Defense wins championships: Superbowl showcased lost art

By Harry Kaplan

As a die-hard Patriots fan, Super Bowl LIII nearly gave me a heart attack. But as Stephon Gilmore dropped back in coverage and snagged what was the game clinching interception, I blew a sigh of relief, knowing my life as a spoiled Boston sports fan just got even better. Anyway, this year’s Super Bowl, despite being the lowest-scoring in history, which some fans believe made it “boring,” was still exciting to watch.

If you’re a football fan, you know offense, defense and special teams are equally important. You also know that there are ups and downs in the performance of these groups. So while the Super Bowl saw two high-powered offenses shut down, the game also featured nearly flawless defense and arguably some of the best Super Bowl special teams plays of all time. If you’d prefer a game with lots of scoring and minimal defense, I’d recommend switching the channel and watching NBA basketball instead.

What makes football special is that every game is unique. For example, earlier this season the Rams—the same team that scored a mere three points on America’s biggest stage—beat the Chiefs 54-51, which was the highest scoring regular season game in NFL history. A football fan follows the sport not just for the highlight-filled shootout games, but for the unpredictable outcomes and upsets. Who would have thought that the 9-7 Wild Card New York Giants could beat the dominant Patriots in the Super Bowl?

This Super Bowl should be viewed as a showcase of incredible defensive and special teams play in an era when these parts of the game are often underappreciated. This could be a result of offense-centric fantasy football or due to the fact that touchdowns just happen to make the best Instagram highlights, but regardless of cause, defensive players are becoming less and less relevant as all the attention is put onto the offensive superstars. Hopefully this Super Bowl can open the eyes of fans who seem to only be invested in fantasy football and high scoring games.

If you believe a tie game with seven minutes left in the Super Bowl is “boring,” then find another sport. As the saying goes: defense wins championships.