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Super Bowl Champions- Efficiency Rankings, 25-21

For the next two weeks, time permitting, I'm going to try to post my efficiency rankings, brief thoughts, and video clips for all 45 of the NFL champions as we head towards the Super Bowl. My plan is 5 teams a day, but if I get pressed for time may just go to the rankings. For those unfamiliar my efficiency grading is based strictly on scoring for a team. The way that the numbers are calculated are by determining just how many points a team scored or allowed in a season and comparing with that of the schedule they played that season. Their schedule is adjusted by taking their stats out of the equation. The numbers represent by what percentage a team scored above or below the schedules average and how much more points were allowed or not allowed on the season.

I find them to be decent indicators of performance in a game, though neither is a measure solely of offense or defense. Special teams scores and defensive scores would be credited to the "Scoring" category, which is primarily offense while the "Defense" category would also include points allowed by specials and pick six and fumble scores. I think they provide a decent picture of the overall team success/failures. The Total score is simply a combination of both sides of the ball. The higher the overall score the better a team is expected to perform. For example an efficiency of 0% means that, on average, a team simply played to the level of their competition that year and its reflected in the margins between points scored and allowed. A score of 60% means their margins on the year would be 60% better than their schedules average margin.

Many of these teams are before my time as my real recollection of football starts in 1982 and is much better from 85 onward, so feel free to share thoughts about the teams if you have a good memory of watching them. Onto the rankings…

25. 1967 Green Bay Packers(29th Scoring, 14th Defense)- Though not as dominating as their first Super Bowl team, the 1967 Packers are the team that fully immortalized head coach Vince Lombardi, QB Bart Starr, and the mystique of Lambeau Field. "The Ice Bowl" will always go down as the greatest football game of all time. A slugfest played on the ice with wind chills of nearly 50 degrees below 0, the Packers head coach outfoxed the Dallas Cowboys and Tom Landry to advance to the championship game. The "31 wedge" call is one of those plays that will live in the minds of NFL fans forever. Starr made the decision to keep the ball himself as he followed G Jerry Kramer into the end zone to stun the Cowboys on the final play of the game and legends were born. Defeating the Raiders in the title game was just a formality as everyone knew that victory against the Cowboys was one for the ages.



24. 1995 Dallas Cowboys (19th Scoring, 29th Defense)- The 1995 Dallas Cowboys have represented the last of the true dynasties in the sport, before the salary cap changed the way the game was played. The Patriots of the early 00's were a different type of team than this. Dallas was dominant while 2 of those 3 teams were far from it. Dallas probably cost themselves a championship in 1994 when the decision was made to hire Barry Switzer, the worst coach to ever win a Super Bowl ring, but the team was able to find a way to piece together one last hurrah in 95. The offense continued to be excellent behind the legs of RB Emmitt Smith and the mistake free play of QB Troy Aikman, while the defense played well enough to win most games that year. The teams biggest moment of the year big moment came when they came back from a 27-24 4th quarter deficit against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, who had seized all the momentum in the game, to win going away and advance to their final Super Bowl appearance.



23. 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers (32nd Scoring, 12th Defense)- The NFL did all they could to limit the effectiveness of the Steel Curtain in 1978. Rules were put in place to open up the offense and not allow Pittsburgh to manhandle receivers or have their way with Offensive Linemen on their way to the opposing QB. Despite all that the Steelers continued to dominate, holding teams to about 33% below their norms, all the way through the AFC Championship where they held the Houston Oilers to 3 points. QB Terry Bradshaw had his best statistical season taking advantage of an easy schedule and rules changes, and would explode in the Super Bowl to earn MVP honors against the rival Dallas Cowboys. The game was one of the more thrilling games, a back and forth offensive struggle, that saw Bradshaw help his team pull away to a 35-17 lead before the Cowboys made a furious comeback before losing 35-31, allowing the Steelers to become the first ever three time champion of the NFL.



22. 2010 Green Bay Packers (34th Scoring, 11th Defense)- When people look back on this team they remember this as a coming out party for Aaron Rodgers and the offense, which it was in the playoffs, but the real story of the season was the defense playing at an all time great level. To hold 6 teams to single digits in the current era of football is outstanding and 11 times teams were held under 20 points, a big accomplishment in an offensive era of football. The defense carried the team into the playoffs at which point everything clicked on both sides of the ball to lead to the teams 4th NFL title. Their Super Bowl win was never in doubt as Rodgers dominated the game early and an interception returned for a TD gave the team a fast 14-0 lead that the Pittsburgh Steelers could never recover from.



21. 1971 Dallas Cowboys (7th Scoring, 37th Defense)- After years of being labeled a choke artist, the Dallas Cowboys were finally able to make the big leap and win a championship. A slow start led to a change to QB Roger Staubach, which became the catalyst for not just the entire season but an entire era of Cowboy football. Staubach was an electric talent that helped lead the Cowboys on a scoring spree through most of the season that dominated opponents with their running and passing attack. The defense not effective early, heated up as the season progressed holding 8 of the last 9 teams they faced to 10 points or less, including impressive back to back 3 point scores in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. The Dolphins had no chance to defeat Dallas in the Super Bowl as their defense was steamrolled by the Cowboy rushing attack for 252 yards and their offense held completely in check by the famed "Doomsday Defense" of the Dallas Cowboys.



Super Bowl Champion Efficiency Rankings

Rank Year Team Off Def Total
21 1971 Dallas Cowboys 40.34% -6.54% 46.88%
22 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers 13.02% -33.05% 46.07%
23 2010 Green Bay Packers 12.70% -33.37% 46.07%
24 1995 Dallas Cowboys 29.72% -15.68% 45.40%
25 1967 Green Bay Packers 16.18% -28.73% 44.91%
26 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers 9.30% -35.15% 44.45%
27 2009 New Orleans Saints 50.80% 6.76% 44.04%
28 1976 Oakland Raiders 31.73% -12.10% 43.83%
29 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.94% -45.79% 42.85%
30 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers 22.48% -20.24% 42.72%
31 1986 New York Giants 13.39% -27.10% 40.49%
32 1982 Washington Redskins 13.18% -24.98% 38.16%
33 1990 New York Giants 1.17% -36.89% 38.06%
34 1968 New York Jets 33.21% -4.01% 37.22%
35 2003 New England Patriots 12.74% -23.67% 36.41%
36 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers 8.66% -25.50% 34.16%
37 1981 San Francisco 49'ers 6.42% -24.07% 30.49%
38 1983 Oakland Raiders 20.68% -8.27% 28.95%
39 1988 San Francisco 49'ers 19.16% -8.88% 28.04%
40 2006 Indianapolis Colts 32.58% 7.96% 24.62%
41 1980 Oakland Raiders 12.23% -6.33% 18.56%
42 1987 Washington Redskins 7.13% -10.26% 17.39%
43 2001 New England Patriots -1.54% -12.58% 11.04%
44 2007 New York Giants 9.94% 0.61% 9.33%
45 1970 Baltimore Colts 8.02% 0.07% 7.95%



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