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Defense gets it done


Gadget plays and wide-open offense may sell tickets, but it's defense that wins. That's what we should've learned from yesterday's Super Bowl and the two that preceded it. Offense is for entertainment. Defense is for winning. You don't believe that? Well, what about the last three Super Bowl winners; Baltimore, New England and Tampa? All three teams' success was built on strong defense and limited offense. ABC-TV gave us a statistic yesterday that even more dramatically makes the point for defense over offense: In Super Bowls with an offense vs. defense theme, such as yesterday's game, the team with the strong defense has won nine of 10 such games. There it is. That tells it all. When Jack Del Rio was announced as the Jaguars' new head coach, Wayne Weaver made a point of promising Jaguars fans a wide-open offense with some gadget plays, and guaranteed there would be no more "three yards and a cloud of dust." Immediately, there was a collective cheer of approval from Jaguars fans who complained incessantly about Tom Coughlin's conservative ways. Without a doubt, Weaver's comments sold some tickets. But it will be Del Rio's ability to rebuild the Jaguars defense that will determine this team's potential for winning. Del Rio knows that and so does new personnel boss James Harris. You win with defense. Now what about the fans? Do they appreciate the importance of strong defense? Selling tickets is important, but isn't this all about winning?

Watching Oakland sleepwalk through the first three quarters of yesterday's Super Bowl, I couldn't help but think of all the times the Jaguars' intensity was questioned last season.
"They looked flat," media and fans would say following nearly every Jaguars defeat.
Well, the Raiders looked flat Sunday and how do you explain that? John Madden openly questioned the Raiders' emotional preparedness and everything Madden said made sense, but this was the Super Bowl. Come on, nobody can be flat for the Super Bowl.
Consider this theory: Losing makes teams look flat.
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