The Colts, Vikings, and Saints all have great quarterbacks and phenomenal offenses so it obviously stands to reason that the Jets are the underdog among the four remaining playoff teams. Perhaps, but in the past decade the playoffs have become a perfect venue for a defensive based team that no one takes as a serious threat.
A look at the teams that have made it to the Super Bowl in the past decade shows that 15 of the 20 teams that have made it to the Super Bowl in the past 10 years did so because their defense was one of the best in the league.
What’s more is that the 2001 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, the 2003 Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 2007 NFC Champions Chicago Bears made it to the Super Bowl solely on the strength of their defense.
In 2001, the Ravens had Trent Dilfer at quarterback but dominated teams with their incredible defense and spectacular running game, ultimately defeating the Giants in Super Bowl 35.
In 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to defeat the offensive powerhouse Oakland Raiders even though they had Brad Johnson at quarterback and “did not have a chance” coming into Super Bowl 37. Their number one ranked defense stopped Oakland’s number one ranked offense in their tracks.
In 2007, the Chicago Bears’ quarterback was Rex Grossman (who can’t get a starting job anywhere in the league today) but their high powered defense (and running back Thomas Jones) led them into the Super Bowl where they ultimately lost to Indianapolis.
In any case, the Jets are coming into the AFC Championship game as the number one ranked defense having allowed an average of 14 points in the 18 games that they have played this year. Not only that but their defense has not allowed more than 15 points in their last eight games.