Seriously, this shouldn't even be difficult. Jeffery Chadia ranked Larry Johnson first in the question of which player would be the most indispensable to his team winning. A running back? Really? This league has taught us that any RB can be replaced. It's the most overrated position in the NFL. Chadia then went on to say that Tom-tom was 'more indispensable' than #18. Listen, without turning this into the whole 'who's better' question (because that's not really the issue here), let's ask this question...
Could a team with an average QB and average offensive personnel make the playoffs with a top 3 defense? (Baltimore Ravens anyone?)
Could a team with average QB and great offensive personnel make the playoffs with the league's worst run defense and a middle of the road D in overall ranking? That sounds like a team that tops out at 8-8 at best. If they are lucky.
The answer to question 1 is clearly YES. Happens all the time. The answer to two? Not likely. I heard Colin Cowherd say last week that what Brady has done is INCREDIBLE given his lack of WR talent. Chadia makes a similar argument in this article. "Brady produced his most impressive individual season in 2006". How is that Jeffery? His stats were identical to several of his other seasons. And guess what? Now that he has 'great' WRs this year...he's going to put up the exact same season he did last year. NE's game is ball control and score just enough to win. Brady is a fine qb, but the Pats do not DEPEND on him to win. They might win fewer games with a different QB, but the difference wouldn't be nearly as dramatic as some would have you believe.
What part of what he did was incredible Colin? Throwing for 3700 yards? Nope. Not incredible. Consistently NOT being in the top 10 in QB rating? Again, not incredible. Winning Super Bowls? Nope, hate to tell you that winning the Super Bowl with average WRs is NOT an incredible feat. Winning the Super Bowl with a crap defense IS an incredible feat, but Tommy Boy has never had to do that one. I hate sounded like a broken record on this, because I do respect Brady, I just don't think he's in the same sentence with Manning. No player this side of John freaking Elway could carry a club like Manning does.
Chadia is clearly out to lunch since he put Vick at #7. There's is precious little evidence that the Falcons will have any success at all with Vick, much less without him.
Oh by the way, here's the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeff&id=2926319
Demond Sanders' Comments: Well put. People will look back on this 2006 Colts team and wonder how they won the Super Bowl. Heck I'm wondering that right now. We've gotten used to witnessing broken records amazing comebacks, and complete offensive dominance. The 2006 regular season, however, will be remembered for crushing road defeats against divisional opponents and an amazingly bad defense. And by the way: The Colts won 12 games. Brady had a defense that did not give up points. Peyton's D was the football equivalent of a flour sifter. I repeat: the Colts won 12 games. Think about the Broncos and Jets games that would have been certain losses with any other QB.
To further cement the point: We think of the 1999 Rams when we think of teams that managed to win the Super Bowl on the strength of the offense. From wikipedia: The 1999 Rams' defense did not get as much attention as the offense, but it was still extremely strong, leading the league in fewest rushing yards allowed (1,189) and fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (4), while giving up just 242 points. Overall, the defense ranked 4th in the league in fewest total yards allowed (5,056).