I broke down each of the NFL and AFL champions since 1950 into three categories:
- Pass Efficiency, measured by a modified version of ANY/A. The formula was (Passing Yards + 10*TD – 22.5*INT – Sack Yards)/(Pass Attempts + Sacks). This strikes a middle ground between traditional ANY/A and NY/A.
- Rushing Success, according to the following formula: (Rushing Yards + 10*RTD + 5*Rushing1stDowns)/(Carries).
- Defensive Rating, based on the number of offensive touchdowns scored by their opponents.
There are ways to quibble with those categories, and I won’t begrudge anyone who does. After giving each team a rating in each category, I calculated how they compared to the league average in each season. In all cases, the average is 100%, and a number higher than 100% means better.
Here’s what each of the columns mean, from left to right. In 2011, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl; they allowed 43 touchdowns to opposing offenses, averaged 7.6 in my modified version of ANY/A, and averaged 4.9 adjusted yards per carry. The next three columns show how New York ranked relative to league average. By allowing 43 scores, the Giants D was well below average, putting them at 83% of the average mark; they were 25% better than average at passing, but only 86% of league average efficiency in the running game. Since the Giants highest rating came in the passing category, they are listed in the Identity column as a Passing team.
[table id=111 /]
But I’m more of a visual guy, so I made a pretty sweet chart based on the percentages compared to league average above. For space reasons1, I limited this to just the Super Bowl era. On the X-axis is each team’s defensive rating, on the Y-axis is each team’s passing rating, and the size of each bubble represents the team’s rushing success. Above each bubble, I’ve placed the year they won the Super Bowl. You can click on it to enlarge the picture.
- Also known as “The 1962 Packers were so over the top good on defense that they would ruin the dimensions of the entire chart” reason. [↩]