Defense wins championships. If you doubt that…

Look no farther than the reigning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and college football’s reigning national champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

Defense is also at the root of the best football stories in this area from the NFL down to the high schools.

Kansas City is the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL because of their defense.  The Chiefs stop people and they take the football away. Sometimes the defense scores too.  That defensive unit leads the league in the two most relevant defensive stats—points allowed and turnover margin.  That’s how the Chiefs are 9-0 with an offense that still struggles at times. (Just wait until the offensive line gells. …but that’s another blog.)

Missouri is in the driver’s seat in the SEC East in large part because of the problems their defensive line and linebackers create. The Tigers are also very good at creating turnovers. That's been a point of emphasis since Gary Pinkel arrived in late 2000. Yes, part of Mizzou's success also stems from the offense. After major injury problems a year ago, the offense has gelled and they are forcing teams to toss the running plays out of the game plan at some point in the third quarter.

Palmyra is in the Class 2 round of 16 in large part because of their defense. The Panthers defense hasn’t allowed two scores in the same game since week 2 vs Centralia. My first hint that this might be a pretty good Palmyra team came in week 1 when the defense held the fort well enough to allow Palmyra to beat a very solid Macon team despite turning the ball over four times. As with the Chiefs and Tigers, Palmyra's turnover margin is very favorable.

Quincy High School has their first playoff win since the IHSA started post season football in 1974 because of defense. The Blue Devils took the ball away from highly regarded Rock Island four times as they built a 34-0 lead en route to a 40-20 win last  Saturday. Their defense gives them a chance every time out.  And I'm looking forward to seeing them on Saturday.