Defense Wins Championships? The Answer from the Gridiron, pp. 72-84
Economists have offered a plethora of studies examining various aspects of professional team sports. Such studies, though, often neglect the playoffs. Given the impact the post-season has on league revenue, as well as the utility generated for both participants and observers of professional sports, such neglect misses much of the story people wish to tell about sports. In an era of free agency and salary caps, teams must determine the optimal strategy for maximizing their probability of success. Is the best offense a good defense, or does defense win championships? The purpose of this paper is to fill in this gap in the literature by examining the relative effects of offense and defense on making and advancing in the playoffs.