011 Patriots defense ranked 31st but made it to the title game. (USATSI)2011 Patriots•Total defense: 31st •Points allowed: 15th •Record: 13-3 •Outcome: Won AFC championship •How they did it: They ranked in the top three in terms of total offense, points per game and passing offense while ranking third in both turnovers and takeaways and ninth in sacks allowed.Common traits among successful teams with bad defenses: In four of the five cases above, the pass defenses ranked much worse than the run defenses, and all five teams were carried on offense by great passing games (often despite poor rushing attacks). All five teams ranked in the top 11 in terms of sacks allowed and four of the five ranked in the top seven when it came to takeaways.Let's take a closer look at the average offensive and defensive rankings of the five teams that have made Super Bowls despite poor defensive numbers.bad6_zpsiilqi1ot.pngIn other words, if you have a good quarterback who can remain upright and an opportunistic defense that can give said quarterback as many opportunities as possible, it's conceivable for a team to experience immense success in this league despite poor overall numbers on defense.Five teams that share similar traits entering 2015: 1. Atlanta Falcons •2014 total defense rank: 32nd •2014 record: 6-10 •Why they have a chance: For starters, the Falcons have a well-supported Pro Bowl quarterback in Matt Ryan, who has playoff experience. They don't have a good running game or a good pass defense but they actually gave up a respectable 4.2 yards per carry last season, and only five defenses registered more takeaways. They should improve up front on D with newcomers Adrian Clayborn, Justin Durant and first-round pick Vic Beasley, and Ryan's pass protection should be better with 2014 first-rounder Jake Matthews primed to break out on the blind side.2. New Orleans Saints •2014 total defense rank: 31st •2014 record: 7-9 •Why they have a chance: We've already seen quarterback Drew Brees carry a bad defense to a Super Bowl, and Brees still has plenty of support from an offensive line that Pro Football Focus assigned only 10 sacks to in 2014. So if Rob Ryan can just teach that low-rated D to register takeaways like it did back in 2009, they'll have a shot. Maybe experienced newbies Anthony Spencer and Brandon Browner can help get them there.3. New York Giants •2014 total defense rank: 29th •2014 record: 6-10 •Why they have a chance: Quarterback Eli Manning has also been here, done this. And now Manning has one of the best 1-2 receiver punches in the league along with a rebuilt offensive line that features three recent blue-chip draft picks. And despite their overall poor rankings on D, the G-Men have ranked in the top 10 in terms of takeaways each of the last two seasons. A porous run defense -- they gave up a league-high 4.9 yards per carry last season -- is the only missing piece, but the return of veteran linebacker Jon Beason should help.brad_zpsmqzm1zs8.jpg If Sam Bradford can stay healthy, the offense might be good enough to carry the Eagles. (USATSI) 4. Philadelphia Eagles •2014 total defense rank: 28th •2014 record: 10-6 •Why they have a chance: If he can stay healthy, there's no telling what talented former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford might be capable of doing in Chip Kelly's offense. Bradford, who is tailor-made for that system, should have a chance to stay upright behind a stellar offensive line. And that defense will likely still struggle overall, but they had 28 takeaways while ranking fourth in football in terms of yards per carry allowed last season. This team possesses the ideal formula for winning without a great defense.5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers •2014 total defense rank: 25th •2014 record: 2-14 •Why they have a chance: It's a stretch to start thinking Super Bowl before quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a snap for a team that won two games last season. Still, Winston could provide an immediate upgrade under center and he's well-supported by receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans as well as a talented young line. Throw in that the Bucs actually had a solid 25 takeaways while ranking seventh in terms of yards per carry allowed last season and you can see why there's a chance they become competitive right off the bat.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 955

      Dear Brad,When was the last time you saw practice, read a local paper, or visited a Tampa Bay message board. Or better just knew what5 the hell you were talking about? "Winston could provide an immediate upgrade under center and he's well-supported by receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans as well as a talented young line."Dude step away from the crack pipe.  While I appreciate the nice words for my boys, you lost all credibility with the comment about this unpredictable at best Oline.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8096

      That’s a lot of dome teams… or northerners.

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    • billym

      Participant
      Post count: 3348

      Lets not get all crazy now, we are starting a rookie QB. Just aiming for 8-8 would be more realistic.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 955

      Lets not get all crazy now, we are starting a rookie QB. Just aiming for 8-8 would be more realistic.

      Plus a rookie left tackle and guard...

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 9128

      Lets not get all crazy now, we are starting a rookie QB. Just aiming for 8-8 would be more realistic.

      8-8 would be a HUGE win for us.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8044

      Dear Brad,When was the last time you saw practice, read a local paper, or visited a Tampa Bay message board. Or better just knew what5 the hell you were talking about? "Winston could provide an immediate upgrade under center and he's well-supported by receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans as well as a talented young line."Dude step away from the crack pipe.  While I appreciate the nice words for my boys, you lost all credibility with the comment about this unpredictable at best Oline.

      they are talented.  but are they cohesive, effective and productive?  we will see.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 955

      Dear Brad,When was the last time you saw practice, read a local paper, or visited a Tampa Bay message board. Or better just knew what5 the hell you were talking about? "Winston could provide an immediate upgrade under center and he's well-supported by receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans as well as a talented young line."Dude step away from the crack pipe.  While I appreciate the nice words for my boys, you lost all credibility with the comment about this unpredictable at best Oline.

      they are talented.  but are they cohesive, effective and productive?  we will see.

      They have to be.  Its the mark of any good oline.  Not settling for mediocre from them as they've been below that mark for some time.  They have to bring it....

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8983

      Im REALLY hoping that oline improves. Its the key a great offense. But that hope is killed, smooshed to death, and peed on a little bit, by the fact that warhop is still around. I dont trust that guy to put together a lego set, let alone run an offensive line in the pros.

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