This Is the Best Offense-vs.-Defense Showdown in Super-Bowl History

And (naturally) there is a graph to prove it.

The Denver Broncos scored 38 points per game this year, an NFL record, led by Peyton Manning, who also set records for most passing yards and touchdowns by a QB in a season. Next week, they line up against the Seattle Seahawks, who own the league's top defense and the fifth-best overall statistical performance of any team since 1989.

If those superlatives aren't enough to whet your appetite, consider this: The difference between the Broncos' average-points-scored and the Seahawks average-points-allowed this season is the widest in the history of the big game. It is what Chase Stuart of Football Perspective calls "the greatest offense/defense showdown in Super Bowl history."

According to Football Outsiders, Seattle has the best defense in the league against the easiest schedule in the NFL (i.e.: the worst slate of offenses) and Denver had the best offense in the league against the second-easiest slate of defenses.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In