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CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: Awesome offense is the ticket now


Updated Sept. 20

Pick the top-two teams in the NFL right now.

Green Bay and New England. Easy, right?

Now take a glance at where those teams sit in the defensive rankings. The Patriots are 31st and the Packers are 30th. New England is giving up 479 yards per game and the Packers are giving up 476 yards a game.

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Still think defense wins championships?

That ship sailed a few years ago, and the first two weeks are even more of an indicator of what defines a good team:

Putting that leather ball over the white goal line.

While the Packers and Patriots -- the two top teams here in our CBS Sports.com Power Rankings -- sit way down the defensive stats, they are both in the top-10 in offense. The Patriots are first in total offense and the Packers are ninth.

They are also third (Patriots) and fourth (Packers) in points scored. By comparison, the Packers are 25th in scoring defense and the Patriots are 15th.

With Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers quarterbacking those two teams, you expect a lot of points. But the defensive reputation of both teams is usually better than where they sit right now in the rankings.

Let's not forget that the Patriots head coach is Bill Belichick, a defensive genius, and the Packers defensive coordinator is Dom Capers, one of the architects of the 3-4 scheme.

You have to give Belichick credit for changing with the times. If he knows wide-open, up-tempo offense is what wins now, shouldn't everybody?

The best teams in the league are the offensive teams -- and don't you forget it.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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