Drawing too many conclusions from one year is a bad idea, but this is worth pointing out: the four teams playing in NFL conference title games next weekend were the four highest-scoring teams in the league this season.

In order: The Chiefs, Rams, Saints and Patriots.

Those same teams ranked No. 7 (Patriots), No. 14 (Saints), No. 20 (Rams) and No. 24 (Chiefs) in scoring defense.

Some of those points allowed were racked up in garbage time and/or resulted from the speed at which the offenses scored, so it's not like the four remaining teams can't play defense.

But it is further evidence of the direction of the NFL this season — and reinforces that the Vikings (No. 19 on scoring offense, No. 9 on defense in 2018) can't rely on defense alone to win.

The Vikings finished No. 10 in points scored in 2017, their best finish since 2009 (No. 2).

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.