On the Football Outsiders website, based on 20 years of the DVOA data, they recommend a 3-3-1 ratio for the value of offense, defense and special teams. In other words, they have the special teams value at one-third of offense or defense. However, since the rule change on kickoffs, that value has gone down somewhat.
In order to keep things simple here, I'm going to drop the value of the special teams entirely and talk about the value of offense and defense as being 50/50. This ratio makes sense because scoring a touchdown has the same value as preventing a touchdown.
We can now use those numbers as a way to grade teams. For example, we can say that a perfectly balanced 8-win .500 team would be graded like this:
Offense 25, Defense 25 = 50
Then, a .500 team stronger on offense might look like this:
Offense 30, Defense 20 = 50
And, a .500 team stronger on defense might look like this:
Offense 20, Defense 30 = 50
If you have followed me, then you will be able to spot some of the flawed reasoning you have read in this forum. For example:
Defense wins championships!
The truth is that the better team will probably win championship games and it doesn't matter whether their offense or their defense is stronger. It's only the combined strength of both units that matters.
Our defense is weaker than our offense, therefore we should focus on defense in the draft.
The truth is that, if you can draft a player who can significantly improve your team, it doesn't matter which side of the ball he plays on.
How ball control results in the myth that "Defense wins championships."
Coaches have favored a ball control strategy on offense since the game was invented. A dominant ball control offense will have these effects on the game:
--Their drives take time off the clock which results in fewer drives in the game for BOTH teams.
--Fewer drives for both teams results in lower scoring games.
--Lower scoring games make defenses look better than they really are on the points rankings.
--Lower scoring games make the dominant ball control offense look worse than it really is on the points ranking.
--Fewer drives in the game result in lower yardage for both teams.
--Lower yardage totals make the defenses look better than they really are on the yardage rankings.
--Lower yardage totals make the the dominant ball control offense look worse than it really is on the yardage rankings.
--A team with a strong ball control offense and a good defense, like Lombardi's Packers or Walsh's 49ers, will win championships.
--People who trust the offensive and defensive rankings on points or yardage are deceived.
--People compare those unreliable rankings and conclude that "Defense wins championships."