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The Offensive/Defensive Matchup Of Super Bowl XLVIII Is Historic

Everyone knows that Denver has a good offense and Seattle has a good defense, but The Guardian data viz team has put together a great series of charts showing how this matchup stacks up against every other Super Bowl since 1970, using the stat "average yards per play".

The graph above compares the offensive and defensive yards-per-play for every Super Bowl team since 1970. The Broncos offense averaged 6.3 yards per play this season while the Seahawks have allowed just 4.4, and Super Bowl XLVIII marks the first time the league leaders in these categories have faced each other for the championship. However, Super Bowl XLIII actually featured a slightly greater differential in offensive and defensive ability, as the Cardinals averaged 5.9 yards per play and the Steelers allowed just 3.9. That game turned out pretty great.


Even more notable: The mediocre 2001 Patriots allowed 0.4 more yards per play on defense than they gained on offense, and yet they beat a Rams squad that had the league's best offense and the fourth-best defense. There's plenty more to see at The Guardian, including an interactive version of that top chart. Go take a look.

[The Guardian]

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