While the NFL is becoming more and more geared to the offenses, the 2016 New Orleans Saints learned a valuable lesson. Some defense is important. While the Saints offense was one of the best in NFL history, it couldn’t lead the team to a playoff appearance.
— ProFootballReference (@pfref) January 3, 2017
Not only did New Orleans miss the playoffs, but it wasn’t especially close. The Saints were two games (plus a tiebreaker) behind the Detroit Lions, who earned the NFC’s final playoff spot. Additionally, New Orleans would have had to jump four other NFC teams (plus Detroit) to make the playoffs.
While the Saints are indeed the first non-playoff team to top 6,800 yards, that was something of a dubious mark to begin with.
None of the previous seven teams won Super Bowls. Only three of those seven teams — the 1984 Miami Dolphins, 2011 New England Patriots, and 2013 Denver Broncos — even reached the Super Bowl, with the Dolphins and Broncos being handily beaten in the big game.
That certainly shows that while the offense may grab headlines, a good defense is necessary to be a true championship team in the NFL.
The 2016 Saints are the most dramatic proof of that.