The Broncos and Panthers are set to face off in Super Bowl 50, continuing a trend of defenses winning championships across all sports. Since last June, every major sports champion has been defined by amazing defensive play.
June 15 -- Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup
The Blackhawks led the Western Conference in fewest goals allowed (2.27) and save percentage (.925). They rode their defense to a Stanley Cup win against the Lightning, the NHL's leader in goals scored per game.
June 16 -- Warriors win the NBA Title
The Warriors' offense deservedly received many of the accolades during the team's championship run, but Golden State also led the NBA in defensive efficiency in the regular season. Golden State allowed 98.2 points per 100 possessions and held its opponents to an NBA-low 47 percent effective field goal percentage.
July 5 -- U.S. wins Women's World Cup
After allowing three goals in seven games, the United States won its first Women's World Cup title since 1999. In the process, the U.S. held its opponents scoreless for 539 consecutive minutes, one minute shy of the single Women's World Cup record.
Nov. 1 -- Royals win the World Series
The Royals ranked second in the American League in defensive runs saved on the way to winning the World Series. Based on this all-inclusive stat, Kansas City saved 56 more runs than an average defensive team over the course of the season.
Jan. 11 -- Alabama wins national championship
Alabama and Clemson entered the CFP Playoff as the top two defenses in the FBS, according to ESPN's defensive efficiency ratings. The Tide won the championship and finished the year as the third-most efficient defense in the last 10 seasons.
Feb. 7 -- Broncos or Panthers win Super Bowl
Finally, the Broncos and Panthers enter the Super Bowl as the top two defenses in efficiency. Both defenses thrive off turnovers and pressure and have contributed more to their teams winning than any other defenses in the NFL.