World War I, and to a great extent the American Civil War, saw Napoleonic tactics of “offense at all costs” pitted against the defensive power of the trench, machine gun and barbed wire. As a reaction to her World War I experience, France entered World War II with a purely defensive doctrine, epitomized by the “impregnable” Maginot Line, but only to be completely circumvented by the German blitzkrieg.
Napoleon developed a famous war tactic known as “offense at all costs”. Victories in World War I and to a large extent the American Civil War are attributed to this ploy, which was pitted against the defensive power of the trench, machine gun and barbed wire. Successful teams in the NFL employ a similar offensive strategies; then there are those that don’t– the best offense is a good defense. The blitzkriegs (Baltimore Ravens and I’ve seen similar things out of the Oakland Raiders this season, remember their first game against the San Diego Chargers?), the Maginot Line (if we’re sticking with this season think Denver’s defense against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving), are all good examples of great defenses, but have they ever been able to truly shut down an incredible offense? Sure, but not for very long or at least not over consecutive weeks.
I’m conjuring images of a certain Indianapolis Colts team of a certain season, whom despite having one of the worst rushing defenses in the league were still able to win riding on the super strength of their offense. Or one could even point to this season, where despite the Colts being ranked in the bottom half of the league in passing/rushing yards allowed they are 2nd best in points allowed… Offense at all costs, ball control, a stingy offense if you will. With the defense that the Colts employ the Broncos are just as capable of lighting up the scoreboard like they did against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.
Can this clash of one of the leagues top offenses versus one of the leagues top defenses hold true? Peyton Manning is one of the most intimidating figures in the NFL today and he doesn’t hit anybody… It will be very interesting to see the offensive genius of Josh McDaniels put in a cage verse Manning. Also, to see whether my point will be made, in the NFL today is it the offense or defense that really wins the game?