How Important is an Elite QB?

I wanted to build on TheKramer's post about not needing an elite QB in order to make it to and win the Superbowl.

Time has shown that you need at least one or the other in the top 5 (or close to it), great defense, great offense or a combination of both. Yet, there is so much more that goes into winning Superbowls. Look at the coaches of these past 5 winners: Mike McCarthy, Sean Payton, Bill Cower, Tom Coughlin, and Tony Dungy. Not too shabby.

If you look at the past 5 Superbowl winners, the only thing consistent is the inconsistency. One year it’s a team with great defense, the next it’s an explosive offensive team.

Potential Superbowl winners:

2012-? Could it be:

:NE (31st ranked defense) (2nd ranked offense)

: BAL (3rd ranked defense) (15th ranked offense)

: SF (4th ranked defense) (26th ranked offense)

: NYG (27th ranked defense) (8th ranked offense)

What a coincidence! The remaining teams in the 2012 playoffs are split with 2 offensive and 2 defensive teams. Let's see how the last 5 winners panned out:

Superbowl winners 2007-2011:

2011- GB (5th ranked defense) (9th ranked offense)---------Winner: Defense--Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
2010- NO (25th ranked defense) (1st ranked offense)-------Winner: Offense---Quarterback: Drew Brees
2009- PITT (1st ranked defense) (22nd ranked offense)----Winner: Defense---Quarterback: Big Ben
2008- NYG (7th ranked defense) (16th ranked offense)-----Winner: Defense---Quarterback: Eli Manning
2007- INDI (21st ranked defense) (3rd ranked offense)-----Winner: Offense---Quarterback: Peyton Manning

The Outcome:

Just as I suspected, 2 offensive teams, 2 defensive teams and one that combined both (GB).

One could argue that from this small sample of the last 5 Superbowl winners, that each offense was led by an elite quarterback and most people would not disagree. Yet, 3 out of 5 of these past winners had top 7 defenses and with the exception of last year's Green Bay team (who were in the top 10 in both categories), they had the 16th (NYG) and 22nd (PITT) ranked offenses.

Point being, times aren't changing as much as one might think. The media calls this a "pass happy" league, but there’s not much to back those claims up, other than a few quarterbacks who have had incredible seasons. Brees, Brady, and Rodgers aside, this is still a league that is wildly inconsistent. You cannot just favor one aspect and say it’s going to win you a championship. It's about highlighting your strengths as a team and exposing other teams' weaknesses, which is also known as GOOD COACHING.

On to the Dolphins:

Have we had good coaching in the past decade? Have we even had an average QB? The revolving door at both of these crucial positions is all the proof I need to answer no to both of these questions. The best QB for us in the past decade was Pennington. What happened that year? That's right, we won the division. It doesn't matter how people justify that unlikely division championship, we still won it courtesy of Pennington's smart play at QB.

The 2011-2012 Miami Dolphins have more talent than that Pennington led squad and we couldn't win a game until week 8. Why? I mean we had the same head coach. Is it because the wildcat ran it's course? Sparano forgot how to coach? Did Daboll take a while to figure out how to use his offensive weapons? The lockout? All of these? Or did we just need a slightly above average QB to make all of our problems go away?

My opinion (if you haven't figured it out by now) is that an elite QB is the most important piece to a winning franchise. A Superbowl winning team doesn't always have a top 10 offense, but they will almost always have an above average/ elite quarterback.

The Equation:

The reason this works out is because a (great defense + a smart QB = Playoffs and occasionally a Superbowl). While the smart QB may not light it up, they will not lose the game for you with careless mistakes (Pennington) and if teams can't score on your defense, then that game manager who doesn't make many mistakes is sufficient. The following equation is greater than or equal to the previous: (bad/average defense + an elite QB = Superbowl). A great quarterback can make up for a bad defense by putting up tons of points (Tom Brady). Yet, 3 teams in the top 5 offenses have already been eliminated (DET, NO, GB). Hmmmm.

So what do you guys think? Is an elite QB that important or is a great defense it's equal?

Recs are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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