When looking over all the numbers, what I found is that in the past 20 years there have been five Super Bowl winners that had an offense that was in the top five in the NFL in both yards and points per game. Those five teams are listed below along with their offensive and defensive rankings that season.
2018 New England Patriots
Offensive Yards Per Game: 393.4 (5th)
Offensive Points Per Game: 27.2 (4th)
Defensive Yards Per Game: 359.1 (21st)
Defensive Points Per Game: 20.3 (7th)
2016 New England Patriots
Offensive Yards Per Game: 386.2 (4th)
Offensive Points Per Game: 27.6 (3rd)
Defensive Yards Per Game: 326.4 (8th)
Defensive Points Per Game: 15.6 (1st)
2009 New Orleans Saints
Offensive Yards Per Game: 403.8 (1st)
Offensive Points Per Game: 31.9 (1st)
Defensive Yards Per Game: 357.8 (25th)
Defensive Points Per Game: 21.3 (20th)
2006 Indianapolis Colts
Offensive Yards Per Game: 379.4 (3rd)
Offensive Points Per Game: 26.7 (2nd)
Defensive Yards Per Game: 332.2 (21st)
Defensive Points Per Game: 22.5 (23rd)
1999 St. Louis Rams
Offensive Yards Per Game: 400.8 (1st)
Offensive Points Per Game: 32.9 (1st)
Defensive Yards Per Game: 293.6 (6th)
Defensive Points Per Game: 15.1 (4th)
This list should give Chiefs fans some hope. While the 2016 Patriots and the 1999 Rams both boasted top ten defenses to go along with their high powered offenses, the other three teams show a precedent for a team like Kansas City—one trying to win it all with an elite offense and a defense that is just good enough. Just last season the Patriots won it all despite ranking just 21st in the league in yards allowed. Their points allowed number was still pretty solid, but even their numbers from last season seem much more achievable than those of the average Super Bowl winners that we looked at before.
If you look at the 2009 Saints and 2006 Colts, you really see what could be a realistic stat line that we could expect from the Chiefs this coming season. Those teams were led by quarterbacks known for putting up prolific numbers in Drew Brees and Peyton Manning respectively. Their defenses were still in the bottom half of the league but were good enough to get the job done. Looking at these numbers it appears that the Chiefs (at minimum) need to get their yards per game down into the 350 range and their points per game into the low 20s.
It appears that the task at hand for Steve Spagnuolo and his new staff is to try to get the Chiefs to average about 50 less yards per game and about four less points per game to get them into the range where other elite offenses have been able to still carry their teams to Super Bowl wins. That certainly won’t be an easy task but it does seem like it is achievable.
What do you think Chiefs fans? Do you agree that getting the defensive numbers into that range would be enough to give the Chiefs a shot to win it all? Do you think they’ll need to improve even more than that (possibly because the offense could drop off a little)? Is it realistic to expect that noticeable of an improvement this season with a brand new scheme and so many new players? I’m feeling optimistic about things but I’d love to see what you have to say in the comments below.