DENVER, CO - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos scrambles and tries to elude linebacker Derrick Johnson #56 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
A certain all sports TV network dubbed this the Year Of The Quarterback. At the time, that sounded silly (and it still does, really) but ESPN was right about the quarterbacks this year. Three guys passed for over 5,000 yards. Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's season passing yards record originally set in 1984.
Only one of those teams -- the Patriots -- are one of those offensive powerhouses we talked about this season. The rest of the teams are known for their defense (there's definitely an argument for the Giants as a more pro-offense team if you look at the stats but their defense was the key back in their 2007 Super Bowl run and I think it is right now).
That gives me a little more hope about the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward. The defense is clearly the strength of the team. The Chiefs have been a top-12 defense the last two seasons. Romeo Crennel was kept on board likely due in large part to the continued maturation of the Chiefs defense. Several stars on the team have received big contracts -- Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers -- and others are well on their way.
I think this year shows that it still pays to have a great defense. There's no substitute for substitute for allowing just 14.3 (49ers) or 16.6 (Ravens) points per game. The Chiefs are at 21.1 points per game. Close, but not quite there.
There's no replacement for your team being in the playoffs -- it definitely sucks not to be there, to put it eloquently -- but the way this year's postseason has played out gives me a little more hope about the Chiefs moving forward.