11 Jan 2005
David Schoenfeld, my editor over at ESPN Page 2, takes a go at ten common theories about how to win in the playoffs: You gotta run, you gotta pass, defense wins championships, you need momentum. Most of his findings won't shock regular readers of Football Outsiders, although I admit that was a little surprised that Super Bowl teams have generally been better over the first six games of the season than the final ten. Of course, the advantage of the weighted DVOA is that the weights are not just one and zero -- you can try to measure recent performance but still give some attention to early games.
Denver's defense carried the team all season, and carried Peyton Manning right to a second Super Bowl ring in his worst season. Carolina's offense joins long list of postseason duds from the 500-point club.