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6/02/2006 11:25:00 AM

Debating The Best Offense Of Last 25 Years

Steve Young
Steve Young led an unstoppable 49ers offense in 1994.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Don Banks' recent prediction that Indianapolis will win this season's Super Bowl got us to thinking about the place this Peyton Manning-led Colts offense already has in history. After a heated debate, SI.com's football writers and editors came up with the top 10 offenses of the last 25 years. We ultimately decided to simplify and only list each franchise once, so the Rams and 49ers didn't claim seven of the top 10 spots. Here were the biggest points of contention:

1. Which 49ers teams? The 1994 team narrowly beat out the '89 and '87 teams, although several San Francisco teams were worthy of this list.

2. Which Rams team? The ‘00 Rams set more records, but the '99 team had virtually the same numbers and they won the Super Bowl.

3. What about the '95 Lions? Detroit wasn't a great team, but had gaudy individual numbers -- Barry Sanders ran for 1,500 yards, Scott Mitchell threw 32 touchdowns and Herman Moore set the single-season mark with 123 catches. But overall, their 27.2 ppg wasn't enough to knock out a team like the '92 Cowboys, who scored only 25.5 points per game, but used a ball-control attack that slowed the pace of the game. If that Dallas offense wanted to use all its talents and air the ball out, it could have scored a lot more.

4. How about the '04 Chiefs? They set the all-time record for first downs, but that was in part because their defense let the opposing offenses score so quickly.

5. Were the '04 Colts too high? A few contributors thought an Indy team that couldn't win it all didn't belong ahead of a Super Bowl champ like the '83 Skins. But that would be ruling out the Colts for their one loss to the Pats, and not taking into account how fast that offense scored during the regular season.

Let me know your pick for the best offense of the last 25 years.

posted by AP | View comments | Add a comment  
6/02/2006 11:25:00 AM

Who Had The Best Offense Of The Last 25 Years?

Steve Young
Steve Young led an unstoppable 49ers offense in 1994.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Don Banks' recent prediction that Indianapolis will win this season's Super Bowl got us to thinking about the place this Peyton Manning-led Colts offense already has in history. After a heated debate, SI.com's football writers and editors came up with the top 10 offenses of the last 25 years. We ultimately decided to simplify and only list each franchise once, so the Rams and 49ers didn't claim seven of the top 10 spots. Here were the biggest points of contention:

1. Which 49ers teams? The 1994 team narrowly beat out the '89 and '87 teams, although several San Francisco teams were worthy of this list.

2. Which Rams team? The ‘00 Rams set more records, but the '99 team had virtually the same numbers and they won the Super Bowl.

3. What about the '95 Lions? Detroit wasn't a great team, but had gaudy individual numbers -- Barry Sanders ran for 1,500 yards, Scott Mitchell threw 32 touchdowns and Herman Moore set the single-season mark with 123 catches. But overall, their 27.2 ppg wasn't enough to knock out a team like the '92 Cowboys, who scored only 25.5 points per game, but used a ball-control attack that slowed the pace of the game. If that Dallas offense wanted to use all its talents and air the ball out, it could have scored a lot more.

4. How about the '04 Chiefs? They set the all-time record for first downs, but that was in part because their defense let the opposing offenses score so quickly.

5. Were the '04 Colts too high? A few contributors thought an Indy team that couldn't win it all didn't belong ahead of a Super Bowl champ like the '83 Skins. But that would be ruling out the Colts for their one loss to the Pats, and not taking into account how fast that offense scored during the regular season.

Let me know your pick for the best offense of the last 25 years.

posted by AP | View comments | Add a comment  
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