degree for a defense getting too worn down by the end of the game if the offense doesn’t give them any rest, or if they don’t get themselves off the field, but this is absolutely no excuse to an offense not doing their job.
They don’t “get fewer opportunities to score” if the defense holds after a long drive. I read this way too frequently. They get the same number of opportunities to score as the opponent does. Doesn’t matter if it’s 8 possessions or 16. You take turns with the same number of opportunities as your opponent.
Your job in offense is to score as many points as possible on your opportunities. Defense has to allow as few points as possible on the opponent’s opportunities. That’s it. Scoring margin is all that matters to victory. TOP, all other stats are just contributors to this.
And yes, field position matters, turnovers matter (they’re a field position issue, but more importantly, a defensive stop), TOP matters to the defense more than the offense, and in a much more limited way than the others.
Way overused stat and should almost never be used in relation to offense.